Tuesday, 18 October 2011


She used to want to be a policewoman. It made sense: my daughter has always been fascinated with wrongdoers.

I’ve always been fully aware which of her classmates were the rulebreakers, because she’d come home and tell me in great detail which rules had been broken and by who. She’d do this by discussing the miscreants’ crimes with one of her imaginary friends*.
(*See previous post Trees)

‘Poppy’ would ask her why Steven was in trouble, and my daughter would shake her head and recount the moment when Miss Reilly had to send him to the headteacher for drawing rude pictures on the wall. (Her description of the picture as a ‘sausage’ leads me to think that Steven may have drawn a penis).

If my girl ever heard a siren, or saw a police car with flashing lights, she would announce, solemnly, that the police were going to arrest some burglars and lock them up in prison, where they would not be given any tea.  (The ‘no tea’ bit being the greatest punishment, of course, in the mind of a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome).

But that’s all changed now. She now wants to work in her most favourite place. A place filled with her most favourite (non-edible) things. She wants to be a librarian in our local library.

She’d obviously been thinking about it quite deeply. “Will I be allowed to work in the library? Because if I can’t get a job there, will I have to work in another library somewhere else where I have to get the bus? I don’t really want to get the bus. Am I allowed to work in a library?” She asked all this without taking a breath.

I find it hard to answer these sorts of questions, because I can’t give her the straight yes or no answer she desires. And also (I write, gritting my teeth angrily) because I have no idea whether there’ll even be any public libraries still open when she leaves school.

I think about her learning difficulty and some of the more challenging issues involved with PWS and wonder whether it will be possible for her to have a job at all, let alone the very job she’s set her heart on. I hope she can. She knows she’s different. She knows there are things she can’t do, or isn't allowed to do. But this isn't much to ask, is it? 

I need to find out more, about work experience, life-skills courses, charities, schemes, grants, anything that could give her what most people want: the chance to work, and be valued for it. Even if it was just for a few hours, even if it was just voluntary.

If she did end up behind that library counter, there will be HELL to pay if you fold down the corners of your books, or bring them back late. I’m just warning you now.

Video is The Clash - Career Opportunities

1 comment:

  1. my daughter did work experience at her local library and shocked the socks off the support worker who went with her, managing to do everything required of her (including the use of guillotine (EEK!) without help.Like your girl, mine's crazy about books,learned to read before walking, carries at least 4 around at all times(and of course is reading all of them at once) and consequently was the best speller in school(mainstream).She now wants to work for the local history archives,providing her"Circles Network" keyworker can swing it.She's hot stuff at History too (one of her 3 GCSE's) - and most of her imaginary friends come from the court of Henry V111 these days(excuse the namedropping).
    X Beth