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autism at work and home(8 Posts)
Hi. I currently work 25 hours as a p/t TA. I have just been asked to up this to all day every day. 840-3.10. I will be working with an autistic child who is statemented. My son is autistic so they have chosen me for this role because of my experience. I am virtually a single parent as my husband does very little to help so if I take these extra hours - the 1.5 hrs a day of me time I currently get disappears. It basically means I go to work and work with this autistic child then come home to 'autism'!!! I will have to pay out child care as my children are at a different school and I don't think it would really be cost effective to have to pay for child care every day although it would only be for a small amount of time I would still have to pay for an hours childcare. I could suggest finishing half an hour early so I can still pick my children up and I think they would be ok with this. However I find it really hard to keep up with everything at the moment let alone if I was doing more hours. I get no help during the holidays or weekends so I would literally be living and breathing autism. Do u think I would be mad to take this on and give myself even more stress?? I love my job and love what I do but relish my 'me time'. If I say no I feel I am letting this little girl down as she needs 1:1 continuity.
If you don't want to do it then don't.
I'm sure Autism is very sorry for invading your life.
that is so tricky. on almost every count i would say 'don't make your life harder - take it easy on yourself'. Except for the fact that having an autistic child you will have a special understanding of the child at the school where you work. i wish DS's TAs had had this perspective. That is not supposed to be underhand emotional blackmail by the way!
I imagine this little girl gets far more out of having you 25 hours per week than she would having you burn out and move on. An arrangement that is sustainable for you and your children is in her best interests long term.
A friend of mine was a nurse and she found it really difficult to do that caring/compassionate/giving role both at work and with (NT) small children at home. She now works in a supermarket and feels this is so much easier to handle mentally - work is a sort of break from the demands of home, and vice versa. You don't have that, so the hour or so's gap is important. I think you should give yourself "permission" to stick to your current hours.
None of us are indispensable (much as our ego's would like to tell us we are). You are likely to do a better job if you are not overloaded and stressed. There is also an argument that it would be better for pupils not to become too reliant on one TA (what happens if you are off sick for instance) so a job share arrangement may be better for you and the child.
I work with children with ASD and one of my DC has ASD. It can be tough in that I never switch off from thinking about autism.
My work is not a break from the challenges we face at home. But I do enjoy my job and get a lot from it. And it's part time, which helps. At the moment the positives our way the negatives but I understand your concerns about the new role. It's important to consider whether it will be too much for you .
I would think carefully about it. Personally I need my downtime away from any responsibilities while dd (autistic) is at school so I don't work at all. I get stressed if I don't have a bit of recovery time, plus I need that time to be able to do chores and errands which I can't manage with dd in tow. If you feel that you wouldn't manage to do it effectively, don't be a martyr - I'm sure you're a great TA but there will be many others out there who will be able to understand the little girl's needs as well.
I don't think you should think of it as, ok your working with a child with Autism but yet you go back to Autism when you get home. They may both have Autism but, I'm sure when you start working the child, you will see that they are both completely different (with a few similarities).
I currently work with a child who has a different SEN to my DS but they have both have similarities. I also worked in a school where the majority of children have the exact same difficulties as DS but were still different from him. Ideally, the reason why I was working as a TA was so that I can get some experience as in order to get into a certain career path. Which is totally different to what my degree is in.
However, whilst working with the child and helping the other children ( it's a mainstream school). I do feel like, ok I'm here helping other parents children but my DS who has difficulties also needs my help, even more. That probably sounds really selfish. But I'd get so tired after work that I don't have time to help DS with his own work and I feel bad and vice Versa.
Try it out and see, you may never know.. see how you go on for a term and take it from there.
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