On April 2, 2014, I interviewed Kim Barber, a mental health worker that works with children and their families with mental and learning disabilities. During our interview she spoke of how her daily schedule, who she works with, why she chose this career and the issues surrounding working with her clients. Kim Barber works for Behavioral Health for children. The clients she works with have behavioral, mental, and learning disabilities. The main focus of her job is therapeutic intervention and teaching new skills. She does work with these children one on one along with their families and other professionals to help the clients be successful in school and at home. (K. Barber, personal communication April 2, 2014) Kim’s day pertains to working with three different children, age’s six to eleven. Kim goes to two different schools and works with these children hat their home. Each child has “prescribed” hours to receive the required treatment at school and at home.
The three children she works with all have different needs. One of the children she works with she is required to sit next to the child. He is easily distracted and is unable to stay focused. His behaviors require having someone with him so he does not harm himself or others in the classroom. Another one of her children does not require much attention; she sits in the back of the classroom. The only thing that she is required to do is to help the client get his things together at the end of the day to make sure he is organized and has his work for the evening. Her third child needs help in the classroom and the home. His problems cause him to become over excited and overwhelmed. He never remembers what needs to be done, even if he was just told. She assists with focus and getting his work completed in class and his homework. She provides encouragement to each of her clients to help them work on their treatment plans. (K. Barber, personal communication April 2, 2014)
Kim works with children between the ages to six to eleven. These children all have behavioral health concerns. Some of the diagnoses are ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder), Autism, PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). Serving these children motivates her from watching how they progress through their treatments. Kim’s motivation has always been to help people and children. Seeing them succeed makes her want to continue to motivate children work on their goals and succeed in school. (K. Barber, personal communication April 2, 2014) Working with children with behavioral and learning issues can have obstacles and controversial issues. As with any profession, it is difficult to make everyone happy. Many of the parents (not all), expect a miracle and want a quick fix. Many parents will not do their part when it comes to treatment.
It is difficult to have children succeed if the parents or caregivers do not help. Another issue is not agreeing on how parents or caregivers raise the child. For example, if a child has a behavioral issue and does something that he/she is not supposed to does that child should have some type of consequence. Some parents will not give a consequence but allow the child to continue with poor behavior. Keeping personal opinions to herself, is a personal struggle. Another problem is finding new and creative ways to motivate and help the clients. There are some strategies that work great but it does not always work for another child. (K. Barber, personal communication April 2, 2014) Kim loves her job, helping and working with people, families, and children with treatments and goals.
There are some dislikes about her job. The first thing is that when working in the schools there are some teachers that do not like to have other adults in the classroom. There are some that welcome the help for child who needs extra help. Another thing that she dislikes is that when she goes into the clients homes, some of them are not very clean. This is a personal struggle, since Kim has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). She has to control herself, so she does not start cleaning their home.
She loves her job, because she is making a difference to children, she is using her degree and the pay is also good. She looks forward to continuing helping others, it is her passion. (K. Barber, personal communication April 2, 2014) While interviewing Kim, she gave me a better understanding on how it will be working with children with behaviors and learning needs. I feel that this is a great field for me to look into when I complete my goal on achieving my degree. I love working with children, and people so it is a great opportunity to help people who are in need.
Courtney from Study Moose
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