Finding a Babysitter for an Autistic Child
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What do I do if I want to hire my friend's babysitter?
The task of finding a babysitter for an autistic child can seem overwhelming. Using the online babysitting service Babysitters4Hire.com gives you access to the profiles of local babysitters and will help you find babysitters in your area. This gives you a great head start. Here are some things to consider as you decide which babysitter will be a good match for your child:
- Previous Experience: Not everyone is capable of providing the special care that autistic children require. Do not put your child, or the babysitter in uncharted territory. If they do not have experience with autistic children, keep looking.
- Be Honest and Specific: Set expectations upfront about what your child needs. Give babysitting candidates a clear understanding of the challenges they will face. The more information you can provide about your child and his/her behavior, the better your results will be.
- Certifications: Most school systems require para-education training for teaching assistants who work with special-needs children. Trained para-educators understand autistic children's needs, and how to respond effectively. Anyone who has been a para-educator, or a special education assistant, merits careful consideration. There are also behavior programs such as TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-handicapped Children), that are available as classes at universities and community colleges. Due to the mishaps that occur with autistic children, any medical training such as first aid, CPR, or CNA certification is a great benefit as well.
- Communication: In order to provide the consistency that an autistic child needs in their daily routine, communication must be consistent and precise. Choose a babysitter that you connect with, and one that will be willing to take the extra time required to review each days events.
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