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Having time with just your spouse is key to a successful marriage. That being said, hiring a babysitter for an autistic child can be an extremely daunting task. Not to mention everyday needs of a working parent to have child care! There are just so many concerns that aren’t there with a neurotypical child.
Having three autistic children, I know this struggle all to well. Not only do I have to find someone I trust to watch my kids, they also have to know how to work with them too! Why does hiring a baby sitter for autistic children seem so hard?
So what is a parent supposed to do when their child has an autism diagnosis and needs a babysitter? We now have the answer to that question!
Hiring a babysitter for an autistic child shouldn’t be complicated. Thankfully, our friend Annabelle from Harkla has an amazing guide to help us out! So let’s check out her awesome tips!
Hiring a Babysitter for an Autistic Child
Having a child on the autism spectrum is a commanding undertaking. You have to work around the clock to ensure that your child will be taken care of, especially when you have to be away from them.
If you have a work schedule that requires you to need a babysitter for your child, you likely worry about their safety when you’re away. To keep your mind at ease, you should invest some time in the search for a babysitter that you can trust to care for your autistic child.
Usually, babysitters don’t need a long list of qualifications for the job. Most often you can hire a generally responsible teenager and you won’t have to worry about the safety of your child because you know that they’ll be able to handle the job.
When you have a child with more advanced needs, however, finding a babysitter with matching qualifications is a necessity. Most teenagers are able to handle the demands of young children, which is why babysitting is such a popular job among teens.
Despite this, you may want to consider a candidate that is older than the average teen babysitter. Having an older caretaker will provide more experience, and the ability to drive should a problem occur.
When looking at candidates, be sure to look more closely at those that are in their twenties instead of their teens. You’ll want to find a babysitter who has a calm and patient demeanor.
People with autism have trouble with stimuli, so having a calm babysitter could help keep your child calm in turn. By extension, you should look for candidates that have experience staying calm in stressful situations.
Anyone with medical experience would be perfect because they’re used to having to stay calm in stressful environments.
You may also want to look for someone who is good at maintaining routines. Routine is essential for functioning in those with autism, so having a caretaker who can maintain those routines is vital.
You may have to leave a schedule at first, but a good babysitter will be able to catch on quickly, and care for your child without one.
Where to Find Candidates
You may be wondering where to start looking for a suitable babysitter for an autistic child. You probably won’t be able to find a babysitter by looking to your friend’s teenage children or any of the other usual methods.
To find a truly qualified caretaker, you should probably turn to a professional nanny service. There are a variety of nanny services out there, many of whom have easy accessible website.
One advantage of using such a service is that they often do background checks on those that they seek to hire. If you use a sitter from a service, you’ll be able to rest assured that the person watching over your child has been thoroughly investigated to ensure that they do not have a record of anything violent, negligent, or abusive.
A downside of utilizing a nanny service, however, is the cost. Because you’re working through a company, you’re going to be paying a higher rate than you would be otherwise. If you think this extra cost would be worth it, you’ll probably be receiving a better quality of service than if you looked for babysitters elsewhere.
If there is no professional service near you, you could also consult ads in newspapers. Putting an ad in the paper shows that a candidate is responsible and serious about the job. You may have to scrutinize them further when considering them, but you’ll likely find some good options in the process.
Hiring a Babysitter for an Autistic Child
It can be extremely difficult for parents to leave their children with babysitters. There is often fear that the worst will happen, and the caregiver will be unable to handle the situation. The fear of leaving your child can be enhanced if your child has a health condition that is difficult to manage.
This is especially true for children on the autism spectrum. Rest assured, however, there are babysitters that can care for your child without wavering. You may have to do a little detective work to find one, but when you do, it’ll all have been worth it.
There Ya Go!
Thanks to Annabella from Harkla for giving us these tops tips for hiring a babysitter for an autistic child. To get more great content like this, as well as free resources and giveaways, make sure to use that purple button below to sign up!
Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the “Amazing Moms” coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho. She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.