Career Story: Assistant Director Of A Daycare Program For The Mentally Challenged

Assistant Director Of A Daycare Program For The Mentally Challenged

Job Title: Assistant Director For DDS Day Program

Type of Company: My company is privately owned but funded by the state to provide day care services for mentally challenged adults.

Education: High School

Previous Experience: I have worked with mentally challenged adults for over 20 years.

Job Tasks: I have many responsibilities as an assistant director of a day care program for mentally challenged adults.

A typical day starts when I arrive a 7:00AM. The first thing I do is give our staff their assignments for the day. Each staff member, including me, has anywhere from 4 - 5 charges. We try to teach vocational and social skills but the participants in the program need help doing almost everything, things we hardly think about, like using the bathroom and eating.

When I'm not actually working with participants, I write and edit reports and document behavior or incidents I've witnessed. It can be very challenging when a participant gets upset; I try to calm them down and protect the other participants from harm but it isn't always easy. When I started in this field you only needed a high school diploma. Now, though, you've got to have two years of college.

I have been doing this my entire life and love it, but it does require humor, patience, and team work.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is establishing relationships with the clients and the team I work with. Seeing a participant succeed at something finally, after many unsuccessful attempts, is a great satisfaction. Indeed, it may take a year or more before they do.

The worst part of my job is all the paper work, because we are funded by the state and they require documentation on everything you do with each client. And they check to see if we are meeting their goals.

Job Tips: You will need to be able to work with lots of different personalities. It will require patience, a sense of humor, and compassion. You should volunteer first to see if this field is one you really like. If you are not a people person this field is not for you. There is not a lot of money in this field but the reward of teaching a task to someone helpless and friendless is hard to put a value on.

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