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Retraining to work with special needs

(3 Posts)
Albaba Wed 05-Nov-14 11:36:19

I have been thinking about retraining to work with children with special needs maybe like a special needs classroom assistant. Was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to go about this and if it would be achievable? I am in my thirties with no previous experience.

My job to be honest I sort of drifted in to it and ended up staying because it was the easier option. In the grand scheme of things what we do is meaningless. I think I have got to the stage that I am at a crossroads and that thought of staying were I am and doing what I do forever doesn't bear thinking about.I know it is a cliché but I would like to do something that makes a difference and to help people. My own daughter has special needs so I have plenty of experience with Health Professionals etc. Anyone?

ItsGotBellsOn Fri 07-Nov-14 12:25:04

You could apply for level 1 or 2 teaching assistant roles in schools and see what comes up. Some schools are fussy about TAs and want graduate wannabe teachers, but many dont - they want warm, empathetic , mature people and your experience as a parent of a child with SEN could definitely be used in your applications.

Or you could volunteer? Look at special schools in your area, childrens centres, charities that work with children with SEN etc. 6 months voluntary work in that area would definitely put you in a better position when applying for jobs.

I worked as a TA in a secondary school, supporting students with SEN, some years ago. I had no previous experience, but was a graduate and have a child with autism.

If you are looking at retraining, there are TA courses at some colleges, or you could look at Health and Social Care BTECs, PTLLS courses (short basic introductions to teaching and classroom management) or if you are a graduate, a specialist Post grad course?

Buddy80 Sun 09-Nov-14 07:50:38

Hi Albaba,

I have a child with severe SEN so I am only to happy to offer some ideas smile

Which age range are you looking to assist with SEN? There are many different settings to work with children with special needs, not just schools.

However, starting with schools...some SEN schools are from 4 to 18. There are opportunities to work with SEN but you would need to be prepared to assist on physical aspects of the job (toileting, etc). Someone I know was a TA in a SEN school and is now training as a Disabilities Nurse.

If you are looking for SEN in a mainstream setting, Its is quite right about the qualifications and excellent advice.

Have you thought of working as a play worker with SEN at the local children's centre or as a portage worker?

There are also specialist respite centres (do have a look in your local area), which you could consider.

Alternatively, there are SEN pre-school charities or SEN charities, such as CEREBRA.

As you can see from above, there is a lot of scope for you are considering and if you want to work with special needs children, there is a lot of opportunity for you to find the right fit.

Best of luck!

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