Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Finding a Nanny for a Child with Special Needs

A few weeks ago, Nancy Parker contacted me about writing this guest post for The Fragile X Files.  She thought it was a subject many of us relate to, and I couldn't agree more.  We have rarely left our kids with anyone other than family.  I shudder at the prospect of finding child care.  I can't just hire a teenager from down the street.  So, I appreciate Nancy's words of wisdom and advice, and hope you will too.

Finding the right childcare provider can be a challenging task for any parent. However, when a child has special needs, such as autism or ADHD, this task can become even more difficult. Children with special needs often require a nanny who will be even more patient than the average caregiver. Additionally, many children with special needs may also require a nanny who is capable of handling any medical treatments that are required on a daily basis. Fortunately, with a little extra preparation, parents of children with special needs will be able to find a nanny that they can trust by implementing the following suggestions.

1. Know where to search-It is always important to use a trusted resource when searching for a nanny. This is especially true for children with special needs as a nanny will preferably have a background that includes special care. For this reason, nanny agencies, universities and a child’s school can all be a great way to find a nanny with an educational and professional background that supports caring for a child with special needs.

2. Be honest about the child’s abilities-It is important that a prospective nanny fully understand a child’s special needs before they accept the position. By being honest about a child’s strengths and weaknesses, parents can avoid a nanny taking on a job that is beyond their capabilities. Therefore, during the initial meeting, parents and potential nannies should discuss what a typical day would be like caring for the child.

3. Establish a transitional period-Before the nanny begins working independently, it is best to have them observe the child’s regular routine over a period of several days. Be sure to have them observe at especially stressful times of the day so that the nanny can be familiar with the child’s behavior when they are stressed. This will ensure that the nanny is comfortable working with the child during the most challenging times of the day.

4. Practice any medical procedures-Many children with special needs may also have medical requirements such as taking medication. Parents and nannies will both feel more comfortable if they spend a few sessions practicing these procedures. Additionally, parents will want to leave emergency information in an easily accessible area for the nanny to use if the need arises.

5. Address problems immediately-With any new nanny, it can be expected that there may be a few problems that arise over the first several weeks. Therefore, parents should plan to spend a few minutes talking with the nanny at the end of each day so that they can discuss any issues as soon as they arise. This way, a solution can be worked out immediately so that the nanny will have a positive plan in place for the next day.

When a family finds the perfect nanny for their child with special needs, then everyone will benefit from the loving care and guidance that they provide. For this reason, it is important to smooth the transition for a new nanny so that the child will be comfortable with their new caregiver.

Author Bio
Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny, http://www.enannysource.com, etc.  You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @ gmail.com.

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