I've been babysitting an autistic young adult for a few weeks now, and now I'm considering going to back to school to further this type of work. Taking care of someone else makes me feel important and needed. It's also super cool to be doing something I enjoy and getting paid for it at the same time.
Part of babysitting her involves playing productive games. This includes helping her draw straight lines, identify colours, practice beading for fine motor skills and reading to her as she plays quietly. At first she didn't seem fond of the reading, but now she listens carefully as the poems I read rhyme on the second line.
Other responsibilities include keeping her to her well-known schedule, feeding her at snack time and helping her brush her teeth before bedtime.
So let's talk career choices. This could lead to all kinds of opportunities. I could be a nanny to kids with disabilities, I could be a PSW (personal support worker) for kids and adults with physical disabilities or I could be a teacher for kids with disabilities.
If I choose to become a PSW then my job would include some more dirty work like wiping butts and helping people shower.
If I choose to become a nanny than I would work for just a regular person, someone who probably doesn't have much experience being a boss. Sometimes working for someone with management skills is nice. Also, I would have to clean and do laundry on top of doing my own.
If I choose to become a teacher for kids with disabilities then I will have my hands full taking care of multiple kids at the same time.
Out of these three options, I'm personally leaning towards being a teacher of kids with disabilities. I've heard it's decent pay too.
What I've learned from spending time from her:
As an adult I'm allowed to drink alcohol legally, as long as I do so responsibly. This stimulation is a right that has been taken away from adults with mental disabilities. This is why they search to find other ways to find stimulation. In extreme cases they might hit themselves or self harm themselves in other ways. All for stimulation.
I personally believe that we should be giving marijuana and maybe even other stimulating drugs to children and young adults with disabilities. What drug exactly for each person would have to be discussed with a doctor. More importantly, these drugs need to only be given by a doctor or by a parent. I know this is not a common belief and I would never give anyone drugs unless a doctor directed me to. It's just my personal political belief.
More importantly, while babysitting her I have developed a new respect towards people with disabilities. They are not just defined by their disability; they have strengths and weaknesses like everyone else. While this probably seems obvious, I want to state that people with disabilities still have well rounded personalities just like everyone else. For example, the girl I'm baby sitting is very feminine, a real girly girl as her mom says. She loves to have to her nails painted and she loves to wear pink. Her other personality traits include kind hearted, selfless, happy and giving.
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