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Looking for a super nanny who can do makaton and is good at speech and gross motor skill development

(11 Posts)
HayleyK Thu 17-Jul-08 00:47:17

Just wanted to see if anyone had any good experiences or knows someone. Want to find someone that will really work to develop my little boy who has hypotonia and hypermobile joints and is delayed with speech and mobility.
Thanks loads.

used2bthin Thu 17-Jul-08 08:18:50

Hi which area are you in? I used to be a nanny so could ask around but everyone I know is in the Oxford area.

Romy7 Thu 17-Jul-08 09:35:01

I've had two nannys and specifically made sure that i recruited two who were very hands-on with dd2. neither of them had previous sn experience, but i made it perfectly clear that they would be expected to get stuck in immediately and get involved with SLT, physio, OT and carry on all the therapy at home. The first time round the nanny learnt makaton, but dd2 was mostly verbal with articulation problems by the time we needed the second nanny, so it was more oromotor exercises and therapy rather than alternative comm. i'd say it is a mistake looking for someone specifically with experience - it worked out very well for us that the nannys were able to learn the specifics of dd2 with no preconceived ideas, and our therapists were brilliant and timetabled additional training sessions for the nanny so that she was confident she knew what she was doing. i wanted a nanny who was confident enough to take dd2 to appointments and ask lots of questions if i wasn't able to be there - so no shrinking violets! dd2 used a walking frame and is a part itme wc user, so we also needed to make sure that we asked lots of questions about how they would feel about people staring in the street etc - i didn't want someone who wouldn't take the kids to the park because people might look, for example, or that would be uncomfortable about using equipment or disabled parking bays...
i used an agency both times, who provided lots of possibles, and i interviewed between 6 and 8 each time before i was happy. ours were fantastic and dd2 has thrived - it's interesting that you can specify these skills for a child carer, but that us mums have no option but to get on with it!

HayleyK Thu 17-Jul-08 11:14:57

Yup - you get to acquire a whole new set of skills! Thanks to both of you. I'm in Swiss Cottage, London. I think my main thing is that I really want someone completely dedicated to child development. We have a gorgeous nanny at the moment, but it takes a certain person who can really push to work to get the most out of your kid developmentally. I thought that maybe a special needs nanny would have already taken that decision that they wanted to really progress a child and would then have the patience to encourage my boy with his movement - so for, eg, insisting that he comes down the stairs on his own, even if it takes twenty minutes, having the imagination to come up with games to develop speech and scheduling time every day to do those; teaching makaton signs every day and finding fun ways to do it. You're totally right that I don't need someone specifically trained, but I thought that might indicate that they were dedicated to doing the role and would be helfpul if they do know the signing. If anyone has any good ideas, would be really grateful!

used2bthin (great name) if you know someone wonderful, even if they are in Oxford would love to speak to them, if they would consider working in London.

Romy7 Thu 17-Jul-08 11:29:24

we just made sure when interviewing that they understood that was what we wanted - we were very lucky that we found two who were absolutely committed to getting dd2 to reach her potential. have you discussed the change of emphasis with your current nanny? it may be that she would really like the challenge? it's worth discussing it with her anyway - even if you just say 'i've been really thinking about the best ways to help x and think we really need to get our heads together - i'm sure he could do so much more and think it's really time that we pushed his boundaries for six months to see what he can achieve! you've been so caring with him and he has flourished so much that i think he's ready to be pushed a bit more!' it may be that she has just become used to you being the one in charge of the therapy side, that she would actually relish the opportunity to come up with some ideas herself... (particularly if you offer a pay rise lol) with sn kids priorities will always change as they reach different milestones...
it may be more difficult doing it this way than with a 'fresh start' to lay down expectations etc, but he would be used to her company (pros and cons obv - if she has always done something for him then it'll be a culture shock for him to realise he has to learn to do it himself!)
our first nanny took dd2 to an opportunity group once a week - maybe you could connect her up to some other sn groups which would emphasize you are serious about the change in emphasis? discussing it with her would also give her the opportunity to say whether she would be interested in that sort of role rather than the more caring role she currently has, for example - it may be that your decision would be made for you if she realises that the sn route is not what she wants to pursue long term...

HayleyK Thu 17-Jul-08 13:10:48

thanks - have talked about it loads with her as she suggested she wasn't the right person in the first place - sadly she isn't the right person to do it - runs her own business as well as looking after our DS and I don't think our DS would get her full focus and I don't think it's fair for her business to expect it. sad - so its a new nanny we need...

Romy7 Thu 17-Jul-08 15:52:44

excellent - at least you know you can lay down what you need and look for the right person instead of trying to change the one you've got.
good luck with your quest! hope you're as lucky as we were grin
if you do go down the sn nanny route, remember that there are probably just as many in that category who might prioritise caring over development, instead of equal to...
sometimes it helps you have high expectations!

HayleyK Thu 17-Jul-08 17:01:44

Thanks Romy - think you've hit the nail completely on the head - we want someone dedicated to development, be it a regular nanny or sn nanny. Not just someone who will care and entertain our boy. Am going to change my advert to really emphasize that point.
Thanks again for your help - really great

used2bthin Thu 17-Jul-08 21:00:55

Hayleyk I will ask as there is one person in particular I thought of straight away but I'm not sure whether she would be able to commute. Is it full or part time you are after? I won't see her till next friday but will get back to you on here or CAT you if she is a possibility or knows of anyone else who is good.

drowninginlaundry Fri 18-Jul-08 07:59:10

I've heard good things about SNAP agency, they do specialise in finding people like the one you are looking for, but you have to stomp up the agency fees....

I am also looking for a temp nanny urgently, our DS1 is autistic. It's worth giving gumtree a go, I've got an ad up there at the moment spelling out very specifically that the nanny needs to have SN experience, be able to drive, etc etc - and I am keeping my fingers crossed whilst wading through the 200 replies from Polish/Hungarian/Bulgarian/Latvian 17-year old au pairs exclaiming 'I love kids! I am very happy to work for you!' hmm. There's also a special care/home care section where I have found ABA therapists in the past.

HayleyK Fri 18-Jul-08 13:41:39

yes - is amazing the random people on gumtree that think you won't mind the fact that they are twelve years old and have never been near a child before.

I have registered with SNAP and I think they'll probably be our best bet, though we're starting to get good responses from the gumtree ad - just need to sift through. I've finally worked out how to make the ad so specific though so that I really avoid getting hundreds of useless replies.

You should try seeing if you can get a teacher on holiday from SN school. There was a girl posting on gumtree that I have been e-mailing, but I think she won't be right for us, as I'd love to get someone permanent. I think this is the link to her advert: http://www.gumtree.com/london/74/22274974.html
She might be perfect for you - CV looks great.

used2bthin - thanks so much for your help - don't think it's a feasible commute for someone if they live in Oxford, but maybe she knows someone London based that would be right? Is full time, or could do part time above 30 hours - am very flexible. Just want to find someone really lovely.

Thanks loads to everyone!

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