Preparing a Babysitter for a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

February 10, 2016

Every parent deserves a little “me” time. So take a deep breath, hire a babysitter, plan a movie night for yourself and follow the tips below.

When hiring a babysitter, provide a list of information that will help prepare him or her for their stay with your child.

First, provide the babysitter with any information that may help them to get know your child better. It is important to let the babysitter know the method in which your child communicates best (i.e. vocal requests, picture exchange system or sign language).

Inform the babysitter of their daily routines for the time they will be with them. Some children benefit from visual schedules and routines that the babysitter should be familiar with.

Provide information on any allergies or diets your child may have or that they need to follow.

Also include an emergency contact list with phone numbers and any medical information they may need.

Plan a Pre-Babysitting Visit

It would be important for the babysitter to observe the best way to engage with your child. Invite them an hour early or if possible a week early, to get acquainted with your child and the environment. Provide the babysitter with their favorite things (i.e. favorite toys, snacks, characters, etc.) so that they can begin to engage with your child in a positive manner. Explain any behaviors that may arise and explain how you would prefer for him or her to handle the behavior. Also, provide any information on any signs that a behavior issue may occur (i.e. they begin to pace back and forth or begin to speak in a louder tone). It is important for the babysitter to feel comfortable with any of these protocols to best handle a difficult situations.

The babysitter should also have a list of activities and games they can play at your home. Let the babysitter know of any house rules they must follow to avoid confusion of expectations in the home. Don’t forget to inform the babysitter of bedtime routines and curfews. But, most importantly encourage the babysitter to have fun.

Now it’s your turn to relax and enjoy a date night out!

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

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