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View Full Version : Summer job woes for my DS with Asperger's


missypie
05-29-2007, 10:18 AM
DSD16, an Aspie, is totally unathletic but has always been a strong swimmer. For a couple of summers, he was a volunteer swim aide (helped the main teacher with kids' swimming lessons). Last year, he was old enough to be a paid aide. This year, they offered a Water Safety Instuctor course, so the kids could become certified swim teachers. The WSI instructors get paid almost twice what the aides do, so we asked DS if he wanted to take the course and he said yes.

The course was last week...should have been finished by now, but there were lots of rain delays. Last night DS told us that on Friday, the teacher told him that he had good skills and technical knowledge, but that she probably wouldn't pass him because he does not have the bubbly personality necessary to teach swimming. Their final exam is tomorrow, and most of the kids have to teach something like the Level 3 front crawl, or the Level 2 back float. DS and the other student who has been criticized for "enthusiasm" issues are scheduled to teach Level 5 flip turns. It is obvious to us this is so both kids will fail.

When I think about it, DS probably doesn't have the best personality for teaching swimming lessons. I now wish I would have nipped the idea of the WSI course in the bud. But it's not like the other 16 year old boys are Mr. Personality either.

I know that this is going to be DS's future. Do we really help him look for a job where he won't have to interface with other people? What a depressing prospect that is!

Has anyone with an Aspie child, or who is an Aspie themselves, found the perfect summer job?

Poohnatic
05-30-2007, 02:05 AM
Oh gosh, this sounds like my future! Bless your son's heart, he's got an activity he likes and he's being 'punished' for something he cannot control.

I think my son hit on something for himself this year. He LOVES animals and he's done fabulously with science. He announced that he'd like to be a veterinarian and work at Sea World.

To work up to this, we'll be getting a dog when school starts and he'll be taking the dog to obedience classes. From there, we'll work on pet sitting and being a vet's assistant when he's older. Perhaps working at a kennel or pet store taking care of the animals that are boarding. Should he still be interested after these types of jobs where his personality isn't going to make or break him, we'll take it further.

It's a shame that personality is coming into play here. Your son probably can explain the mechanics far better than anyone else his age (that aspie need to have all the facts) and probably can critique skills in a way that won't discourage the learning swimmer (not yelling-just explaining in that pedantic style). Is there any way that the instructor's supervisor can be asked to 'level the playing field'. No special accommodations, just equal treatment for these two students?

Crossing my fingers...this sounds like a good job for his abilities.

Suzanne

cymomtx
05-30-2007, 01:29 PM
I know the owners of our Sonic a block away, and this week they hired my DS16. They have him coming in at 8am and working in the kitchen for 2-3 hours slicing tomatoes and lettuce, taking out the garbage and other things. He is loving it. They understand that he may never be a car hop, he may surprise us, but they are willing to work with him. I drop him off in the morning and he walks home when he is done.

missypie
05-30-2007, 01:32 PM
I know the owners of our Sonic a block away, and this week they hired my DS16. They have him coming in at 8am and working in the kitchen for 2-3 hours slicing tomatoes and lettuce, taking out the garbage and other things. He is loving it. They understand that he may never be a car hop, he may surprise us, but they are willing to work with him. I drop him off in the morning and he walks home when he is done.

That's terrific. I hope he survives with his fingers intact! (I worked vegetable prep in a hospital kitchen for a couple of summers, and I have the scar to show for it!)

Forevryoung
05-30-2007, 03:58 PM
I know quite a few people with Aspergers.

The way that people (even people with Aspergers) relate to adults versus children is completely different. I do know someone with Aspergers who has difficulty with peers but put him in a group of 5 year old boys and he's pretty set :rotfl: (You know exactly what I'm talking about). He might be perfect for the job AND it's a year long job that pays great if he wants it. There are tons of indoor pools looking for certified people all year long.

I think that the instructor of the class needs to be spoken with- few people ever teach flip turns when it comes down to it and usually it's those who have been swimming on teams and such forever.

I wish your son the best of luck finishing the course. I would go over the instructor's head if he fails solely because of discrimination (and yes, I consider this discrimination). If your son wouldn't feel too discouraged, maybe see about someone else testing him.

missypie
05-30-2007, 04:03 PM
I know quite a few people with Aspergers.

The way that people (even people with Aspergers) relate to adults versus children is completely different. I do know someone with Aspergers who has difficulty with peers but put him in a group of 5 year old boys and he's pretty set :rotfl: (You know exactly what I'm talking about). He might be perfect for the job AND it's a year long job that pays great if he wants it. There are tons of indoor pools looking for certified people all year long.

I think that the instructor of the class needs to be spoken with- few people ever teach flip turns when it comes down to it and usually it's those who have been swimming on teams and such forever.

I wish your son the best of luck finishing the course. I would go over the instructor's head if he fails solely because of discrimination (and yes, I consider this discrimination). If your son wouldn't feel too discouraged, maybe see about someone else testing him.

Yeah, DS loves little kids, too. The people running the course are really asking for some pretty sophisticated social skills. In class, they teach each other...but are supposed to act one way if the kids are supposed to be 3 and another way if the kids are supposed to be 12. I think it would be different with "real" little kids.

I spoke to the teacher's supervisor this morning. He gave me the old "she's the teacher and it's out of his jursiction". I made my point and told him that we would be watching the situation closely.