I have worked in the disability sector for around 13 years as a Respite Carer, Teacher’s Aide, Community Access Support Worker and Residential Worker. I think it was in my time as a Teacher’s Aide that I realised the level of support required for a child with a disability to access a school curriculum, is far outweighed by the actual amount of support that is out there.
I worked 1-to-1 with a child for 4 years, supporting her in the school I worked at. I found that the teachers were always supportive and willing to do what they could to help her, however they were often left at a loss as to where to go with her education, and how they could help her. The training the teachers get doesn’t always cover all the specific needs that each child might have. I felt frustrated, because quite often I also had no idea of what I could do to help the child I was working with.
So I looked around at what I could be doing and decided to study speech pathology. I had worked with a couple of Speech Pathologists over the years and enjoyed working with them, and so that’s where I ended up.
Working back in the disability sector was always my goal, however I did think I would have to work my way into it and work in other areas first. I was just lucky that my dream job came up just as I was graduating. In my job I am able to support children with a disability, and hopefully along the way provide support and strategies to their parents and teachers.
On a more personal note, I have worked with a family for about 12 years and have supported them and their children who have a disability. I started as their Respite Carer and continue with that today. The family is as much a part of my life now as my own family is, and spending time with the children over the years has been great fun. It has been hard work at times, but I can’t imagine not having these kids to hang out with and support.
Cerebral Palsy Alliance (previously known as The Spastic Centre)
- TRUE STORIES: Joseph Majambere – Supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be.