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What am I doing wrong??

(10 Posts)
SacreLao Mon 19-Sep-11 22:43:31

I am at the end of my tether right now, my nanny has just given notice sad

She cannot cope with the job, this is the 4th nanny I have lost for the same reasons.

I am starting to think it's not a nanny I need.

I only use a nanny part time for my 2 children aged 9 and 7 years old, I pay very well but my son is severely autistic and as a result shows a lot of challenging behaviour.

This latest nanny was hired through an agency that hires nannies for special needs children and she was very experianced and very highly recomended, I thought we were finally onto a winner.

I always go into this in depth when interviewing and have had many nannies refuse the job there and then. I also ask them to shadow me for a week (whilst being paid) to see how I deal with various behaviours and show them the ropes etc.

I completely understand it's hard going and no-one wants to work in a place where they are at risk of being physically attacked but what do I do??

Does anyone here care for disabled children?
Am I asking too much?

nannynick Mon 19-Sep-11 23:01:19

Firstly I would say that because the job is part-time it might suit someone initially as it may fit with other work they have but if that other work changes, then your job may no longer fit.

I have cared for children on the autistic spectrum, I still see one as he loves theme parks - so gives me the excuse to go to Chessington / Thorpe. I have no specialist training in that and I don't feel you need someone with specialist training but more someone who your son gets on with, someone who can relate to him, challenge him when needed but also let him just get on with things at the appropriate time. You know your son best so I expect you know what sort of characteristics you are looking for in a nanny, whereas an agency does not. So I wouldn't use a specialist agency... possibly not even use an agency at all if you have the time recruiting yourself would require. Sounds like you do a lot of the recruitment already if applicants the agency sent were put off once at interview stage.

I feel it is fine for you to talk in depth to people at interview. I would suggest doing a lot of it before interview - such as via e-mail, so you only interview the ones who are not put off by some of the initial things you may tell them.

Have you tried chatting with other parents over on the Special Needs board? Some of them have nannies and other carers from what I recall from when I last posted on there. They may be able to offer advice on how to find the right match between a carer and your children (it's not just about your son, your other child also needs to be considered).

nannynick Mon 19-Sep-11 23:07:43

I wonder if having a full-time nanny would be viable. Paid less per hour than a special needs specific nanny but making it a full-time job may make it more appealing to some applicants, especially if they have big chunks of the day when they were not really working due to children being at school. Having them at your home, they are then on-call for if a child does need picking up from school, or if things are needed to be brought from shops (where your son would not like to go, rather than shops he does like to go).

Have you found the job being part-time makes it harder to recruit... or is that not really a factor? I tend to see things from my own point of view a lot and I need to work 36+ hours a week to pay my bills. Having tried doing a 30 hour job plus then adding temp work, I wouldn't do that again as it makes it hard to make ends meet. I prefer doing a 40 hour or so job, all year round, not term-time only or anything like that.

SacreLao Tue 20-Sep-11 00:30:57

Thanks Nick!

Being part time has made it harder yes and I do all my own recruiting, it's only the last nanny I used an agency as struggling to find someone suitable.

Making the job full time is certainly an option, i'm desperate right now! I can't afford to leave work, not that I want to anyway, but I need childcare.

It is hard to explain how difficult my son can be, I am not seeing through rose tinted glasses in the slightest when speaking to potential nannies but I feel the problem is they just can't see that extreme of behaviour.

Most of the time when he meets new people he is a delightful if very shy child but once he is comortable with a person the boundaries begin to get pushed.

The latest nanny was doing very well and I thought settled well into her role and was getting on well with the children. She has been very honest with me which is appreciated and she feels it's too much.

We have had a lot of incidents of 'sexualised behaviour' recently which is pretty disturbing to witness and I believe this was the breaking point for our latest nanny.

Do you mind me asking how severe the child you cared for was?

So many people when I say Autistic expect a child that is a little odd but otherwise a well rounded and well behaved child.

My son is almost non-verbal, urinary incontinent, extremely agressive at times and very withdrawn. As much as I adore him I am aware that he is not exactly a 'likeable' child from a strangers point of view.

The only option I am coming up with so far is to make use of the residential facility at my son's school and use a seperate nanny / childminder for my daughter but I don't want my son sleeping at school every weeknight and they only offer an overnight service rather than an evening service.

ChippingIn Tue 20-Sep-11 00:41:47

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time keeping a nanny. It can be really hard with a child with SN sad

Have you tried advertising for a manny (male nanny) or male carer? You may find you get different applicants.

nannynick Tue 20-Sep-11 06:18:23

Hard to say how severe. I would say almost non-verbal, mostly echo. Is toilet trained, isn't agressive usually. So I expect is easier to handle than your son due to the not being agressive.

Given the sexualised behaviour, I agree that a manny may be something to consider but that may be even harder to find.

dmo Tue 20-Sep-11 11:53:44

the little boy i look after is 8yrs old very agressive at times kicks me and my house but i have cared for him for 4 yrs only 4hrs a day but it is hard going

cansu Tue 20-Sep-11 17:06:49

Would you be better advertising for a carer rather than a nanny? You can then add that nannies are welcome to apply. I have not got a nanny but do use carers for my severely autistic son and have found this works quite well as they are more used to doing things in a different way. For instance with my ds, talking a lot can be very stressful for him, but it is kind of instinctive to talk and sooothe a child who is upset so a nanny may well have diffciulty with that.

Tomorrowslookingfine Tue 20-Sep-11 21:04:39

Hi Sacre, I work with children with special needs and challenging behaviour. May be able to point you in the right direction with regards to finding help, where do you live?

Allleila Wed 21-Sep-11 13:59:46

I am in my first SN nanny positon- (6 months and counting). and my employers have had a lot of troube with nannies quitting before I started. But I do think every situation is diffferent. I actually got my position on Gumtree as the mother said she found that a lot more candidates are likly yo look through Gumtree ads.

I had been working as a nanny for a year before I started my current position and I actually think my job is a wonderful learning experience (even though I thought about quitting pretty regularly for the first two weeks). 3.5 years blind with autism and his 2 year old sister. The position was advertised as full time live-in even though its 30 hours a week.

It also fits in well with the fact that I'm studing for my BA degree in Early Years with the OU. But good luck on your search.

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