Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Back-Up Plan

I had a job interview over Skype yesterday evening, and it seemed to go pretty well. It is always hard to tell, because the interviewers try hard to act neutral. Sometimes they nod and smile when you answer, but I am never sure if it is because they actually like my answer, or they're just trying to be polite and encouraging. 

Since Oregon time is two hours behind Illinois time, their "after school" hours are my dinner time hours... so sometimes, during Skype interviews, my mom is home! Usually before, when the weather was nice, she would be outside working in the garden or whatever, but since it is cold now, yesterday she was in the basement while I was doing my interview. I thought she was watching TV. But it turns out, she was actually listening to my interview! She said the questions were really difficult but that I handled them well. I don't know. I always feel like I am rambling. It is hard for me to organize my thoughts into spoken words, very quickly. Sometimes the interviewers email me the questions ahead of time, and then I usually write out my answers. I don't read them off the paper during the interview, but the chance to write out what I want to say helps me organize my thoughts.

Without that chance, I feel like this is what happens. 

Interviewer: "During Calendar time, a child tends to act out and be disruptive. The regular education teacher tells you it is because the child just enjoys being disruptive and getting attention. How would you handle this?"

My ORGANIZED answer: "Usually when children act out it is because they have an unmet need. I would want to observe the child during Calendar and do a Functional Behavior Assessment. I would meet with the teacher to share what I noticed. The child might be acting out because the Calendar activity is too advanced for him, or because the session is too long for him to sit still, or because he's not sure what he's supposed to be doing. I would talk with the teacher about what might help the child... he might need a sensory break right before Calendar in order to be prepared to sit for a while. He might need a visual schedule to help him follow along. Maybe a cube chair to help him stay in his own space for the entire time and keep his hands and feet to himself. Maybe a fidget toy to keep his hands busy. Maybe a special job to do so that he is more fully engaged in Calendar. I would get the teacher's input on this, and talk to her about what she'd be willing to try. I'd see what I could do to help her put our plan into action."

My ACTUAL answer: "Um, I think that, when kids act out, it might be because they have a... um... they have some sort of need... and I would want to ob -ob - observe him to find out why he is acting this way. He might need, um, a sensory break, or a toy in his hand to play with, or maybe some sort of, um, break, or something else like that. I would want to help the tea-tea-teacher undergo... I mean understand... what is happening here, so I would want to give her the chance to see on her own, so she could understand." 

Interviewer: "Okay! Thank you!" 

Me: "What did I just say???"

My mom told me that I made perfect sense with my answers, but I am not so sure. I feel like my actual answers don't do justice to what I know and what I want to say. 

Anyways. What was this post supposed to be about again? Oh yeah. The back-up plan.

My mom also had the idea that, if I haven't found a job by the end of the holidays, I should just move out there anyways and stay with my Auntie Em for a while. That way I would be able to attend interviews in person, and if I did get a job I would be able to start on short notice, instead of needing multiple weeks to get out there. 

This plan has many positive aspects to it. I'd be able to finally get out to Oregon instead of just thinking about it, I'd be able to go to more interviews, and I'd be able to spend time with my Auntie Em and Uncle J and all of them. 

It also has a big negative... more for my Auntie Em than for me. What if I still don't find a job? I don't want Auntie Em and Uncle J to be stuck with me, indefinitely, like my parents have been. Usually when I live with people, they start to get tired of me after a while. Well, this is technically only true about my mom, and my most recent ex-roommate. But still, I would hate for Auntie Em to get sick of me and wish she never started this whole thing! And I really don't want to spend the rest of my life being dependent on someone else. I want to have my own apartment!

I can tell my mom is starting to really want me to go. While she was reluctant to talk about it all last year, now she says she is willing to help me drive out there... actually she said she and my dad would rent a U-Haul and tow my car behind it. And she said she will give my Auntie Em money to let me stay there! It was her idea that I should just go out there without even having a job. I think I am starting to infringe on her lifestyle.

So... yeah... I guess I will be out in Oregon in January, for sure! What do you think about that? 

And now, for no real reason, here's a picture of Lily with a leaf on her face! Whenever we go outside she rolls around in as many leaves as possible. They get stuck to her velcro-like fur. Then she just sits there and looks at me, with leaves stuck on her, like nothing is wrong at all.


  1. Good luck on the job search, girlie! Sounds like you're doing everything you can!

  2. I think Oregon sounds like a great plan and I feel like you'll find a job. Also, maybe your mom is just trying to be supportive and encouraging? I'll bet you did much better in your interviews than you think you did too! I'll bet you nailed the questions!! Family is supposed to be there for each other - try to not feel guilty and worry about Auntie Em getting sick of you - everybody needs some help sometimes, especially when they're looking for jobs!! I hope you find one soon and look forward to reading more about your interviews!


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