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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Work. Do you? Or is it just impossible?

(35 Posts)
geekgirl Thu 28-May-09 15:49:13

I keep fantasising about having a proper job. We don't have any family support whatsoever, live in the countryside and have three children so I've been a sahm ever since dd1 was born. I do some freelance stuff from home but to be honest I really hate ithmm.

I did a law degree pre-children and still really like law. I've recently become a magistrate and loved the training sessions, so have been - yet again - looking at postgrad law courses (which I'd need to do as my degree is too old to be a valid law degree).

I am not terribly career-minded and would really be very happy with a p/t public sector job, but I am starting to wonder whether there is any point in shelling out £6K for a course if the logistics of work and having a child with SN turn out to be insurmountable....
Dd2 is a little poppet and totally amenable and easy-going, but she will always be vulnerable and even at secondary school age will need to be picked up from school (or met at the bus stop) - really I think I've got a long, long time to go (like, 10 years at least) before I could consider leaving dd2 unsupervised - and even then I could hardly leave her for hours.
I've tried to find someone to help out in the past with no success (I got direct payments - had to pay it all back). All my friends who work have extensive family support I'm not sure whether there's any point in spending money on a qualification I may well not be able to put to any use...

TallulahToo Thu 28-May-09 16:07:00

Bump this one for you!

I'm in a similar position but actually gave up work as I found it too impractical to work part time and do all the appointments etc - also had a very unsympathetic boss at the time, which really helped me to make the decision. Also feel like I need some light at the end of the tunnel...

What sort of work from home jobs are there?

geekgirl Thu 28-May-09 16:13:03

Feck all really. I work as a legal translator. It's the dullest of the dull and I hate the 'lone ranger' style of working.

marmoset Thu 28-May-09 16:17:50

hi geekgirl - are there any colleges or universites commutable which teach law? They often look for casual tutors to do a few classes each week in term time. Anything which isn't flexible is tricky but does your authority provide out of school kids clubs and transport?

marmoset Thu 28-May-09 16:20:05

oh and of couse, open university are often worth checking out for tutoring posts - still at home working but some contact with real people too! sorry, got to go - dd really hates the computer!

geekgirl Thu 28-May-09 16:21:07

mh no the local college only does beauty and building courses, as well as languages hmm
and there aren't any SN kids' clubs AFAIK. Our local authority is absolutely shite for anything to do with children.
Maybe I should move! I think a lot of my problems are down to where we live. But I love the area...

Widemouthfrog Thu 28-May-09 16:23:46

I had to give up my academic career. I work evenings now in a very non-challenging admin job, but it gives me time where I am me and not DS's mum. I've got no family support, so DH and I share the childcare, doing it in shifts.
The job is not a career move but it is the best compromise I have, and for now it works ok, and i enjoy the social contact. I am so tied up advocating for DS at school and the endless appointments that I couldn't do justice to a more demanding job at this time anyway.

bruffin Thu 28-May-09 16:27:55

Have you Carer's Centre near you where you can get advice. The Princess Royal Trust Network ones have access to burseries for getting carers back to work and also advice for carers in employment

geekgirl Thu 28-May-09 16:29:24

that's a good idea, bruffin! We do have a Carers' Resource here and I've had quite a bit of contact with them. I'll ask them for advice.

cory Thu 28-May-09 16:59:24

There may be ways around. My dd is picked up by LEA disabled transport and taken to the childminder.

A specially trained childminder might be a solution depending on the type of your dd's SN.

magso Thu 28-May-09 17:06:41

If you do the post grad law course could it lead to a flexible or part time post - and pay well enough to cover child care and the extra costs of pickup escorts etc?
I do not have family handy and DH often travels away. I work very part time in a hospital ( using my original training) but short hours to fit around ds transport. I also cover for colleagues when I can but without the regular commitments ( ds appointments tend to affect 3 days a week so I usually work the other 2). It is all very finely balanced! The recent changes to help support working carers (eg to request shorter hours)has benefitted me as the nhs/ public sector is very aware.
Ds afternoon school taxi deliver him to our small village afterschool club where I collect him. It works very well as it is snack time when he arrives so easy for ds to join in - and he is safe there.
I worry about the next transition to senior school!

ilovepeppapig Thu 28-May-09 17:13:43

i have a dd with complex medical needs and thought that it would be impossible to work but after my husband left i did re train as a teacher.

my head teacher is fantastic and allows me the time i need of for appointments and for hospital stays.

My dd goes to a child minder who at the start was not sure she cope with DD and her needs but is absolutely fab with her. (dd wll need care after school even when at secondary school) my dd goes to an ordinary child minder but there are ones who opt to be trained to take children with special needs

I have no family but some great friends who helped me and continue to help me now!

I am really lucky and have been able to make returning to the workplace work out for me and dd .

So it did work out for me !

amberlight Thu 28-May-09 17:25:19

Ds was impossible to work around for the first few years, though I did a small amount of consultancy (computer training). As I make a terrible employee, we set up our own business so I could work around his childcare/school hours, and have done so ever since. Only possible because of the death of a parent, I have to say - who left enough money to start the business in a way that gave me enough support.

geekgirl Thu 28-May-09 17:50:08

cory dd2 has DS. She has no additional problems and is freakishly well-behaved so very easy really, but I am not sure how she would fit in at a childminder's when she is a teenager hmm
<sigh>It's all too difficult... Maybe I should resign myself to a lifetime of lawnmowing and ironing hmm

marmoset Thu 28-May-09 18:07:26

Hi geekgirl - my ds1 has DS too and I started back at work when he was 6. I'm hoping that his childminder will keep him on into secondary as our kids club (mainstream but takes a lot of sn kids) stops at 14 and there is no way I could leave him on his own then. I think its a case of what works when!

FioFio Thu 28-May-09 18:17:23

Message withdrawn

TotalChaos Thu 28-May-09 19:33:38

I have just got back into work, I have very little family support, so am only working 2 mornings a week in NHS admin job to avoid need for childcare as far as possible that can't be covered by annual leave. DS has spent a day this half term in a local mainstream play scheme, and touch wood that has gone OK so may be a possibility for summer holidays.

Now on the question of law - I qualified as a solicitor and jacked it in when DS was born as I really didn't enjoy it. So - a few things - 1. I found the LPC boring as a boring thing in boring ville - it's not like a typical Masters - you won't feel particularly intellectually challenged, it's getting through a mass of info.
2. When I were a student, the local authority type jobs didn't recruit before the start of LPC year - so you would probably have to commit to LPC before you knew if you would get a job
3. Get some work experience of law firms and public sector before committing to LPC to see if the work appeals.

feelingbetter Thu 28-May-09 20:37:21

I went back to work full time in March, and after much dithering, I am soooooo glad I did. It is nice to have my own identity again, to have a challenge and something else to think about. And dare I say it, a break from DS - which I'm sure he enjoys as much as me - but he doesn't feel as guilty as I do!
It works for me as I have a very good relationship with my employer and despite it being a small company, I can come and go as I please to suit hospital appointments and home visits.

DS goes to a private nursery a 5 minute walk from my house, and I work about a minutes walk away in the other direction from my house, so any crisis and I can leg it to nursery in under 5 mins. What state I'd be in when I got there, I couldn't say blush <<must exercise more>>

Anyway, it can be done!
Good Luck x

geekgirl Fri 29-May-09 08:45:43

thanks everyone, Fio, I think I'm a drifter too really hmm I can think of loads of stuff I'd quite like to do. Law is the only thing I've been consistently interested in.
TC, thanks for your input! Can I ask what you didn't like about your work? To be honest I'm quite clueless at the working world really as I've never had a proper job blush. I got pregnant in my final year at uni, then did some web development stuff for dh's company (it's only him and me, not exactly a global corporation!grin), and then did the postgrad translation course 6 years ago and have been working for myself ever since.
I am worried of getting to 45, with all the children having moved out, and not having any career other than many years of loathsome translations....

sarah293 Fri 29-May-09 08:47:45

Message withdrawn

sc13 Fri 29-May-09 11:03:21

Just my personal view: I don't think I would stay sane without my job (F/T, academic, hence relatively flexible). On the down side, I have the guilt of not spending more time with DS or arranging things for DS etc. On the plus side, I have a good part of the day where I can do things other than thinking about ASD, see people, earn money and (to be boringly pragmatic) pay contributions towards my pension.
"I am worried of getting to 45, with all the children having moved out"
I will be 45 in two years, DS is only 3, which means I'll probably have to either have a good pension or work until I drop...
The Open University that someone suggested is brilliant

TotalChaos Fri 29-May-09 14:41:16

geekgirl - where do I start grin. The office politics, the culture that if you weren't resilient and confident then it was a character failing in you and should do your utmost to appear so, the billing/money side of it....., the careerism/conformism/materialism.... there was a bit of a footy lads/glam girls culture I didn't fit into. But much of this wouldn't apply to public sector.

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 29-May-09 14:59:25

I'm a drifter too.

I am currently working full time - can do a lot from home though - it's very flexible. It will finish in 18 months and I am trying to plan ahead. I could do research contract work, if anything suitable comes up, it may well not. I will probablyapply for further research funding, but I really don't want an academic career as such (climbing the greasy uni pole) so I think my chances of getting any funding for my own work are fairly very low. I could do OU teaching and probably will apply next year. Really I'd like to work hands on with children with autism/learning disabilities. Am thinking about training in Floortime (which fits in really well with my research, but will probably be pricey- I have heard on the grapevine that consultant training is coming to the UK thoug), looking for home programmes to be employed on as a tutor (any therapy- not much down here though), or even doing something like the early years professional status course to get some hands on experience- although the hours and inflexibility would be hard.

Also thinking about doing something completely different. Perhaps photography specialising in providing a service for families with kids with SN. Would also love to work outside.

Any ideas, or things that work for other people let me know. Will be reading this thread with interest.

amberlight Fri 29-May-09 15:06:51

We so need you doing research, Mrs T

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 29-May-09 15:15:56

Funding is such an issue though, especially as I can't move.

Also with research it's hard to see the benefit, it's all a bit removed really. I'd love to get closer to the coal-face. One potential move would be into contracted research which feeds back to policy makers in someway (locally at first perhaps). Another option would be to use the research methodology I currently use in an applied way to provide useful feedback to parents. But I'd be crap at charging parents and I need to make some money to live.

Really I'd love to win the lottery and set up a therapeutic horsemanship centre grin.

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