Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Big accomplishment

Some good news. Six years after my daughter’s diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder at age 15, she has gotten a job! She had never applied for a job before. She has no experience and has not completed her GED. Those hinderances didn’t stop her. She filled out the online application, wrote s fabulous letter in place of a resume, and submitted the application. We celebrated each step with her as s huge accomplished. It took some time to hear back, but she got an interview. We prepped her for it and she went into it feeling prepared. They offered her the job immediately. I cried when she told me, and kept crying on and off all day. She’ll have a lot of responsibility and many challenges. I’m praying she will be able to handle it and handle 20 hours per week. But she is more excited than anxious. She told me yesterday that she never thought she would make it this far. Neither did I. I’m just so grateful for the huge strides she has made. I’m holding onto hope that she will actually be able to do it. She starts next week.

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That’s great all positives should be acknowledged. It goes without saying your emotional support early on is so important regardless of what happens.

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That’s great. I know my first part time job after I became ill was instrumental in my recovery.

Part time is good, because it allows time for appointments and downtime from the change in environment and being around new people. My experience is that it was sort of like building up a tolerance for the stimuluses of a new environment, new people and new challenges. It may overwhelm her a bit at first, but I’m glad I started out part time and gradually learned things and accepted new responsibilities and eventually ended up working full time.

If you look at the stories of highly functioning people with SZ/SZA almost all of them say that staying busy with some sort of occupational work, either paid or volunteer was helpful in their recovery and day to day managing of their illness. I’m excited for you both. Best of luck.

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Thank you for telling me about your experience. It’s encouraging. I’m happy you’re doing well.

Amazing news ! very happy for you all .

Thanks for sharing such good news!

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@mmm61 I’m so happy for her and for you that I’m crying, too! It sounds as if she has many reasons to be successful on her own, but there ARE employment accommodations required by the ADA for persons with a “disability” that are worth looking at. I was very impressed with this organization’s site: Job Accommodation Network https://askjan.org/ You can dig into the links and find things specific to SZ.

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Thank you! I’ll check it out.

I’m so happy to read of your daughter’s job acceptance! My eyes are blurry with tears of joy and relief for your daughter and you.
My son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at age 14. With enormous effort and lots of help, he made it through high school. During his final year, someone at his school helped him apply for an unskilled, part-time job and prepare for an interview. When he was offered the job, I was thrilled and scared at the same time. He would have to work independently, without any of the helpers he relied on at his school. I was afraid he would fail at his job or be ostracized by other workers. But he did OK – not perfect, but very acceptable.
5 years later, he is still working at the same job! In so many ways, working at this job has been a much better experience for my son than than going to school was. His work colleagues do not bully or mock him. His supervisors are happy that he shows up on time, does his job competently, and does not complain or create any drama. He gets respect for being a reliable employee. He feels like the employees function as a team, not individuals competing against each other. He feels like a valued member of a team. So it’s a friendlier, more supportive environment than he experienced in school. Gradually, the company has increased his hours to a level that’s not “full-time” but is enough for him to qualify for some company benefits (group health insurance, small increases in hourly wages, annual bonus, etc.). As a part-time employee, he cannot rise to higher levels in the company, but that’s ok with my son. All in all, his work experience has been so, so much better than his school experience! What a relief to him and to me!
I hope your daughter’s job works out well. My fingers are crossed for good luck for both of you.

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Thank you fir this. I’m so happy for you and your son! What an encouraging story. It sounds like a good company as well.

Even in a very good therapeutic school, my daughter could not cope with high school. The illness impacted her cognitively and the stress of trying to learn resulted in it being almost impossible to stabilize her. (Plus, the meds weren’t working). She had multiple long hospitalizations and it was recommended to us by the hospital that she go into long term hospitalization. We allowed her to leave school at 18 and she began to stabilize. She’s working on her GED - slow but steady progress. I honestly never thought that i would see the day when she could work - especially at a job that does require good cognitive and people skills. It will be 20 hours a week.

After two 7.5 hour days, she is happy, energized, and all indications are that she is doing a good job. They did tell her that she needed to relax. There’s nothing she can do that they can’t fix. My heart is full of gratitude and I am cautiously hopeful.

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This IS great news! I wish to someday here that our daughter can do that. I know that she can but she needs someone to lead her there… support her… She’s great with people… her self esteem the past couple of years… not there…Congratulatons and the best of luck to her.

Sue L

Thanks. She set getting a job as one of HER goals and then the opportunity was there. She had grown into a strong enough place to pursue it and she really wanted it. You’re daughter will get there. It takes a lot of time and patience - so many baby steps. I just hope mine can continue to handle the new stress of working. She promised to let us know if she started to feel herself slipping.