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Breaking Point

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by AlexandriaD, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. AlexandriaD

    AlexandriaD New commenter

    Hey everybody ... I have recently finished university with a teaching degree and have got a job as a level 2 teaching assistant however I really do no like my job at all .... I am working 1:1 with a child with autism and am finding it very difficult to the point where I am having anxiety attacks every morning.
    At the interview I was not told the severity of this child's needs and my job role so I went into this job not knowing a thing.
    The child I am currently working with lashes out ( on me mainly ) and its really tearing down my confidence and ive just got my first in a school.
    I feel like someone with more experience should have had my job role as I feel I haven't got a clue what im doing.

    I really am considering handing my notice in and looking for another position but i feel really guilty for leaving the child at the same time.
    Some advice would be appreciated so much x
  2. OBakaSama

    OBakaSama Occasional commenter

    Sorry to hear the situation you find yourself in.

    Haven't experienced anything like that, or worked in a formal capacity but been in schools for the last few years.

    Have you....

    (1) Access to relevant IEP or SA/SA+ relating to the child? (One would assume so, otherwise you wouldn't have much of a chance.)
    (2) Spoken to the class teacher about the child's needs?
    (3) Spoken to your SENCo about the child's needs?

    Obviously the interview panel thought you impressed enough to be given the job, so don't beat yourself up about that too much.

    Schools also have a duty of care towards their staff, and it sounds like you are suffering given the circumstances. If so, then this also needs to be addressed by speaking to the relevant personnel at school.
    AlexandriaD likes this.
  3. AlexandriaD

    AlexandriaD New commenter

    Thank you ever so much .... I have read the child's IEP and spoken to the class teacher and have been given some useful techniques but im still not enjoying this job role in the slightest.

    I have even taken time put and tried to create useful resources for the child even though I am a level 2 and I still feel like im getting no where.
    I feel like im not performing to the best of my ability !

    I will definitely take your advice x

    I will de
  4. OBakaSama

    OBakaSama Occasional commenter

    A problem shared is.....er... can't remember how the rest of that saying goes.

    I did have one child who had issues, and often the class teacher and TA would talk about the day. It was more a general thing for them, but little informal chats at the end of the day could be handy too. If nothing else, at least you are being heard and get to relieve stress a little too.

    From what I know of autism (always worth finding out more) is that children can surprise you. Seeing this is your first job after university I would hazard to guess that you haven't had the time to get to know your child. It could be that the child is also adjusting to you, so the relationship is still forming between you.

    Child specific considerations:

    (1) Have you noticed any (additional) triggers for the child to lash out?

    (2) What causes the child to lash out at you?

    You don't have to answer them here, but they are things to bear in mind to help you face your situation.
  5. POB

    POB New commenter

    Congratulations on getting your job but sorry to hear you are feeling like this.

    Have you had any training or been on any courses regarding Autism?
    If not then it may be worth asking the school if you could.
    Also as previous poster said look for the triggers...keeping a diary may help to see what causes the childs outbursts and help you to limit the lashing out.
    Make sure the SENCO is giving you support and advice too. Ask for help from others even experienced TAs have to ask for help in new situations.
    Also is the child new to the school? If they have been there a while is there another TA who worked with them before who can give you advice?
    Hope things improve for you x
  6. Saland45

    Saland45 New commenter


    I agree with all the other advice given above.....however I fully understand how you feel...my last two posts were with children who were autistic . Child A was non verbal and ended up going to a special school, child B had some understanding and speech but was severely delayed and had a lot of other issues as well...when I started with child B I had no idea before hand I wld be required to toilet train and that is something I had kind of said to myself ...if it is something like that then it isn't for me...but we stuck with it ...after a year it became clear that despite my own professional judgement Child B wld be going into the next yr group and after having a yr of meltdowns, for which and believe me I tried there can be no explanation!!, I decided that due to lack of support, resources, parental stuff, I left before my health became affected....my decision wasn't too popular and I felt like I was abandoning someone u had built up a rappour with and I cried buckets but I knew Child B wld be fine and I had to think of myself sometimes.....it isn't for everyone and if you really feel instinctively that you are not right for the role then follow your instincts.... I wld go back to one to one after a break, it is interesting and I enjoyed many parts of it ....it is not for everyone though x

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