Monthly Poll for Nannies and Au Pairs

Caring for Children with Special Needs

Are you an in-home childcare provider that has cared for a special needs child? What are your biggest challenges caring for special needs children? Do you charge more when caring for special needs children?

The May 2010 issue of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter will discuss caring for children with special needs.

Some of the children we will discuss include those with developmental disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, physical disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and behavioral challenges.

We would like to know your answers to these questions and more. So please take our monthly poll by visiting our blog or by clicking here.

The results will appear in the May 2010 issue of the nanny trade publication.


  1. I think caregivers being scared of the unknown keeps them from interviewing for jobs with children with special needs. I know I was worried when I went on an interview with a very mentally and physically handicapped child. But it was the most fulfilling job I ever had. The mother told me she couldn't get interviews and the agency told her that it seems nannies are fearful of the unknown.First of all, I went on the interview with an open mind. I thought I wouldn't want it but at least I should go on the interview and see what they needed. The parents were lovely, home was lovely, pay was good, and the daughter easy to care for.They only have the one girl. She was blind and couldn't speak properly. Diagnosed with autism but as severely handicapped as she was I think the diagnosis of autism was not as important as the fact that she was blind and couldn't speak properly. My main responsiblitiy was to keep her safe and try to stimulate her with music and books. She was fed with a feeding tube which I thought would be difficult but couldn't be more easy. The parents always had everything ready for me and the child was really able to control the feeding herself.It was such a higher paid job then typical nanny jobs, yet it really wasn't difficult at all. I would read to her, bathe her, help her with the feeding tube, it really wasn't hard at all.I really enjoyed reading to her, trying to stimulate her and keeping her safe and healthy. I think nannies should go on the interviews and see because even intimidating cases like this one actually are really great experiences. The only reason I no longer work for them is they moved to another state for the father's job. Otherwise I would care for her until adult hood for sure. It also looks good on a resume.Imani Okoro, Miami FL

  2. So I forgot to mention the most challenging aspect of job was simply transporting her (which really wasn't hard she can walk) and it's a lot less challenging then caring for typical kids that talk – back or have bad attitudes!! Imani

  3. For me it was not good nannying a boy with autism. I told the mom that he needed help and she yelled at me. Teachers and mother yelled at them. Mom boss blamed school system. I no longer work for them but now Mom boss understands he is special needs and he goes to special classes in his public school with hope of putting him in regular class soon. It was terrible because Mom did not understand what everyone else saw and she waited to long to get help. If family interviews saying kids is special needs I would interview but if parents are in denial it is bad to work for.Nanny Rosario from Milton, MA

  4. I would charge more if I knew ahead of time. I worked for a family that did not know their son had ADHD before I started. I obviously did not charge more once I had the job. But it was a very difficult job.Julia, Friendswood, TX

  5. My previous job before my current nanny job was great for Manhattan parents with an autistic son. The parents are psychiatrists so they understood his issues well and were open and honest about his issues before hiring me. They only interviewed people with degree in teaching or psych and with experience as their son is unpredictable and can be violent. It was really worth it. Very high pay. Challenge is being very flexible and creative. I was creative trying to find new ways to discipline and help him. I had to be flexible because some days better than others. Hours would change with parents schedules too. I would have stayed with the job but moved to CA to get married. My best advice is just treat each child as a special individual. I love helping them and seeing them develop due to my influence.Career NannyShelby GuthrieSaratoga, CA

  6. I have often said that rewards are proportional to risk. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. The difference you make in the life of a child with special needs can be a valuable experience from which you will benefit for a lifetime.Ruth Miller,Chaska, MN

  7. I took one job knowing that the children had issues and while there were days I would jokingly tell the father, 'I deserve a bonus today,' I never considered actually asking for more. The pay scale for my experience and qualifications is high. I have also had positions where infant charges were later diagnosed with issues, but never even considered asking for more. I don't feel a family should be penalized for having a special needs child. But, I do believe that if a nanny is called to work with children with special needs that their experience will naturally cause their pay scale to rise. I also believe that families with special needs children are probably looking for more experienced nannies thus they are most likely paying a salary on the higher end of the average range already.MaryAnnNanny in Michigan

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