It Doesn’t Take Anything Extra Special to Care for Kids with Special Needs

The Bigger the Risk, The Bigger the Reward

It doesn’t take extra special skills to care for kids with special needs. It just takes a little common sense, patience, and caring — characteristics most nannies already have.

I babysit for a severely autisic girl some weekends and the mother says it has been impossible to find another nanny or babysitter willing to spend a few hours with her daughter so she can get out every once in awhile.

I feel if caregivers would just take a risk and try working for a family with a child with disabilities they would find the work very satisfying. But, too many nannies and babysitters are too scared to try caring for a child requiring special needs. I honestly don’t find caring for a child with physical or emotional handicaps any more difficult than working for any other child. Every child is unique. Every child has challenges. Plus, there is good in every child — even those requiring extra care.

Working with children with special needs is a great resume builder too. Whether you choose to continue working as a nanny or exploring a career in special education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy the hands-on experience of working directly with children helps you stand out from job candidates that have only learned in a classroom from a textbook.

Working with children with disabilities gives caregivers a greater sensitivity for the difficulties special children and adults have in society and an appreciation for your good health as well. It is the growth in sensitivity and a sense of pride that emerges from caring for those with disabilities that eventually provides nannies with the biggest reward.

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