AUTISTIC NICK GETS A NEW SUPPORT WORKER
I haven’t had the best of luck when it has come to finding and keeping a support worker.
Sometimes people just don’t gel with each other.
It can be through no fault of anyone, it’s just how life is.
The few good ones have been far and few between.
I currently have a great support worker, but she is going on a month’s holiday and so today I had a meet and greet with a possible replacement whilst she is going to be away.
Meet and greets as they are called are just that, you meet and have a conversation with the potential support worker as it’s a chance for you both to see if there is for want of a better word a ‘spark’ between you and them, but also you’re there to assess the support worker to see if they meet your needs or in this case my needs as the person who will be potentially hiring them.
I believe that I am a good judge of character when it comes to sussing out if a support worker will be good for me or not.
Sometimes I’ve gotten it wrong, and that person has said something or done something which has made me question them and their actions.
It’s scary hiring someone new to support me, I don’t know what they’re going to be like once it’s just me and them in the car together.
I don’t know if I will be able to be myself around them, whether I’ll feel comfortable enough to be able to do that, will they meet my expectations and vice versa.
Do they have a sense of humour?
Have they supported someone with Autism previously?
Which I can’t answer as I forgot to ask them!
It’s a tiring process for me at the best of times holding and having a conversation with people.
I am constantly having a three-way conversation in my head whenever I interact with other work colleagues or people in general.
The only way I can describe this is, imagine you are sitting in a booth at a UN conference and being connected to a translator sitting in another booth close by wearing a set of headphones.
The conversation begins — I hear it and they also hear it and translate it for me.
I must interpret what that person says into what I class as “autism language”. It’s then processed into English, and I repeat my answer back.
I think the meet and greet went well, I had a conversation, my sister was also in the meeting as she’s going to potentially be hiring this new person for support.
Which greatly benefitted me as I was able to bow out and take a rest from talking and allow my sister to chat and get the information she needed.
It’s unclear at this stage if I’ll hire them, it’s a lot to think about.
It’s like starting a working relationship from scratch.
All the things that I’ve built up with my previous support worker I’ll now have to work on building up again.
It’s that getting to know the person stage, and frankly I’m over it!
Look, it’s just an exhausting tiring process.
I’m not the type of person who is wiling or can see the benefits of starting all over again getting to know a person.
It was tiring the first-time round, although I will say that I clicked immediately with the other support workers, it was just an instant thing.
And maybe because I’ve not had such great luck in the past that I’m very resilient to putting in all that time and effort and hard work getting to know someone, making it work for me only to be let down by that person.
I think that I place a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself for it to work and that they’ll be no complications and that they’ll stick around.
I think that pressure is something that I definitely need to let go of and throw it away.
I can’t expect that every person who is a support worker will be the best fit for me and vice versa.
They may come away from meeting me and think that this will be too much for them to take on.
I could come away and think they’re not the person for me.
It’s a constant juggling act that I think happens between all support workers and clients.
So, how has it all ended?
Well, I’ve found out their availability and once my support worker heads off on their hols I’ll make one or two support dates and we can take it from there.
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.