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Babysitters for ASD child?

(3 Posts)
eskimomama Mon 02-May-16 15:54:42

Hi all

Have any of you hired babysitters for their ASD DC?

DD is 6, non verbal, and has never been with a babysitter. My dad who lives 5 min away has looked after her many times, a few other random people too, but always during the day and never longer than a couple of hours or so. Most importantly never at bedtime. Last time we tried, she was a toddler just before her dx, we left her with DH's parents and she basically screamed for hours... a mixture of ASD and separation anxiety. It was horrible.

The main reason for this is that bedtime routine, as well as meals, have been extremely difficult until recently. She has been an extreme picky eater for a very long time (refusing to eat dinner for all sorts of reasons) and it took me ages to sort that out (6 months ago or so?), to an acceptable status. Falling asleep was another huge issue, she couldn't fall asleep on her own until January, and would wake up many times. Only myself (and randomly DH) could handle this. Over the last few months (touching wood) she's been falling asleep on her own.
We've been invited to a wedding in June only 30 min drive away ... so wondering if we could finally try a babysitter for a night out - that would leaving her from 4pm with the sitter.

Do you have any experiences with brand new babysitters, to make it work relatively more smoothly? I don't want to ask my dad because if it turns into a disaster, he will feel horribly guilty and I don't want to put that kind of pressure on him. I'm basically afraid that DD will a. have meltdowns after 2 hours (not understanding where the hell we are for dinner/bedtime) b. not eat dinner, leading to c. very bad sleep. And then days/weeks to fix it.
I don't want that first night out to fail, so I would very much like to hear your experiences on this.

Thank you

Melawati Mon 02-May-16 21:18:20

Is your DD at school? Would someone from school, who she already knows, be willing to babysit?
Also, even for my NT DC, I wouldn't plan to leave them with someone for the first time and expect that person to manage tea and bedtime. My ASD dc would not tolerate that at all, new people have to be introduced gently or she won't feel safe.
You have time now before the wedding to try to find someone and do some trial sessions - this is what I would do in your situation. Or I would have family and brief them thoroughly beforehand on potential difficulties so they don't feel they're to blame if the evening doesn't go well.

eskimomama Tue 03-May-16 08:48:47

Thanks melawati I was thinking of doing trial sessions. From school I'll get no support whatsoever, although I was thinking of asking the young lady who was her aide last year. Haven't heard from her in months and she can be unreliable (last min cancellations) but she would def be better than a complete stranger. There's a special needs babysitter agency as well but it costs an arm and again, it might be the wrong person.

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