Search

Post People: Former Barking and Dagenham College student helps disabled children thrive

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 December 2016

Barking and Dagenham College graduate Simon says he hopes to be a role model for the disabled children he teaches Picture: Wow Marketing

Barking and Dagenham College graduate Simon says he hopes to be a role model for the disabled children he teaches Picture: Wow Marketing

Archant

Specialist teaching assistant Simon Owusu-Ansah, 21, tells Sebastian Murphy-Bates how he fulfilled his lifelong dream of helping disabled pupils learn

“I’ve always wanted to work with children because I love to see them grow and thrive.

“My upbringing was tough because I lost my mum to leukaemia when I was 12, leaving me without that role model in my life. Since then all I’ve wanted to do is give back to children in that situation and do as much as I can to help them.

“After completing my child care diploma at Barking and Dagenham College in January, I started temping at Ickburgh School in Hackney as a teaching assistant. After working with children with profound learning difficulties for a week they offered me a permanent job which was great because I’m passionate about working with children.

“I don’t think there are enough role models for children in society and I hope to help change that.

“Day to day I work with autistic children, non-verbal children and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It can be quite challenging because sometimes they can bite or pinch but you just have to be patient and understand that it’s not their fault.

“Working in mainstream schools is probably less stressful but it’s great to see the smiles on our pupils’ faces. The key thing when working with children who have special needs is to remain calm and keep on top of your training.

“We use a lot of symbols and cards for children who can’t speak and we also do sign language and use football to engage them.

“Teaching them to read and write has been quite difficult for me because I’m dyslexic, but this job’s taught me that there’s always comebody to help you get by no matter your abilities. I always make sure I read things through before I present them to my pupils and there’s always a colleague on-hand to proof-read the things I write.

“We’re lucky enough to be in a country where we have help. There’s nothing to stop people like me achieving what we want.”

Related articles

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

Dogged and determined, the Hammers silenced Arsenal’s big guns to share the spoils at London Stadium, where David Moyes’ influence again cast its shadow across a West Ham United side that frustrated and flummoxed Arséne Wenger’s team.

Yesterday, 15:00

Dagenham & Redbridge under-18s have signed Tower Hamlets youngster Briggs Ojemen this week.

Yesterday, 16:35

Hundreds of teenagers heard tales from the working world at a special careers fair.

Yesterday, 16:17

Council tax bills are set to rise and street cleaning could be cut back as the town hall tightens its belt to save £63million by 2021.

Yesterday, 14:38

A Dagenham car thief who caused a crash that left three people with life-changing injuries as he fled the scene of a burglary has been jailed for seven years.

Yesterday, 14:09

Pet owners in Dagenham are being taught how to make a dog’s dinner of their Christmas grub.

Yesterday, 12:00

A group of aspiring lawyers from Barking and Dagenham College took part in a mock murder case to develop their arguing skills.

Yesterday, 12:00

It was a few years ago at a council-staged summer event that I first heard about the idea of a youth zone in the borough.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

You don’t have to make the trek to the North Pole to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now