This job is difficult mostly due to the fact that you are working with a population that is undeserved by their families (if they have any) society due to the prevalence of stigma against those with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities, the government due to lack of funding, and due to the company itself for continually bowing down to its funding source's inane demands that have little to do with treating those we serve with dignity and respect, and everything to do with money.
Never mind that the job is innately difficult. Caring for, and teaching individuals who suffer from mental illnesses and developmental disabilities is not for the faint of heart. Those who do this job with any longevity do so because it is a calling, certainly not because it pays well.
Often we are abused verbally, and emotionally,sometimes physically, and sometimes treated poorly by those who are supposed to have our backs (management and coworkers), but once in a while find a good crew to work with and may be lucky enough that they stick around for a while.
Turn over is high in this field, but if you are able to dig deep and keep at it, the rewards of building trust with those we serve can be great. Getting to see a person who was once in an institution begin to trust you, open up and share their life story with you is a gift you could never imagine.
Watching a person with autism who could barely speak a sentence a year ago gain the confidence to make a decision about what game to play or that they would like to go to the park is a significant milestone as well. These are the rewards of this job. We may not make much in pay, but we are rewarded in seeing those who society has forgotten grow by leaps and bounds by the work we do because it is in our hearts.