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Old 08.10.2011, 19:22
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Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

Anybody have any ways of pointing me in the right direction? I'm a license social worker but have been having no luck with social work jobs since i'm not yet fluent in German. I'm worried that I spent years in college to now not use any of those skills until I become fluent in German and Swiss German. I know I won't be able to use my sign language here but I would at least like to keep working with kids with behavior problems or other disabilities. Help!!!
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Old 08.10.2011, 19:59
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Re: Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

Have you tried international schools/kinderkrippe (nurseries) or Montessori schools who accept children with learning difficulties? (There is, for example, a billingual Montessori here in Basel who specifically cater for children with learning difficulties).

Alternatively, do you have the necessary skills to set yourself up independently and to offer services to the ex pat community?

The reality may be that you need a combination of both sorts of work to occupy yourself initially full time.

From my experience (son has pervasive developmental delay) there is a massive need for therapists who can offer assistance in English but often the difficulty is getting the cost covered by insurance companies or IV insurance (disability benefit). But where there is a need, it is surprising what us, as parents, will do to get the treatment our children need.

Good luck.
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Old 08.10.2011, 20:12
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Re: Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

I was back home in Michigan recently and actually asked about this by someone I went to school with, who is now considering taking a job in Switzerland. She is concerned about how her special needs child would adapt and what would be available to her in English, and I really didn't know what to tell her, besides to inquire with her company's HR. If you did ultimately set yourself up independently, perhaps worth making some of the big expat employers here like UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re, etc. aware of the services you can offer?
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Old 08.10.2011, 20:24
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Re: Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

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I was back home in Michigan recently and actually asked about this by someone I went to school with, who is now considering taking a job in Switzerland. She is concerned about how her special needs child would adapt and what would be available to her in English, and I really didn't know what to tell her, besides to inquire with her company's HR. If you did ultimately set yourself up independently, perhaps worth making some of the big expat employers here like UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re, etc. aware of the services you can offer?

While there may be more services available (infact certainly are more available) in Zurich, the simple answer is there will never be as much available in English as there will be in the local language. And what little there is will be booked up and not available for months because of the need.

But as a parent looking for English speaking services, I have also recently had to remind myself that just because the person can offer the therapy in English, doesn't make them any good. Recently parted company with one therapist because it finally dawned on me that whilst she might have been the only English speaking person available, but she was not the right person when it came to my child and his difficulties. This is a really hard decision to take when it has taken you months just to find someone in the first place.

I would be very wary of bring a child to CH with specific needs who could not be integrated into the local linguistic environment. In our case, we are billingual family (French/English) and to get the availability of treatment we need, we are moving to the French speaking part of the country.
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Old 08.10.2011, 20:39
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Re: Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

With a social work degree, you can get an accreditation to work in childcare but not 'kindergarten' - but you could work with older children in 'after-school care'..

Have you had your qualifications recognised by CRUS (swiss council of universities) ? That's the first step to getting your qualifications approved. They have to first assess your degree (there may be a precedent, depending on your degree/course and university)...

If it makes you feel any better, my colleague just got her social work degree from Germany approved in Switzerland, and she had to provide her qualifications, a dossier, 2000 word application decribing her 'fitness' to be a social worker in the swiss system, a 10 minute video of herself presenting a social work concept, references, and a 5 hour interviewing process where she was the only candidate....and she's a native high-german speaker

It was approved...without any 'problems'...just a lot of hoops to jump through...
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Old 09.10.2011, 10:27
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Re: Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

Wow thank you so much everybody for all your replies! This is really helpful, especially the information about how to get my qualifications approved.
I've been in contact with the International School here and initially, they told me I should just open my own business. I have to be honest, at the age of 26 (only 2 years out of grad school) that freaked me out! But now I'm beginning to think that might be the best option there is.

Anybody have any idea on how to do that? I don't' even know how to go about that in the states! haha
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Old 09.10.2011, 10:34
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Re: Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

If you are adverse to setting up on your own - or perhaps lacking in sufficient experience for it to be viable at the moment - then try all of the international schools and daycares in the Zurich area. I am told there are at least a few who engage specific therapists for assistance with children with learning difficulties etc.
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Old 09.10.2011, 22:34
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Re: Behavioral Specialist with Deaf and Autistic kids from the US

Be carefull though: many jobs in the field of therapy/pedagogy/medicine/law etc.. require here an official authorisation. The authorisation to have an activity as a therapist is given by the canton where the job/business is. The authorisation is linked to the possession of a specific diploma.
Here is the official link where you can find further informations.
http://www.crus.ch/information-progr...sions.html?L=2

Good luck
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