Family of 5 seeking an Occupational Therapist or HEP – start between March and September of 2018
Life in Charlottesville, Virginia
We live in a subdivision about 5 miles outside Charlottesville, Virginia, which is located in the central part of Virginia, a state in the middle of the U.S. East Coast. Considered one of the best places to live in the U.S., Charlottesville is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail only 20 minutes away. Nearly every outdoor activity is available in Virginia, including biking, rock-climbing, canoeing, skiing, ice-skating, fishing, camping, bird-watching, horseback riding, etc.
Charlottesville is the home of the renowned University of Virginia, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson, the author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and our 3rd president. Charlottesville also hosts a large community college, which is about 7 miles from our home.
As a college town, Charlottesville offers the best features of a much larger city (e.g., shopping, restaurants, sporting events, and the arts), yet without the typical congestion, crowds, and high cost of living. Nevertheless, much larger cities and travel destinations aren’t too far away. It takes about 1 hour by car to reach Richmond, Virginia (population ~1,225,000), 2 hours by train, bus, or car to get to Washington, DC (6 million), and about 3 hours by car to drive to Virginia Beach.
Meet the Family
Our family consists of Ali (18), Jack (16), Krista (12), my husband Mike (55), and me /Pamela (46). Although I am a full-time mother, my training is in family and children’s counseling. Mike works from home as a patent attorney and entrepreneur.
Ali is a senior in high school and an excellent student. She will attend a Virginia university next year, likely majoring in mechanical or bio-medical engineering. She loves running, basketball, and guitar.
Due to autism, Jack is significantly impacted by restricted motor skills (i.e., he struggles with getting his body to move in certain ways that he wants, as well as initiating speech, which is also a motor skill). He benefits when an adult is always nearby, and this is one of the primary reasons we are looking for an Au Pair. Although Jack has very limited speech, he is compassionate, fun, active, creative, and very intelligent. He primarily communicates by spelling out his thoughts. We try to keep Jack’s day rather full. For fun he loves hiking, inline-skating, solving puzzles, music, video games, and jumping on a trampoline.
We adopted Krista about 3 years ago from Latvia. She speaks excellent English, has acclimated well to the U.S., and is bright, athletic, and fun. She attends 5th grade at a private school located about 25 minutes from our home and earns good grades. She loves gymnastics, basketball, and dancing.
We have an elderly, friendly, and very mild-mannered yellow Labrador Retriever named Glory. She loves people, chasing a tennis ball, and eating ;-).
Mike and I like hiking, music, and movies and would love to go out if we had the time, but we also greatly enjoy spending time with our children. I also like to read when I get the chance. Because our family is very health-focused, we prepare and eat organic foods nearly exclusively, work hard to stay fit, and avoid fragrances and other artificial products. We and our home are alcohol-free and tobacco-free, and we are followers of the teachings of the Bible.
Our Professional Au Pair’s responsibilities will include learning to communicate with Jack, taking Jack on outings in our community (e.g., hiking, library, shopping, etc.), playing and talking with Jack and Krista, driving Krista to school and helping her with schoolwork, preparing some meals for Jack and Krista, feeding them, and helping with household chores. Our Au Pair’s work hours likely will be somewhat flexible, with most falling on Monday through Friday, for a total of about 45 hours per week and every other weekend off.
Special Needs Care
Jack has autism and is significantly impacted by restricted motor skills (i.e., he struggles with getting his body to move in certain ways that he wants, as well as initiating speech, which is also a motor skill). He benefits when an adult is always nearby, and this is one of the primary reasons we are looking for a Professional Au Pair. Although Jack has very limited speech, he is compassionate, fun, active, creative, and very intelligent. He primarily communicates by spelling out his thoughts. We try to keep Jack’s day rather full. For fun he loves hiking, inline-skating, solving puzzles, music, video games, and jumping on a trampoline. We use Spelling to Communicate – a communication program for people with special needs.
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