I have been working for MSP Case Management for nearly two years and thoroughly enjoy my position of T.A. for one child in a mainstream secondary school. The job is varied, interesting and above all incredibly rewarding.
I work for a family under the guidance of MSP Case management in a Teaching Assistant position for a young man who has Cerebral Palsy as a result of a brain injury at birth. I started as his T.A. in year 6 at primary school as his previous T.A. was moving on to a new job. MSP ensured that I had a comprehensive handover with this keyworker so that I had the optimum understanding of his complex needs.
As the child I work with is in mainstream, I support him in all aspects of the curriculum. My role is to allow him to achieve his potential in all subjects. I support the individual curriculum teachers and I may adapt activities so he can fully access the lesson. I also encourage him to be as independent as possible and work on his resilience and taking responsibility for his own learning.
Part of my role is to liaise and work closely with the Therapy Team including Speech and Language, Physiotherapy, Occupational Health and the Neuropsychologist. I support them during their sessions, follow programmes that they set for the child and report back to them with any concerns or queries. They are always incredibly supportive and helpful. MSP have also been very supportive with my Continuing Professional Development and I have attended two courses on Working with children with Brain Injuries and completed several online courses including EXCEL.
I trained and graduated as a primary teacher 30 years ago which put me in good stead for this post. However, a background in education, passion for the job and dedication to the child and his family, are, I think, the main requirements when working with a brain-injured child.
I was initially attracted to this post as my own son is autistic and I was very interested in helping and supporting a child with specific needs. I have two teenage sons and I know there is a fine balance between nurturing independence as they grow older and being their rock when they need you. I believe that outdoor activities are really important to any developing child and our family have always camped, canoed, cycled, swam and climbed. My enthusiasm for these activities is hopefully reflected in my ‘Can do’ approach within school.
It is a privilege to work for the team with this young man as no two days are the same and the job satisfaction is fabulous.
Alison Ware T.A.