Congratulations on your successful appointment to the position of Autism Parent.
We understand that you may be confused by this appointment, as you never actually applied for the post in the first place. You may also be concerned that there are no contact details in this letter, so you cannot write, call or email us to turn the position down. Your concerns are to be expected, and will become less over time.
However we would like to make it clear right away that being an Autism parent is a mandatory post with a Lifetime contract. There is no option to refuse the job, to negotiate terms and conditions, and no option to take a career break. It is an unpaid (in financial terms) post with no paid sick leave. You may be able to job share your role with a partner of family members: any such arrangements must be sorted out by yourself at a local level.
As this is a training post, the only essential qualification required is to be parent of an autistic child.
None. Autism parents are not special people. You may look at your Autism parent colleagues and think “wow, they are AMAZING!!”. It is important to remember that they, like you, do not have the option to suddenly stop being an Autism parent. They persevere, they laugh, they cry, they celebrate, they do the job because they have to. They become “special” because of the extensive on-the-job training that they receive as part of being an Autism Parent (see Below)
Desirable personal qualities:
Able to manage daily functioning on less than 4 hours sleep; a taste for caffeine in all it’s wonderful forms;
Training you will receive before taking up the post
-Managing sleep deprivation
-Advocating for your child
-Appreciating and celebrating the small steps
-Networking within the multi-disciplinary team
-Arguing constructively with professionals
-Doctorate in acronyms (health and education)
-Learning who your true friends are
-Promoting awareness of Autism
– Sensory differences, modules 1-11,598
-Completion of application forms, modules 1-5 (benefits, schools, health packages, respite services, local authority)
– Cookery level 1 (fries, nuggets and associated sensory-neutral foodstuffs)
– Doctorate in communication with your child: optional topics to include scripting, vocal stimming in context, the many meanings of a hand-flap.
-PhD in loving and accepting your child for the wonderful individual they are.
– fighting like a bear to protect your child and their interests.
Incentives and employee benefits:
The more work you put in, the better the life chances will be for your child. There is no greater incentive than this.
We appreciate that there is a lot to take in, and that it would be useful to have a short preceptorship period in order to familiarise yourself with the role and it’s challenges. Unfortunately, due to the fact that you’ve been doing this job without realising it since the day your child was born, there will be no further induction to the role.
Autism Parent is an amazing job which will challenge you and help you to grow in ways that you cannot imagine right now. It will make you laugh and cry. It will involve making tough decisions, taking risks and climbing mountains. It will bring you new friendships. It will give you a unique bond and relationship with your child.
We are really pleased to have you as part of our team. Supportive forums to discuss your role and your progress in it can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, various blog sites and other social media.
Human Resources Manager, Autismland.