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Please could I ask what would you hope for, as a parent, from a teaching assistant working with students who have physical disabilities

(6 Posts)
Notquitegrownup Mon 01-Jun-09 13:16:21

Just applying for a job, which I am quite excited about. It is for a TA in our local secondary school, "with a particular interest in working with student who have a physical disability" up to A level.

I used to be a secondary teacher, but took a break to do something else and to start a family. I was hoping to return as a T.A. but am now wanting to ask your advice about this additional side of the job, which would be a whole new area for me.

I've called the school and they aren't specifying the nature of the physical disability, so I can't be specific. In my application I have emphasised that I would be happy to undertake training. As a person, I am genuinely interested in equal rights and would welcome the chance to work alongside someone to enable them to achieve their potential. As a former PA (my second career) I've been used to thinking and planning ahead in order to make things happen. As a parent, I would be comfortable to offer a degree of physical support, thinking for example of toileting, if necessary.

Please could I touch base with you to ask if there is anything else that you think is important in this admittedly very broad area and whether you think I am on the right lines here?

sarah293 Mon 01-Jun-09 15:13:32

Message withdrawn

Notquitegrownup Mon 01-Jun-09 16:39:21

Thanks so much Riven. I will look again at that wording. I do have the idea of enabler in mind, but can see how that might be undermined, by trying to sound too keen in job application speak.

brandy77 Mon 01-Jun-09 17:29:06

I have supported a young man with cerebal palsy for the last 4 years at secondary school. Ive found it a learning curve to allow the young man to be independant but also to support him as and when needed, when he was 11/12 he became too reliant on me and i had step back a bit and stop molly coddling him and since then he has gained a lot of independance and we have a fantastic working/friendship relationship. The lad has needed a lot of emotional support because of bullying and once the other kids knew i wouldnt tolerate it they back off, but he did put up with a lot of cruel comments.

Im in close contact with his mum which i would advise is a good thing to do, as you can discuss problems with the person who knows their child best. I speak to his mum on the phone and through facebook, shes more like a friend now.

Good Luck, its a very rewarding job if not stressful at times, especially when they are grumpy teenagers!

Notquitegrownup Mon 01-Jun-09 21:38:56

Thank you Brandysmile

meltedmarsbars Tue 02-Jun-09 14:01:31

Completely agree about enabling the child to do things - my dd2 is severely physically disabled, and its often the kids who won't let her do things by over-mothering her - or try to help by doing it for her, but she needs to be allowed to do things herself. she needs to make mistakes and re-do things.

School can be too health and safety consious. Eg child needs to learn to drive power chair. School sets rule where carer operates chair indoors to avoid running over other childrens' feet. Outcome: child never learns to negotiate doors and confined spaces because no chance to learn and pratice. Grrr!

Communication with family is vital. As we have so many carers involved, we invite them all to a summer picnic at our home, they bring their kids too and meet each other. Its a lovely afternoon and gets them all talking.

Also - some disabled children are not pushed enough to learn, imho!!! Mine is sometimes given too easy tasks, or not challenged enough.

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