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Featured Volunteering with special needs children

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by As sweet as-pie, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I've seen a few adverts for a pre-school who support children under 5 with special needs. I'm not very optimistic about their opinion of autism, they offer an "understanding autism" course to all volunteers - I'd be mad if I had to do it, since I've got first hand experience - but I suppose I won't know until I go. But a lot of special need organisations have a bad rep. I'm probably going to have to deal with ABA talk and autism moms everyday, but maybe I could make some of them see the light if I'm open about being autistic.

    Anyway, I was thinking of applying but I know for a fact it would upset me if I saw maltreatment or ABA or any parents talking down about their children. However I feel like I would have a good perspective to support the kids and I've always wanted to work in childcare.

    Has anyone had any experience of organisations like this or volunteered in a similar setting?
     
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  2. Selfdiagnosed&confirmed

    Selfdiagnosed&confirmed New Member

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    Hi As sweet as-pie, I think you should do it.
    (I have been thinking of doing the same, but I need to focus on bringing in money somehow - volunteering for me would be an expense I cannot afford.) My general experience from observation is that parents don't have a clue to what they are doing with their children, how their behaviour ends up causing a reaction in the kids and in turn the kids are blamed for the outcome. (I still experience this with my mom and I'm in my 30's)

    You'll have to find a way to process all those things and focus on putting your energy towards helping the kids and what would benefit them. Spending too much energy on the ignorant ways of thinking of the NT moms etc would probably drain you more and give little result. It would be a good challenge though. And if you come across in a non threatening way your ASD/Aspie status should give you some respect as far as having insight.

    I hope to hear of your experience in this regard as I think about doing the same often, but being unemployed currently I can't really justify doing that. I still want to though. Best wishes with it. I'm sure you'll bring a lot to the environment and it will be rewarding to you on a personal level also.
     
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  3. rainfall

    rainfall Playing in the rain =P

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    I think it's a great idea and you sound as though you have a lot to give.

    My opinion is this, please don't look at every mother as a problem. Whether NT or not, some genuinely love and care for their children and are making the decisions, probably based on biased information against what's actually best, for their children that they believe will most benefit them. If you can look at them mostly as just being ignorant but caring, it could shift your perspective and negative feelings to those that would be most helpful for the children and their mothers. Education of the nature you can offer by first hand knowledge is something most won't have access to. Of course, there are plenty that won't agree with reason, but I'd caution to prematurely label all of them as such.

    I am currently self diagnosed. My son was diagnosed at 3 then again at 4 with a second opinion. I was handed an absolute ton of paperwork, an Autism Society folder, tons of referrals for different therapies and tests, ABA included which was pushed and I chose not to do, etc. but no support. No access to first hand knowledge. Just sad looks and apologies that made me angry. I didn't lose my son. I realize it may be different now and in different places, he's 8 now. The thing is, it's not just the person with the diagnosis that's affected for their entire lives, but also those that love them. I don't and have never seen my son as less than the absolutely amazing person he is. It's been a journey of discovery and self discovery and I really could've used a perspective like yours instead of figuring everything out I have so far the hard way. Both of us having different sensory and other issues adds to the challenges.

    Seriously, I think you have a lot to give that you may not even realize at this point. I wish you luck and also hope to hear about your experiences.
     
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  4. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well being "Special Needs" (I hate that term, contrary to popular opinion disabled people are NOT "special") myself I'd be a good fit for the role as I understand their wants and needs.
     
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  5. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was planning to say in my email - unfortunately and ironically I've heard a lot of cases of people actually being turned away from jobs with autistic people because they're autistic, so it's hard not to be cynical.
     
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  6. Rayner

    Rayner Well-Known Member

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    I think you would like it, I think it would be very rewarding for you personally. I think also your temperament is well suited to working with children. What do you think?
     
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  7. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Meh, in my experience Autistic people are turned away from mainstream employment in general, equal opportunities my arse, they just say that because they legally have to, means nothing in reality IMHO.
     
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  8. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    I agree - why would they employ someone who needs accommodations to be made when they can easily just employ someone who doesn't? Especially in this climate with 100's of people applying for just one place, we have no chance.
     
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  9. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely adore children. I nearly studied a childcare course but unfortunately wasn't able to do it as I was told I'd have to make phone calls and find a work placement w/o support, which I can't do.
     
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  10. Rayner

    Rayner Well-Known Member

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    Then I think this is a great opportunity for you.
     
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  11. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The children's camp I worked at as a nature guide was special needs. And I was lucky, the kids lived in cabins with their carers, four for each member of staff. So, no parents or other people with ideas about how these kids should be treated. They were treated like kids. They would show up on buses, crying. And when they had to leave, they cry-ed even more.

    It was probably the best job I've ever held, and the most rewarding. I taught them about nature, how to survive, how to make a fire safely, how to find help if they were lost, basic navigation by the sun, how to stay warm, what was edible in that environment. All the kids were physically capable, and could run races, learned how to swim and paddle canoes, and interacted with other kids. On rainy days, we would play board or card games, make cookies in the kitchen, or do arts and crafts, or create plays and act them out for the entire camp. Sometimes we had bonfire nights, and some kids made up or told stories they knew, some were non-verbal, some had Down's, others were Autistic. Many loved it there, and it was like any other children's camp.
     
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  12. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Maybe your experience would/will be different, but I once (once) volunteered to help lower-functioning adults with autism at a function run by an autism organization/autism moms. I decided to be open about my autism (not while I was signing up and getting involved, but at the time of the actual function) and because I did, I was treated like a piece of furniture like everyone else of our neurological type.
     
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  13. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would apply!
    Dear Mia, I would apply! Do what you love, and know that most places that require training will make you do it, so it’s best to have an open mind. You actually might learn great things in that training because autism is a huge spectrum. As for “mistreatment” or “parental talking down” you could practice gently interjecting your views and life experience to others. You can be a wonderful example of educating others. Best wishes, and keep us posted!
     
  14. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Exactly, and the morons in London won't do anything about it because the ****ing Tories hate the disabled in general.

    At least under Labour there weren't endless disabled people killing themselves because they can no longer cope when their benefits get cut.
     
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  15. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry you had that experience. People usually react me to 1 of 2 ways : those who realise that it's a spectrum and disregard functioning labels (yay!) just lump me in with everyone else and treat me like I'm stupid. And those who believe in functioning labels think of me as different because im "high functioning". Neither is great tbh.
     
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  16. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was a lot younger I used to go to "Youth Clubs" for NT and disabled kids, in the majority of cases I hated my time there, because I was picked on/bullied by the older kids in the group, and call me big headed if you like but I tended not to mix well with lower functioning disabled people, and I still don't, I prefer to mix with people who can at least hold a conversation.
     
  17. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm retired from the 'working life outside the home.' And I'm also finished with any sort of training for a job. Thankfully. But Thanks Mary Anne, for your encouragement.
     
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  18. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I think you should do it. Should be a good experience for you, good luck.
     
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  19. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    Yes, it's a great idea this equal opportunity thing, but in a capitalist marketplace where people are seen as resources to be used, it's hard to see how it could actually be equal across the board.

    It's low risk to put in ramps to allow a wheelchair access for your accountant, but another thing to give a job to someone with neurology that you don't understand, and that could cause problems you can't forsee.

    The only way it will change is if business is made aware of the advantages that hiring ND types can bring.

    Back on topic - I'd give it a try. It may not be right for you, but sometimes the wrong path can take you to the right one.
     
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  20. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

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    This was posted in another thread, but seems quite apt for this one.