Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘employment

On the Job Training (at Hopeful Parents)

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This post was originally published at Hopeful Parents.

A job.
It looks strange as I type it. I haven’t worked in six and a half years, and time has made a that three-letter word look incredibly daunting. I don’t have work clothes. I’ve forgotten more office skills than I ever developed. I was stay-at-home before I even became a mother.
As a stay-at-home-mother of special needs children with several years experience, I find it hard to imagine another identity. If I’m uncomfortable with the shift, my children are vocally despairing. But feelings of inadequacy and fear of change prove to be no match in the face of a bank account straining after years of therapies on a single income. To work I go!
Of course, I haven’t exactly been idle these last few years, and in terms of self-development and transferable skills, with a hopeful outlook my CV looks positively marketable.
How can I be discouraged by an interview panel, when I’ve faced the eligibility board for special education services not once, but twice?
Will I ever have to face a meeting in the world of work with anything like the pressure of an IEP meeting? Setting goals and meeting deadlines? I’m well practiced.
You need someone with excellent communication skills? Look no further than the caregiver of someone with special needs, particularly when language difficulties are an inherent feature of the condition.
If a presentation doesn’t go over well in words, I’ll just skip on to pictures. Imagine social stories merging with powerpoint- I’ll find a way to get my point across with any audience.
I can work under pressure, think outside the box…be flexible, organized…a team player. If there was something to learn over the last few years, I’ve mastered it. We all have. Even if every day still feels like we have so much to learn.
This position is actually going to be about playing a strong advocacy role and strengthening community. Reading the job description, it felt like it had been written for me.
But there is one more thing that makes this job perfect for me. I’m the sole applicant. A job that nobody else wants? I’m your woman. You’re just going to have to pay me in more than hugs and kisses this time.


Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

E is for Employment

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Yes, not echolalia- I just wrote about that, and I’d hate to repeat myself.  Employment has been on my mind lately.  Now that the children are in school in the mornings, I have free time for the first time in four years.  I’m weighing up the possibility of returning to work.  Putting aside for a moment every other consideration of being a special needs parent, getting a job is not an easy business.  Unlike other countries, there is no bilateral agreement between the US and South Africa in terms of work permits for family members of the diplomatic community.  So I can’t go to work on the local economy.  If I want to work, it has  to be at the Consulate or the Embassy in Pretoria, which is a commute I’d rather not face.  And then-z my husband cannot be my boss, or my supervisor’s boss, which means I can’t do the work  I did before getting married.  It doesn’t leave me with many options, so the issue is moot for the time being.

Once in a while, my mind wanders away from the safe territory of here and now, into the hostile land of the unforeseeable future.  I have a momentary panic about my kids’ careers.  Will they be employed?  What will they do?  It isn’t necessarily a bleak forecast.  I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell Pudding or Cubby they couldn’t do whatever they’ve set their mind to.  But what would that be?

Cubby, who has literally argued that night is day, would probably make an awesome lawyer, if we parents could stand the shame.  But if you were to ask him?  Right now he’d want to be a basketball player.  Such a shame he wasn’t the exceptionally tall child in our family.

Speaking of Pudding, perhaps with her inherent fashion sense, she could put that height to use in the fashion industry.  That girl is too hands-on though, and together with her arty streak, she’d probably be happier creating her own designs.  Whatever field she happened to choose though, I’m certain she’d dominate.

I know really, that it is ridiculous to speculate so far ahead.  Only a fool would assume that the tastes of preschoolers would never change.

Take me, for instance.  Four year-old me wanted nothing more than to be an air hostess.*  A job I would never have chosen once I reached adulthood.  But as a child I imagined a future traveling around the world, nagging people to fasten their seatbelts, serving nut-free snacks all day, dishing up meals in special trays so the food doesn’t touch, and dealing with a whole lot of turbulence while wearing a sunny smile.  Absolutely nothing like the way my life has turned out!

*Yeah, I know, steward or cabin crew, but little me was as stubborn as Pudding, so don’t argue.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm