Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
What do you do about childcare if you have NO family support...(25 Posts)
...and your baby is very clingy and demanding because he's 11 months old, frustrated and not mobile?
He can't sit or use his hands very well, of course I know his ways and can usually keep him amused (very hard work of course), but he screams if anyone other than dp or myself pick him up.
No one can feed him apart from me, not even dp. So I have never left him with anyone and haven't been out since he was born. It's no big deal, but I have an exciting opportunity to go to Europe for a couple of days with dp in November, to which I couldn't really take ds and there's another night in December when we'd really like to go out where I would probably not get in until the small hours.
What do you do? Do I just forget it? Is this the sort of thing for which I could ask about respite?
we still have no family support but when my dd (sn) was 18 months old the local nursery had her two afternoons a week. It was really hard settling her at first but eventually (after a few months) she began to settle and enjoy it
as for nights out, have you enquired about a childminder? I have a young girl who sits for me, she works as a TA at a mainstream primary but in the special needs section. She doesnt seem to mind the fact that dd is disabled. maybe it is worth enquiring? I always found with both of my children (sn and nt) that they were less clinging after attending nursery on a (very) part time basis, they dont want to know me anymore <sob>
I'm afraid you have to let DP become more of your baby's life. He only has you feed him because that's how you've let things happen.
You need to get out with DS go to some toddler groups, contact your NCT and find someone with a child of a similar age.
Instead of a trip to Europe why not somewhere like Center Parcs where they offer a pre-bookable baby sitting service.
Erm - not having a go, SHR - but are you aware you're on the Special Needs forum? a) the whole feeding business may have all sorts of complications that you don't get with kids generally, b) there is possibly No Way on God's Earth that you could or would expect the sitters at Centre Parcs, with no Special Needs experience to be trusted with your child and c) again, depending on what is going on here, there can be nothing as demoralising and hurtful as spending your quality time in an NCT group of women with "normal" children, watching them hitting their milestones while everyone feels sorry for you. So good general advice, might be appropriate in this case - but then again, could be completely inappropriate.
Ntt - yes this sounds like a case for respite. Can't speak from experience because we are trying for it ourselves atm. But it's a long, slow process and is unofficially (though this is illegal) means tested so it depends on supply and demand in your area. It's via Social Workers rather than NHS if I understand rightly.
We have respite once a week, but from a friennd who is a respite worker and saw how desperate we were, not funded by council. It's a Godsend! other than that we have nobody at all within 50 miles, and it gets us, DH especially, down. DS3 does go to a childminder when I am at Uni (funded by Uni) and that time, even if at college, is my space. But a night out with DH.... now wouldn't that be bliss.
Hi PKP, I know what you are saying about nurseries getting him used to different environments. Before his delays became so evident, I was looking at using one for a couple of afternoons a week, but he really still needs 1:1 at the moment - it would be easier if ds was at least sitting or could hold on to toys. The sn nursery won't take kids until they're 2. So I made a decision to forget about nurseries until then, which is cool, it's just these few nights I'll be gutted to miss as they're going to be quite special. Would a childminder be able to look after him for two days in a row? I don't mind paying.... Thing is, they'd have to be more or less SALTs themselves to get any kind of sustenance in him!
Lol SHR - I guess you didn't notice this was an SN board?? I'd feel like giving the op a kick up the jacksey too if it weren't
r3dh3d - oo yes, I feel sick just thinking of attending an NCT meeting lol. It really shouldn't be like this should it Disability really really needs to become more visible - and I'm not helping by being so phobic. Aaargh. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where there's a respite centre just been built, but I didn't want to seem cheeky by asking about this without running it by someone with exp first - would they do 2 nights/days do you think - ds will be 17 months by then?
Wow - respite once a week! is that overnight? How old is your little one?
we didn't get any help untill dd was 4 then it was a link family. we hav eno familey support(not even phone calls!) she now has respite.
There is a thing called Family Link. Basically, NT families sign up to befriend a SN child and their family. It's a long-term relationship that should (in theory) mean you get to the point where you are happy to leave your child with them for 1 afternoon per fortnight, or to go swimming Sat mornings or some such. It's often the first thing offered because it costs the council nothing but the admin. The down side is that there are obvious limits to what these families can cope with and it's usually quite small amounts of time.
Sam is six, we chose not to have overnight (offered by SS) but instead have a few hours of a saturday afternoon. We still have the other two with us, but it means we can shop or whatever without the tantrums / stealing.
If you have LOs under five (not necessarily the one with SN) its worth trying homestart.
I am studying religion and philosophy, want to teach one day.
I know it isn't easy but some childminders have experience of Sn and would be able to help (even if for just a few hours)
Thanks KM, it's overnight and full days I need though, just on these occasions
thanks for the info r3dhd3 and Peachy, It's good to know about
We just had to find people ourselves and pay them ourselves. Over time we got involved with Soc Svs (when DS was 8) and now get DPs and respite. It sounds like you've got some medical and/or physical issues? That can be hard but if you can find anyone then you'd have to teach them what to do. At only 11 months old its very hard to leave them with someone anyway but you could start by being there doing things together, then there but not "on duty" iyswim and build up to going out for short time, then longer and longer. It all depends where you live and luck to find someone, any ideas where you could look? At least you're thinking about the things you'd like to do well in advance so you've got a chance. There are people out there who will do this and I would say definitely get onto Soc Svs asap or any local charities (not because services might be free/cheap although that helps, but it might be appropriate).
What I would say before everybody goes swooning with envy at me getting a break, is that Sam has very specific issues that has led to other ds's being hospitalised and me injured at various times.
Social Services were fantastic for us, worth chasing up.
ntt - it might be worth contacting your local Children's Information Network or equivalent run by your local council and asking about childminders. Where i live in Greenwich we were really lucky that when I came to need childcare they had just appointed someone who was putting together a register of childminders who were interested in taking on children with SN. They didn't necessarily have any experience just an open mind. I have found 2 excellent childminders through that. I'm sure its not something that every area has though unfortunately.
Otherwise some really good suggestions here already. As your ds gets older you will need to have some respite. I really would look into any options you may have now and as Davros suggests get him used to going to someone else slowly.
There is also a childcare agency called SNAP which specialises in SN but they are very expensive.
Thanks Davros, I will contact the ss, I hadn't thought of that, I've not had contact with them so far. Why aren't we given a Handbook?!
Peachy - crikey, that sounds tough
Lol at respite envy I'm happy for you, it must make such a difference to your whole family.
Hitc, thanks for posting, in your experience, is it possible for childminders to do a couple of consecutive days/nights? Thanks for the SNAP suggestion, I'll follow that up as well as the ss. These particular dates are really quite important events for dp and me, so don't mind paying (she says before finding out just how expensive they are....)
I have always used childminders part time, ds1 (nt) had the same childminder for yearswith no problems.
DS2 is on his 4th childminder it has been a v v difficult decision to try with yet another childminder but at last we have found one witht eh time, patience & caring atitude to deal with his needs. It is so much more difficult with sn but it can be done. He actually likes the routine of going there now & I think has helped us all, especially ds.
Try contacting your local council childcare development service & they will tell you which childminders have sn experience!
Re: SNAP, we have had 2 nannies from there and are in the process of recruiting a third through them. They have pretty much got the SN end of the market cornered for Nannies, which includes temporaries so people who will do a week or so. I think Everyday Angels (another agency) does more the nursing side of it.
Snap are at www.snapchildcare.co.uk or were when I last looked (about 2 hours ago!)
We've gone the direct payments route as well ntt. DS1 has a very lovely childminder who has him for respite (and other autistic children). She's a mumsnetter and I found her through mumsnet. We also currently have 2 other people who come in to help out. One I think is suitably with it to have ds1 herself sometimes, the other not really, but she allows us to do things we couldn't otherwise do. I think put feelers out etc to try and find someone, and then train them.
For overnights my mum and dad move in to look after him. We are going away in June and Mum wants to try a night at her house, so we'll see. We are very fortunate to have my mum who is very switched on, but obviously long term he will get too much for her, so I have an eye on respite provision locally, and every time I meet with SS mention that I will need respite at some stage in the future (and I make sure they note it down). I have a feeling that sort of thing can take a long time to sort out.
Eek, apologies if I have upset you ntt, didn't realise it was the SN forum.
Thank you for all your advice everyone - there's a lot of ideas here for me to follow up.
Don't worry SHR, you've not upset me at all - I'm not that fragile honest!
I've always been very self-sufficient (from necessity unfortunately because I've never had family support) and not needed any help from anyone, and even if I have, I'm just not the type to ask, so have managed without. So it's pretty difficult and takes me a lot of energy having to ask people into our lives. But it's going to have to be done, especially as we're hoping to have another baby asap.
JJ No one's mentioned DLA to us yet and I don't know what to do about childcare yet. A childminder would be ideal,but i'm not sure if you can get them 1 to 1 can you, which is what I think he'd need? Or someone to come in (once we move, our house is way too small right now) I have to admit I find it hard to trust people with something so important, but I guess that goes for everyone.
I've now contacted SNAP and they think they might be able to provide something on an ad hoc basis, so thanks for that r3dh3d.
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