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Female PA required for 9 y/o PDA, Autistic, ADHD child in Peacehaven

We are a family of 3 including myself (Amber), my partner Leo and our nine year old child Belle. We also have two cats (Bonny and Margot) and a dog named Soupy. We are seeking a compassionate, patient and friendly PA to support us with Belle- offering flexibility on days/hours across the week and weekend.

About Belle:

Belle (prounouns they/them) is a strong willed, creative, sensitive and compassionate nine-year-old child with a brilliant sense of humour. They are righteous and passionate about social justice issues and will go out of their way to make others feel good. Belle’s favourite things in life include our Sphynx cat Margot, whale sharks, swimming and spending time having lots of fun with family. They also enjoy reading, writing, trampolining, role play, being in nature and anything to do with animals. An innately social child, Belle thrives and is most comfortable in the company of those with whom they feel a sense of equality, understanding and trust.

Belle's Needs:

Belle has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), alongside several other health issues, including sensory processing difficulties, anxiety, low mood, hypermobility, and sleep disturbances. Despite falling short of the diagnostic threshold (scoring 47/50) for pathological demand avoidance (PDA), Belle also exhibits behaviours and encounters challenges characteristic of this condition. These conditions significantly impact Belle’s learning, health and social interactions, necessitating bespoke, tailored strategies and support mechanisms to ensure their comprehensive growth and holistic development. Belle's identification as non-binary, adds a further layer of complexity to their educational, health and social needs. Many of these needs have unfortunately been left unmet in educational settings and have therefore compounded leading to additional difficulties with masking, autistic burnout, school trauma and emotionally based school avoidance which have led to Belle becoming increasingly isolated and struggling significantly with a lack of confidence and self-esteem. As a result, Belle has been unable to attend school for the past nine months and we are currently in the drafting phase of their EHCP with plans for a carefully managed and graduated, slow transition back into education.

About you:

The ideal canditate would have/be:

*prior experience and a good understanding of working with neurodivergent children, especially those with autism/ADHD and even better if understanding of PDA challenges and strategies.

*Drivers License and up to date DBS

*Comfortable around pets. Our dog is quite nervous of strangers, however it doesn't take long for him to settle and to make you his new best friend!

*Committed, consistent and reliable. Belle struggles significantly with last minute changes and endings so it is really important that any potential PA would be able to commit to working with us for the foreseeable future on a regular, consistent weekly basis (however we can offer some flexibility and choice as we are completely on our own at the moment so open to whatever days/hours you may be able to offer.)

What to expect from the role:

*We would anticipate a gradual transitionary/confidence and trust building period, during which we would pay for you to come to our home and/or meet out away from home with Belle and myself or my husband until Belle feels comfortable being alone with you. We don't expect that this would take very long if PA is the right fit for Belle.

*PA hours would primarily include playing/engaging with Belle in a neuroaffirming and child-led way. Our main focus at present is rebuilding Belle's confidence, self-esteem and general desire to engage in life and things they enjoy (e.g getting out to explore local parks, going to SEN sessions at the inflatable park in Burgess Hill, going to the local trampoline park in peacehaven, going swimming, playing games, crafts, baking etc). Again, we anticipate that this may take some time and believe the most important thing is that this is led by Belle at their pace. Some days may be less active and more about resting/recovering with someone they feel comfortable and safe to be themselves around.

*Some hours may also include transporting Belle to alternative provision placements- some of which will be drop off (e.g 3 hours Beach School at Ovingdean Beach on Thursdays) and some supervised (e.g Animal club- 1 hour in Hassocks on Fridays).

Belle is a really lovely child to be around and we hope that this would be a positive role for somebody that may enjoy the experience and challenge of supporting us to get Belle back to their fun-loving and happy self.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information or to discuss applying for the position.

Genders which may apply for this job – Female

Hours per week – We are very flexible. Ideal minimum 2-3 hours 2x per week. Please email to discuss.

Hourly rate – £10.85

Area – Central East Sussex, Lewes and surrounding areas, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Peacehaven, Newhaven, Seaford, Seaford

Driving licence required – Yes

Employer has pets – Yes

Employer is smoker – No

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