“What kind of work will my child be able to do?”
For parents of a child with a disability, this question may confront them earlier and take on more significance.
Whether your child was recently diagnosed or you’ve known about it for years, you may be seeking answers to your questions and guidance about their employment. Having worked with many people with disabilities and their families, we’ve compiled advice that has helped parents navigate the challenges involved with helping a child with a disability find and keep a fulfilling job.
Learn as Much as You Can
Parents assist their children in various situations: school, child care, medical care and so forth. The same is true with helping your son or daughter be successful with employment.
You will be in a better position to help your child when you’ve learned as much as you can about employment services in Australia.
Australian Government Disability Employment Services
Exploring the Disability Employment Services website is an excellent place to start. DES helps people with disabilities in their quest to find and sustain work. You’ll find that Disability Employment Services has two main parts:
Assisting job seekers with a disability to find a job and access occasional support to keep that job
Helping job seekers who need consistent, ongoing support in their efforts to find and keep their positions.
So whether your child just needs occasional help or regular, ongoing support, DES can help.
Asuria is a DES provider. In other words, we help people with disabilities and illnesses to find positions where they can contribute their talents and skills.
The services we provide encompass all areas of the employment process. From practising for an interview and writing a resume to training new hires on how to perform their specific tasks, we’re here every step of the way.
Communicate with Your Child’s Job Coach
Just as it’s helpful to communicate with your child’s teachers at school, keeping in touch with their Job Coach can prove invaluable.
Feel free to ask your child’s Coach about what you can do to support your child from home. If you provide transport, you’ll need to have all the details about scheduling and appointments.
Reinforce Training at Home
Learning new skills is easier when you practice, and parents can help tremendously by helping to provide support. For instance, if your child has been practising job interviewing skills with her Job Coach, you can reinforce those skills by offering chances to practice at home. For example, conduct mock interviews at home in the evening, and provide supportive, constructive feedback.
You might also share your employment experiences--both the good and bad--to help your child understand that you’ve been there. You know the challenges, and you revel in the successes. Your vote of confidence goes a long way toward your child’s accomplishments.
Finding a job can take a long time, even in the best of circumstances. A job search for a person with a disability often takes longer than average simply because it takes time to find the just-right position.
Try to avoid saying things like, “You haven’t found a job yet?” Your child may feel frustrated with the process at times. Instead, do your best to remain optimistic and encouraging. You might even remind your child about the times when perseverance paid off in the past.
Share Your Insights
Your child’s Job Coach is just getting to know your son or daughter, but you’ve known your child for much, much longer. So offer your insights freely, as they might make a big difference in the process.
For example, you might know about a type of tool your child used in school to accomplish a task. This information could prove invaluable to your child in the workplace--if only his Job Coach and employer knew about it! If you have critical information like this, please share it.
Watch Your Child for Feedback
Parents’ intuition is no joke. Mums and dads can often read their children’s faces and know instantly what kind of day it’s been.
As your child begins their employment, ask for feedback. When problems are caught early, they can often be resolved with minor tweaks and adjustments. Ask good questions and listen carefully. Working with your child’s Job Coach, you can help them overcome challenges.