How To Help Your Special Needs Child Get a Job

How To Help Your Special Needs Child Get a Job

Whether you have an older special needs child or just want to prepare ahead of time, it’s is never too early to think about your child’s career. We all hope for the biggest and best careers for our children, but to get there, you must start somewhere. As you plan for your child’s success, here is how to help your special needs child get a job.

Patience and Encouragement

Before you start looking and applying for jobs with your child, you must approach the situation with delicacy. Depending on how your child is differently abled, they could react to this idea with excitement or dread. Either way, you should maintain two attitudes you’ve likely developed over the years—patience and encouragement.

The idea of working at a job, even part-time, will likely feel overwhelming to your son or daughter. Though they may feel ecstatic at the thought of working, the logistical hurdles and social anxiety may weigh down on them. As their parent, it’s your job to support and encourage them through the process so that they know how loved and capable they are to work.

Research Local Employers

As the parent, you should do your due diligence and research local companies that have open opportunities with duties your son or daughter can fulfill. You can keep an eye on these openings through the months and years to understand the lay of the land. Also, make a mental note of all the places you see people who are differently abled working. Not only are these places hiring employees with disabilities, but the employees themselves are also staying to work there. This shows a reasonable, empathetic, and safe workplace for people like your child.

On the other side of the equation are toxic work environments. Take careful note of a company’s workplace ethics, and look for the ways employers discriminate against disabilities. While researching, look into the job reviews online, and see if any mention of harassment or discriminatory practices against people who are differently abled. You should also ask others in your network about how they found an employer for their child.

Get Practical Experience

No matter the applicant or their abilities, practical experience will significantly increase the likelihood that an employer will hire them. Start with small things when they are younger, such as performing chores around the house. You can then step into volunteer work, where your child interacts with people more and performs unfamiliar tasks. Another great way to prepare them is by taking advantage of vocational training opportunities. While these may be few and far between, local organizations and schools may have seminars to help parents in your situation.

Knowing how to help your special needs child get a job can give you the tools you need to encourage them in this new endeavor. While your child may still be young and many years away from work, keep these ideas in the back of your mind. You never know when they will want to put their hands to work. If you prepare now, the conversation will go much better later, and you can give them your full support when they need it.

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