Feb 10     33 min read

What is a Job Coach?

Updated: Feb 24

Lin Long, a job coach that works at Westmoreland Academy who has been with The Institute for Redesign of Learning for six years was interviewed. Lin, discusses her career journey and how she became a job coach, who she works with, gratifications and more.

Host: 00:01

Thank you for joining us for another episode of I am Abel. The goal of our podcast is to bring acceptance and awareness to our communities when working with educating and living with people of all abilities.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Hello everyone and welcome back to I am able I’m Jamie Lord Tovar, and today I have as my guest, one of my friends and coworkers Lynn long are you doing Lynn.


Lin Long: I’m good it’s good to be with you.


Lin Long: Thank you for having me.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me I.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Last year, when we started this podcast we.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: We started with a couple of.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Actually, three of our adult workers from adult transition services and a couple of them.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: are actually all three of them talked about their awesome job coaches, and so I thought well you know what.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Maybe I should have one of those awesome job coaches on my show, since she is a friend of mine so.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Thank you so much Lin for coming so.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So, Lin how have you how long have you been a job coach.


Lin Long: Ever will be six years.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: It seems longer really my.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Mind oh.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: It does that just seems so I’m real I can’t believe it’s been that wow.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Well, no wonder, so it.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: makes perfect sense.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So here so. yeah.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So, do you need any special licensing or any special training.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: to become a job coach.


Lin Long: um No it’s a lot of its common sense.


Lin Long: mm hmm and you have to have.


Lin Long: Your bpp certificate your first aid and CPR life so.


Lin Long: Okay, so.But the company.


Lin Long: The company will provide that for you to if you don’t have it, but if, if you want, you can do it on your own to so.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Nice, oh that’s good okay yeah so you have you have like some training.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: And then you also have to pass like.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: screenings right like from the FBI and that.


Lin Long: kind of stuff.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: When you get hired oh yeah.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So we make sure that everyone is.


Lin Long: Safe your normal.


Lin Long: you’re okay.


Lin Long: yeah exactly.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: And so.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: What does a job coach do exactly for those of I mean, of course, I know, but for those of us in the audience what do job coaches do.


Lin Long: Well, we do quite a bit um we implement coaching strategies we it helps them to help the clients to overcome.


Lin Long: related challenges, you know and maintaining accurate records.


Lin Long: on them.


Lin Long: Okay.


Lin Long: um we’re mandated reporters I’m where I meant.


Lin Long: We support them, we work with them we’re just we’re everywhere we’re everything to them to you know.


Lin Long: Right um it’s in its responsibility.


Lin Long: So.


Lin Long: Absolutely um but we work with them to.


Lin Long: You know, we.


Lin Long: want to say this.


Lin Long: We provide skilled training, you know works field training for them um we want to get them as independent as possible.


Lin Long: Right um so life skills come in, you know play a big role in their life so.


Lin Long: Okay, see that.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: I’m sorry, so you not only help them with like their actual jobs, you help them with everything there other life skills.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: things that have to do with the job.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: or like things that probably people don’t think of like hygiene or, like you, I would sometimes like transportation and things like that, like how to get to and from your job right I.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: mean it’s just like it’s.


Lin Long: Huge I mean I also look at it, as parenting skills do.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Well, I mean pair good parents are coaches, I mean the whole rain, I mean that’s the whole idea is you coach your children to.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: To succeed so same thing right.


Lin Long: that’s right you want them to be safe, with you to.


Lin Long: You know and I’m just an advocate for safety precaution all the time.


Lin Long: um you know I want, I want to make sure they’re getting home safe to.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah you know.


Lin Long: uh you know and they’re treated properly.


Lin Long: So, I don’t know there’s a lot that goes into this, I mean I just can’t stop with just a cup.


Lin Long: Because it just keeps going on and on and on.


Lin Long: You know and it’s just in there’s always something that you’re adding to your work, something new there’s always something new.


Lin Long: I’m learning something new, today, you know I have it that way, in case if I’m not there they’ll know how to fix a vacuum.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: or don’t know how to glue something together, you know it’s just not it’s just not working it’s also fixing things.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay, oh Nice.


Lin Long: Or how to wind up how to wind up a chord in like daisy chains or something you know just something fun.


Lin Long: Too. You know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: You know, and if they you know, usually it’s just they’re just sitting with one parent, so I always tell them, you know what if something breaks in your home you’ll be able to fix.


Lin Long: you’ll know how to fix it and you will have to call somebody to fix it and drain you drain your pocket book.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right when.


Linda Long: I go beyond what I’m supposed to do, but you know I enjoy it yeah.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Well, you can definitely tell.


Lin Long: huh?


Jamie Lord-Tovar: You can definitely tell you definitely tell that you’re dedicated to your clients you’re the crew that I see you working with.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: But so, you work right now.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: You primarily work with the crew at Westmoreland is that right.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: that’s your main and yeah.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So, and that is now.


Lin Long: I use to work at Almansor Academy.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right okay.


Lin Long: I worked there for four years.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: wow and then.


Lin Long: On to Westmoreland okay.


Lin Long: So I had two of them follow me over there.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right, yes, yes.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: It can’t get enough of Lynn well, you are, I mean you are amazing so and just watching you and how you, you know you interact with your clients and you know you it’s very obvious that you know you care for them a lot, and you treat them with a.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: great deal of respect and you expect them to treat you with the same.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: amount of respect and you know I think that’s.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: They can tell that that you’re very dedicated than that you, you truly love them, I mean they’re very lucky.


Lin Long: Teaching respect to them is major yeah you know, they also learn people skills.


Lin Long: Or else they’ll just go off on their own, and you know, maybe lash out at somebody but.


Lin Long: You know, we have our you know, we have our morning meetings.


Lin Long: You know I want to make sure everybody’s you know sound mind are ready to go.


Lin Long: Or if there’s a problem, we need to fix it um if you need if they need some somebody to talk to right away, then we talk, you know I, you have to make yourself accessible at all times.


Lin Long: You have to be willing to jump into any conversation that they may have it, whether it makes sense or not, you know you’re giving an ear to them it’s just so they’re being listened to and that’s some that’s a major part of this job is listening. Right, you know. Because that’s all they want is someone to listen to them. You know I even have students from other classrooms that come to me and want to just be listened to. And I will give my ear to them, you know it doesn’t matter where I’m at you know as long as I can keep my eye on you know, on mine, you know we’re talking and I know where they’re at at all times, you know yeah. But I give my ear to anybody at the school, you know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: including my own. it’s so awesome. yeah. that’s amazing when you’re so you’re so good you’re so dedicated we really appreciate you.


Lin Long: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to work with you know with them out, you know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right, I mean, so you work with people with all kinds of special needs right I’m some sort of.


Lin Long: pretty much yeah, I’ve got a down syndrome. And I’ve got two that are autistic.


Lin Long: You know I mean it’s not one of them is the same so.


Lin Long: it makes work very interesting.


Lin Long: So yeah but.


Lin Long: You got to be on top of things so.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right, but you can see just how proud, they are of themselves, you know and how happy, they are to be like.


Lin Long: Productive like.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: You can see it that you know they know that they are contributing.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: it’s really quite cool to see it, and then they know that you know that they’re like a good crew it’s.


Lin Long: Well they’re making their own money because money is a big factor for them in my group, not so much they really don’t even talk about money.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: really talk more about.


Lin Long: Family oh.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay, oh yeah.


Lin Long: You know yeah family and food.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: makes them happy. Well hey those are. Those sound like some good. Good subjects definitely.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So, how did you become a job coach.


Lin Long: Well, it was funny my I used to live in Kingsborough in the in the San Joaquin Valley, I also used to live in Fresno. Oh yeah that’s also my old stomping grounds, I was in the field of.


Lin Long: private care for 27 years and I thought I would never get out of it. yeah, I need I need a change, you know it’s just it I loved what I did, but it was just. Really mentally draining and physically and it was physical it was just I was just always in pain. physically because of the work that goes into that you know.  People with like stroke victims’ people that were bedridden that couldn’t get up, you have to shower them, you know I mean it was just all the time yeah it is off nothing but on my job had ended and it in it the. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. But my cousin called me and she said that she needed help, so I packed my stuff up but it all in storage and I moved back home to LA where I’m originally from. um yeah and then we were I was trying to look for a job, but all I was looking in seed sometimes you limit your abilities, you know well you know apparently God seen more in me than I saw myself. yeah well, I said Okay, you know she goes well TAS is always looking for job coaches and I said well tell me more so she explained the whole thing she used to be a teacher manager for like 20 years.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Oh wow.


Lin Long: yeah so um but anyway, she told me how to get there, and you know go set up an interview, and this and that, and you know do corporate and whatever um so, and here I am.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: wow.


Lin Long: And it couldn’t have been a it couldn’t have been a you know, a better job for me.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: I met I really, I loved what I did, but it was just time to let it go. Right, but on the timing couldn’t have been more perfect so and I’m, but it was just like a whole new different world for me. I’m like okay what am I getting myself into. I experienced quite a bit, and it was quite overwhelming in the. Beginning which lasted I would say, probably a year or two.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Oh wow.


Lin Long: It was like this, you know, trying to get to know your clients. Their behaviors. You know I meant and that’s one thing you become is a pretty good behavior specialist.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right yeah.


Lin Long: So, I was just like I had a dive in with both feet, you know and arms, so I just like you know I’m here I’ve got to just dive in dive into my work, you know. it’s basically common sense.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: But when dealing with. People it’s really, it’s. Sometimes it’s not doesn’t always make sense right so.


Lin Long: It will yeah but um it’s uh. yeah, especially when their hormones are raging. yeah that’s right.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Age of the of the adults. That you work with. What are like the age ranges. that you work with, I know, like. And the adult day program they could be like. You know, like 20 years old, up to like 50 but Your clients are Not that old. But they’re like in there.30s.


Lin Long: When my youngest well I’ve got I’ve got I work with clients that weren’t even in the program.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay.


Lin Long: My youngest was 16 years.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Oh wow.


Lin Long: yeah. um but that went well. The older they get. Their hormones start to rage, you know and it’s just back and forth back and forth most it’s mostly the females.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah.


Lin Long: You know and you’re standing in the middle of all this and you’re trying to you know okay you guys have to focus, you know. My older one is 40.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay. wow.


Lin Long: So yeah but um. But it’s been it’s been it’s been good, since I yeah since I’m at Westmoreland now.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: it’s such a beautiful campus I love I love it there, Since the first day that I was. The support yes there’s a lot of support there that’s. A lot yeah, it’s a very special. Special school yeah. When that’s when I knew. I wanted to work where there was.  first day that I. That I went yeah so yeah, it’s great.


Lin Long: they’re very welcoming and they look at if you know I mean I’m not I’m, not to say that I have not had my share of breakdowns while I’m working. You know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: I mean, because it happens.


Lin Long: Because the there’s a lot. You know. physically and mentally draining.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: But you have to keep yourself, together, we want better way is you they’ve got counselors on campus you have access to these people. right because they make themselves accessible. that’s the number one thing that’s going to help other people that are working with people with special needs, counselors have to be accessible, you know or just somebody to talk to. Right, you know what how do I go about this, how do I change that you know how, how do I become a better. coach you know that really helps you’re not only that you’re being educated, at the same time.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right so. yeah that they’re really, it’s really a very close-knit group and a lot of great communication there so yeah, we are very fortunate to have that resource. And to have the counselors there and so willing to you know just help everybody out, I mean. You really get that whole sense of being a true team. You know, which is really. Nice.


Lin Long: that’s right well, I remember, I have both of both of mine um two of them had to break down the same morning the same time.  They come through the back door in the break room oh my gosh what’s going on I’ve got both two crying. um, but I think one was playing off the other, you know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: They do that sometimes yeah so.


Lin Long: I had one. come up to them and I had another one take me outside. So they can calm them down, and then they can talk, one can talk to me outside you know, because if they saw me it would be worse, you know I mean it was a group effort, I was like wow this is amazing Nice, you know. How can we help you if you, you know they were they just jumped in and then just.


Lin Long: I meant like that, so I was grateful for them to step in the way they did, and you know because I had no idea everybody got and then I showed up you know because I’m not going to you know we’re not, but they were they’re a little earlier than I was, I was Probably in a meeting or something like that, but. uh huh. But yeah they helped me out tremendously, and then, just as it started it was over.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Oh Good.


Lin Long: So, yeah that was fast well very effective. Westmoreland is very effective. Yes, yes, and they take taking. charge very seriously.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Oh, I know I mean, I think I honestly think taking charge is. Such a Just a great concept once I took it the first time I was just like this is just a great idea and. You know it works with anyone I’ve done it when getting a haircut, you know, I was like okay I’m really going to focus on, you know what’s being said and. tell me what I just said, and you know, the whole thing and it took a long time and we worked it  out and I had I was super happy and my stylist was happy and it was just like it was like it was so funny because it’s like you truly can use that the concept. anywhere it just translates everywhere so yeah so you know, and I  love the whole idea that everyone is whole able and complete as they are, because we all have our things we all have our things right. So. Yeah. I think that that’s.


Lin Long: Good well that doesn’t make them any less human than us, you know we’re all the same.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right, then all right. Exactly it’s just because your communication is different from mine doesn’t make you any less of a person than me, you know I mean that’s. yeah. We all have feelings we all have needs we all have.


Lin Long: yeah exactly.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: fears, wants all that stuff. To be human and yes.


Lin Long: that’s right that’s like when I first started taking charge everything that they were saying was in a classroom setting.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: Which is a little more difficult for me because I’m outside. You know. What does this have to do with me, you know it was really hard to figure out, you know, I was trying to put myself in a classroom setting, but you know me being there, I was like a bull in a china shop, because I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t understand what they were saying. Right, you know, but there was just so many people teaching too many things at one time. Too many ideas just going all over the place, and all I thought we were going to have one instructor but we had like five.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah I. Didn’t know.


Lin Long: That made it more difficult. yeah. So, but I’m going to tell you, Nick I like how he presents everything. He speaks in layman’s terms um and he gives you a lot to think about like oh wait I didn’t think about that. I didn’t give it that way you know he gives out great points and I love listening to him talk when I can.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah.


Lin Long: He really explains things to where you understand it, you know. Great and he just right there on point all the time, you know, so I really enjoy listening to him speak. yeah, no matter what it is, it could be boom, or what you know or a come here you know let’s have a talk, you know um but he’s really good at what he does.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Yes, he is. I’m going to have to persuade him to be on my on the podcasts at some point.


Lin Long: Oh, I’m sure he’ll take you up on that offer they’re.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Probably.


Lin Long: yeah.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So, what do you think is the most rewarding part of being a job coach.


Lin Long: I would say, their progress from when I started out with them in the beginning, up until now. And not only that I hear from their parents. So, if I’m hearing positive things. From the words then I know I’m doing my job, the way it should be doing the way it should be done um. And it’s great to have great report rapport with each parent.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: if they need um if they like their behavior if their behavior needs to be worked on at work, I know what needs to be worked on at home. So, I let them know what’s going on at work. That way they can execute it out there and I can do it at my end and we can meet each other in the middle.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right


Lin Long: and if you don’t. Have that it’s just going to fall apart. And if they’re not willing to be involved in their behavior while there working. Then why are they there.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: That makes sense yeah, I mean it, I mean, please.


Lin Long: They want to push them out to work and to have other people babysit them. Right. You know, you want to make sure they’re there you know learning, you know skills, you know training rare cases something happens to the parent they’ll know how to somewhat take care of themselves. Right, you know they’ll have a better idea of what to do, you know how do you turn off the stove You know stuff like that. Right, do you stand and watch it or do you go and turn the knob you know. Right so it’s the same thing being at work, as it is at home, so you know you’ve got to meet you halfway. Or else you’re going to fall apart as a job coach because you’re not being heard. You know you’re basically being the situation is being ignored.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: So, but I, at least I have that I have good rapport with without you know. yeah, I make that my priority, first and foremost, you know, make sure I you know, make sure we’re all comfortable together and we can just talk about anything you know. So right, but the progress that they’ve made it just makes my heart happy.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: that’s good. Yes, they have I yeah I see progress in those guys all the time that’s really cool So what do you think makes you such an effective job coach and leader, do you. Do you think.


Lin Long: Well, you have to be coachable.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay, so you have to be able to take the feedback, then, is that what you.


Lin Long: Okay, have to be coachable if you’re not then it’s just not going to work out, you know it’s like if you’re not a good listener it’s not going to work out. You know I’m. Like and like I said before, you have to be accessible to them all the time, you know you have to make sure they’re safe, you have to make sure you know, I meant you’re just I go back to your everything to them, you know. You have to be a strong leader. You have to carry yourself. As a strong leader, you have to be effective and what you’re doing there’s a lot of repetition that goes on, while they’re working you know, sometimes I try to change things up because that’s what they need to get used to.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right


Lin Long: Is Change. So, you know you have to expect the unexpected. Right so sometimes I’ll throw a wrench here and there, you know, but they seem to be pretty comfortable with it and there’s a little excitement that goes on.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah. Because like a new challenge okay what’s she going to throw at us this time what. What new challenge


Lin Long: There almost doing a happy dance I kid you not.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah well that’s great I mean. The thing I think most people fear is change and trying something new, so to like be excited to like try new things, you know as they happen, I think that’s amazing. Truly, I mean for anyone so.


Lin Long: that’s awesome. And it’s always good to be in a chaotic situation because it’s teaching them how to handle situations right certain situations so um I embrace all of that. I am I embrace it, you know it really doesn’t matter where I’m at I just don’t think about it, but I like I embrace the challenge of it and I give them a challenge to. Not an overwhelming challenge, one that they can learn from, and one that they’re comfortable with and sometimes they’ll say you know they’ll just pause but then oh Okay, you know it’s that simple for them.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay, so they able to have yeah, they may just have to like stop and think about okay how am I how am I going to tackle this. And then. Then they just go for it.


Lin Long: they have to process it.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right yeah, a little yeah.


Lin Long: may take a while, but they’ll get it, and then they go Okay, you know, a light bulb will come on you know they’re more they’re much I mean they’re very smart individuals. Yes, people don’t give them credit.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right.


Lin Long: And, They can play people to you know but it’s like you know but um. yeah to be an effective job coach you just you know there’s a lot that goes into that you know it’s a lot of work it’s a lot of work but.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: you’re pulled in so many directions, I mean there’s just Everywhere just you’re the. you’re supporting the client you’re supporting whatever we’re. Wherever location you’re at You are you know you’re the middleman you. when something happens with whatever employer that you’re working for then you’re the one that they come to you know it’s like and then you and then you’re also you’re talking with the parents and you know yeah you have, like so many different things going on its.


Lin Long: Its mind boggling


Jamie Lord-Tovar: I applaud you for doing it for six years. Because it’s tough.


Lin Long: It is it’s not it’s not an easy job you know but. If I don’t know. I’m still here.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah, I mean but it’s yeah, I know I get it it’s Just the reward that you get just the sense of satisfaction and just.

Knowing that your help you’re truly helping. Other people I mean. You know that is just such a feeling I mean you know. Even though I’ve changed careersor positions because I’m basically just now I you know I do a lot of the same things as an occupational therapy assistant when I work with people. You know, children with special needs, so I Like I’ve moved to a different location, but yet I totally get that that just the feeling of. Just satisfaction of like. I am I feel like I have a purpose and I’m you know. And I’m serving others, so I imagine you feel a lot, the same way, you have to for well.


Lin Long: It I know what my purpose is and a lot of people don’t know what their purposes.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah.


Lin Long: I’ve been doing this, like all my life, working with people. Right so I’m pretty comfortable wherever I’m at you know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So.


Lin Long: that’s awesome but you really have to even assess yourself, you know how can I make this better, how can I make myself better, you know how can I make them better you know. there’s a lot to think about.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah. Oh, totally So what do you think is like the most surprising thing that you think you’ve learned about yourself since you’ve been a job coach is there any one thing that you’re like oh wow I had no idea. That I was capable or it’s a tough one, I know.


Lin Long: repeat the question.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: What is the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about yourself as a job coach.


Lin Long: Um. To work with special needs.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: That you would be so good at it, or that you would enjoy it so much are those.


Lin Long: yeah. Just helping you know just helping people. Um yeah, I just. I really don’t think much about stuff like this, you know


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah.


Lin Long: I just get in there and do it.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: it’s just that’s just who you are that’s just who you are yeah.


Lin Long: You know, sometimes you know somebody has to pull my reins back that out. But um and I’ve learned I’ve learned a lot. I still learn a lot.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: I’m sorry. You still doing.


Lin Long: I’m learning a lot about myself.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah.


Lin Long: You know that I work with um. it’s an amazing ride, you know and just seeing them blossom it just I know it’s gratifying.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So that’s cool that’s cool you know I’ve realized, now that we’ve been talking, because since, since we know each other and everything we’ve been talking about your crew, but so your crew they work at the school and they do their the what do they do at the school.


Lin Long: The janitorial.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay.


Lin Long: yeah, they do, they keep up Like housekeeping stuff like. That.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: They do all the vacuuming and mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms And stuff.


Lin Long: yeah, they are. they’re quite amazing they’re quite amazing. You know they get they get compliments every single day. From the staff, you know um. it’s just every day.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Now they’re very professional I mean you know, in the way that they dress and the way that they greet You know people who greet them and yeah they’re very, very professional and you know it’s like you can see when they’re out when they’re. it’s very obvious when they’re on their break there in the break room or they’re outside and they’re taking a break and otherwise you see them in the school working you know so.


Lin Long: yeah.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Nice.


Lin Long: No playing around for me.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah.


Lin Long: I don’t want you to look  like you rolled out of bed come into work, you know fix your hair, because this is a life skill make sure you eat make sure you shower make sure you don’t have toothpaste running down the front of your shirt or your shorts make sure you’re brushing your teeth make sure you’re washing your face get old asleep out. Make sure you’ve got a haircut make sure you’re shaving unless if you want to you know grow beard or a mustache. Right um they’ve got to be clean. Right your clothes have got to be clean.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: mm hmm.


Lin Long: And if not, then I’m on the phone with the parents, you know, can you make sure before they leave the House that they are presentable when they go to work. Right, because that is their life skill, that is a goal for them.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right. So, because the idea I mean ultimately is that that they can then go work somewhere else, maybe independently, because you now are coaching a crew, but then we also have all our independent workers, like a couple that I interviewed last year. Right, so the idea is that some of them will graduate basically graduate from working with a crew to working somewhere else independently and then having a job coach yeah possibly. Not likely full time like they have now but somebody who comes in a couple hours each week or something like that.


Lin Long: Well, like the one that you that you interviewed the one that I was working with the musician. mm hmm um that that was a great pair because I’m a musician too.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right yes.


Lin Long: um yes, what I do is I’m even though we’re not in the same room I watch him teach through zoom.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay.


Lin Long: And I’ll critique him at the end because he may I might catch something that he might have missed mm hmm um. But it’s interesting.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: That would be cool, I think.


Lin Long: It is, it is very cool, but then the kids get sidetracked and they want to ask me questions. But then I have some you have you know cause my MIC is cut. But I like texts or type or type them, you know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: uh huh.


Lin Long: let’s have them focus on you and not so much me so you know he gets them back to their lesson, or you know or practice or whatever I did when I was in Selma California, in the San Joaquin Valley, my friend had an autistic son. Okay has an autistic son. Well, he found it wasn’t a bad and he wanted to learn how to play drums Okay, so I would go over there and I would talk to his mom and said okay well. You know, and I would charge for lessons, because it was a side job you know, and she didn’t mind um we went to high school together, which was even better. Nice um but I told her you know what type of drum set for to buy for him, you know, a starter kit or whatever you can bring them to my house because I’m out in the country and I’ve got a big garage you know. it’s also a game room, so they would have fun coming over playing whatever or whatever, but I would have him set up, you know set up his drum set and break it down and set it up again.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Okay.


Lin Long: They have to learn how to do that.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right yeah.


Lin Long: we’ll also have to learn how to tune. So, all this, all this had to be done before he started to play. But in this case, since he’s autistic I just had him beat the heck out of his drum set. And then we broke it down Just to get it out of the way. Right and then we got him focused. And I would have him facing me, and I would be facing him and he would just mirror me. Okay yeah and then he got really good you know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: uh huh.


Lin Long: yeah and I really don’t know what happened to him, but except for he did graduate from high school. To college, but that’s about it. I don’t know if he started a band or not, but all the kids that I’ve taught. I would keep them off the streets.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: yeah.


Lin Long: He wound up starting a band and then playing at their school.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Oh wow.


Lin Long: yeah so um but I always had him record himself that way he can go back and look at what He needed for a great. So, but that was my first time ever been engaged in teaching someone that was autistic. Okay, he was just all over the place, like nonstop he would just be all over just here and there, and. But once he stepped down behind those drums it was practice time and he knew that so and I’m very strict. yeah before you know. If you want to be good at what you’re doing you I’ve got to be strict.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: that’s it yeah, it’s true it’s true and tough love yeah.


Lin Long: And there’s also boundaries, you have to set boundaries yeah. But um yeah that was yeah so.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So, Lin where you’re this is really fascinating you’re going to have to come back and be a guest again and to talk about. Music, because I, we talked about I had Sarah on a couple episodes ago and we were talking about how music helps with children of all of all abilities and then I’m going to have Jacob at some point in time.


Lin Long: that was his name Jacob.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Already, really.


Lin Long: wow.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: So, I’m going to have Jacob one of a behavioral analyst who’s going to be a guest on this show too and it’s going to talk about how he uses music when working with some of his clients, so that would be awesome will you come back and talk more about music sometime.


Lin Long: Absolutely. that’s also what I do when all the kids. Are on vacation.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: uh huh.


Lin Long: I bring my laptop in and I play music. While they’re working you’ve got to make it fun sometimes. You know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: You do yes.


Lin Long: You know, or else they’re not going to want to come.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right. And what a great way just to play music and you’re still working you’re still what you can have yeah you can enjoy it and you know you.


Lin Long: know you don’t have all that silly time together. But stay effective in your work.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: Right exactly still be professional and safe and all of that stuff that’s so important.


Lin Long: right.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: cool. alright. Well um.


Lin Long: I think we covered everything.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: I think we did is there anything else that you think that we should cover before we end our awesome conversation.


Lin Long: um. I’m looking for live music now.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: All right, we were going to have to do that soon I would love that I mean I really feel that music is such an important Part of anybody’s life and that definitely one of those things that unites us all, I believe you know, because we all have some type of musical ability. As My guest was talking about, which is like that’s true, we all have some sort of musical ability, whether it’s you know shaking the maracas or the tambourine or you know, being able to play symphony so when it’s. done right on dude the I always say that all of my family members, play an instrument and I play the radio so like but that’s an instrument apparently the radio.


Lin Long: Well, you got to turn the knobs you know.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: it’s true.


Lin Long: Thank you so much Jamie for having me on.


Jamie Lord-Tovar: I really appreciate it, and I want to thank everybody out there for listening to the podcast please follow our journey as we bring awareness and acceptance to all of our community about people of all abilities. And visit our website at www. I am able podcast.com or listen to us on your favorite streaming platform.


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