New Job!

Aug. 17th, 2016 07:36 pm
thesoulofchaos: (Default)
I have been offered one of the positions I interviewed for recently - after a face-to-face interview followed up by a phone call interview to ascertain how my own autism might affect me in the position. Pending my references (which should hopefully be fine) I will have a new place of employment, working to help young people with autism and learning difficulties access the community, use public transport, and develop their independence.

I am very happy.
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Essay done, managed to get it a whole five words below the upper limit. So that's gone, I'll get feedback and results in 2-3 weeks, just as I start my third module.

I went to the autism talk and somehow managed to make myself talk to Liz Pellicano. JJ was quite surprised when she saw me in an unfamiliar social situation (it has been years since she has seen me under that sort of social pressure) and she had forgotten just how difficult my autism can make communicating. It took me a long time to actually speak at all but Professor Pellicano was patient and nice about the whole thing. I explain who I was, that I was autistic, and I wanted to go into autism research after I had finished studying an MA in SEN. She then gave me quite a bit of advice and told me to e-mail her and she would give me a heads up on any suitable positions or opportunities that might become available at the Centre of Research for Autism and Education where she is Director. She then told me it would be a good idea to e-mail Simon Baron-Cohen as he did a lot of work with autistic adults.

So that's what I did tonight, sat and composed e-mails to two big names (including possibly the biggest name in Baron-Cohen's case) in autism research.

It was all kinds of terrifying, and now I am going to be anxious until I get any responses. But I did the scary things that I find really hard and that's a big step forward. I am happy, beneath all the terrified exterior.
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I have been quite absent from LJ recently - appearances to post all kinds of weird and wonderful fics to 40fandoms aside - because life continues to be ridiculously busy for me. My 5000 word essay currently sits at 7,628 words...and I only get a 10% either side limit, so most of my time has been writing that monstrosity, then checking it, then writing out the references...I hate referencing with a passion...

Then on top of that I did all the editing for my other essay's publication, and that's now all gone off to be published so I'm very happy with that. In other big exciting Master related news I am also going to be working on...a something (that's what my lecturer called it) with my autism lecturer and another lecturer from the university. Essentially it will be a reworking of the scaffolding technique advocated to help teaching assistants better help students, but with autistic students in mind, so they're hoping I will be able to provide the autistic perspective. Exciting, but more work.

Then the big one is my lecturer's recommendation that I seriously consider going on to do a PhD, which is all kinds of terrifying. As a result of that I built up the nerve to ask my school if I could take half a day off of school unpaid to go to a talk by Liz Pellicano and Uta Frith who are big names in autism research; they are letting me take the half day fully paid as long as I feedback to the school about what I learn. JJ is coming with me on account of my complete failure at communication when in new and stressful situations, but considering the people there are going to be researchers in autism I don't think it'll take long for them to work out why I behave like I do. Which I think takes some of the stress off...?

On the work front Jab has moved on to Phase IV PECS, which for anyone who doesn't speak AAC mumbo jumbo basically means she uses a sentence strip to say "I want" + "desired item" which in Jab's case is pretty much food or being spun around...generally not too close together in time though thankfully. She is so proud of herself as well, and now I am so desperately hoping whoever works with her next year will carry on doing all of this with her and not take her voice away from her. Coelho is about to start trialling a Speech-Generating Device that I found hidden in the depths of the Year 6 maths cupboard (and no-one knows how it got there either). He has so far been quite resistant to any method of AAC so we're cautiously optimistic.

JJ finally found a full time job, since she graduated from her Masters she's been bouncing between agency jobs and it was having a bit of a bad impact on her mental health, but she's just been hired to work for P&G (they make Fairy apparently?) and is decidedly happy about getting to do science stuff again.

I'm sure there's more but I really can't think properly at the moment since I have that behemoth of an essay to get back to editing. Anyway, busy busy busy.
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I am to be published, academically speaking that is. My first assignment made my lecturer so happy that she has put me in touch with someone to get it published in one of the university journals with a possible view to contact SEN magazines in the future. This is very exciting, although now I'm terrified that I'm not going to meet the standards needed for all the rest of my assignments, peaking too early and such-like.

I think it is this that is making it so difficult for me to get started on my next assignment, which is ridiculous because the assignment is about autism so I should be able to write about it for days. Just whenever I pick up a pen I seem to lose everything from my mind and go brain-dead.

On a different subject, the communication panel to decide the placements of autistic children within the borough I work has been concluded, which means that from next half-term onwards the RP staff will meet the two children who will be joining us in September. This reminder of the fact that changes will inevitably be made, as they are every year, has bothered me more this year than last - because now I have seen how magnificently the staff have fucked up everything Mon and Shah worked on last year. Which means I will have to watch the same thing happen with Jab and Coelho next year, and it is a painful realisation to undergo.

Maybe I should find someway to write an essay about that and how messed up the education system is for students within these resource provisions - at least then I'd have plenty to rant about.
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Well that's an uninspired title isn't it - that's how tired I am. It's been a pretty good week back but I am knackered and confused and still not sure where exactly I will be day to day.

The first day (1 of 2 inset days) I walked in the front door and was told - "You're not going to be in TD's class anymore; you're in AK's class now". Fine whatever, off I go to start working on displays. So I'm knee deep in the art room cupboard digging out scraps of backing paper and bordering (the school's budget is so terrible we haven't had new display materials bought - we're also missing things like...whiteboard markers and colouring pencil but that's another tangent) when someone tells me I need to go to the Headmistress's office...

Off I toddle, wondering what on earth I managed to do in the 90 minutes I've been in school - get there to find AK stood outside and we go in; get told "I'm really sorry to move you around again, but someone we hired last term has failed to turn up - when we rang they told us they have another job - can you move into Resource Provision?". Oh hell yes can I! So this week I've been back on 1:1 work all day - I am overjoyed. The only downer is that they do seem to be actively seeking to try and replace me and move me back to the classroom - although the Resource Provision equally seem to be trying to keep me in there.

So that's been fun! I have a Year 2 boy in the morning - (I'll call him Shah) and a Year 5 boy in the afternoon (henceforth known as Mon) - neither are very vocal so I've been taught how to use Colourful Semantics to encourage speech - which is great, I love learning new things! Mon also loves water so I have been soaked 2 out of the 3 days the kids were in school.

Part of me knows that they probably will shunt me back into the classroom which I will work super hard, I work hard anywhere I'm put, but being able to do 1:1 work makes me so happy!
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My handheld scanner arrived.

I'm going to go scan things!

I am so happy!


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June 2017



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