[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Thinking of giving up work - Carers UK Forum

Thinking of giving up work

For issues specific to autism / Asperger Syndrome.
Hi all

I have 2 autistic sons. My eldest, a teenager, is moderately autistic with learning disability and ADHD. My youngest is 3 and has severe, non-verbal autism. I work as a full time teacher and have to put in 50 hours pw as a minimum. My husband and I are separating and for the first time I am paying very serious thought to resigning and caring for the boys on a full time basis. I am just so very stressed and exhausted the whole time and the thought of trying to juggle them and work and manage their appointments as a single parent is really intimidating.

I guess I am most worried about money and being isolated.

Any experiences or advice would be really welcome.
Have you consulted a solicitor? In my experience, many women with small children do not ensure that they are paid maintenance by their former partners.
I am a carer, and I work: the way I manage this is because my social work department gives us a direct payment to employ staff so that I can go out to work.
Have you asked for this kind of help?
That's really interesting - i didn't realise they had to offer support so I can work.

Do you work full time? I'm wondering if I should drop my hours to make everything more manageable...
Hi Lara,
I juggle teaching and caring too. The only way I managed to cope was reducing my number of days. When S was younger he had a childminder to care for him after school, when he was older he went to an after school club at a respite place and now he is an adult I have direct payments to support him after he gets home until I do.

Melly1
Before you make any life changing decisions, find out as much as possible about every bit of help and support available. Also think about your long term plans for your son. I would suggest that you kept working, to give you a life away from caring, but as Melly has suggested, reduce your hours to give a better work/life balance.
Have you contacted Social Services for a Needs Assessment for your children, and a Carers Assessment for you? Social Services are supposed to provide services to carers who wish to continue caring. Presumably, your eldest is starting the "Transition" process. I would suggest that you ring IPSEA (Independent Panel for Special Educational Advice - or something like that). They were brilliant when I had problems finding the appropriate education for my son with LD, many years ago.
There is a much longer entitlement to education than many people realise, and my son was in full time education until he was 22. Find out as much as you can about Independent Special Needs Colleges - just now I've forgotten the name of their association. Do NOT expect any help from Education or Social Services, who will want to push the cheapest local option. Going to residential college at 19, for 3 years, changed my son completely. He went from expecting someone to help him with almost everything to being very independent. The college gave him an award one year for the most improved student.
So I know you don't want your son to go away from home, etc. etc. (I had no option for various reasons) but it was such a positive mover for him. It also gave him a higher entitlement to living away from home after college. He now lives alone in a flat, with carer support, at the age of 37. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought this possible when he left school.
Lara_1610 wrote:That's really interesting - i didn't realise they had to offer support so I can work.

Do you work full time? I'm wondering if I should drop my hours to make everything more manageable...
No, I work part time, fitting work in around caring for4 my son, and my wife's working hours. Direct Payments are available to most carers who demand them, and your right to work is a factor to be taken into account in your carers assessment.

It is very difficult, to say the least, to live on benefits alone. Work to me is a form of respite, as well as providing the income to pay the bills and for the nicer things in life. But keeping in paid work has a long term benefit too, because a long absence from work means that your skills get very rusty, so the lifetime effect of a lengthy absence can be catastrophic.

You probably are not thinking about finding a new partner at this stage, but in the long run, finding a life-partner to share care, and to juggle the workload, makes the difference between survival and thriving.