background & experience
I began working with adults with Developmental Disabilities in 2006 and since then have taken care of and worked with hundreds of unique individuals. I started in a group home with four amazing ladies, added another home with four wonderful guys, then started classes to learn American Sign Language which I regularly use with kids and adults. Because I was unable to alter my work hours, I was forced to find a job with another company and through that organization, I served as an In-Home Personal Care Assistant (PCA) as well as a Job Coach. Two of my clients transferred their services to yet another company and when they did so I applied to that same company and both families requested to keep me as their PCA. One family moved out of the service area, but the other I am still actively working with and have been since 2007.
After graduating college, I was hired at another company where I served as a House Coordinator to three different homes for about three years. Because of student debt and the low wages of Direct Care Staff, I was forced to work between three and four jobs for multiple years just to make ends meet. In 2016 however, I discovered District 287 and have been teaching in one of their Students with Unique Needs programs since. I still do some PCA work and occasionally fill-in at group homes when they need help, but recently have discovered that I can make some extra income with my creative skills.
It has been very helpful for me as a professional caretaker to work within one of the schools where many of my adult clients were educated as kids and to see the infrastructure and systems at work.
Totaled, I have almost a decade and a half of experience with individuals with Special Needs and I have loved each and every person I've worked with. I can't say enough about what one can learn when minds are kept open, tolerance and patience are forefront, and compassion and empathy are employed.
I don’t have a whole lot of free time for new clients currently, but I am always open to helping out when I can.