9 Tips for Babysitting Kids with Disabilities

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • June 12, 2016

BabysitterWith summer around the corner, we know that parents will be looking for babysitters! Are you looking for a resource to share with someone who might be willing to babysit your child? Or would you like to help out your neighbor who has a child with special needs, but you don’t feel qualified? Here are nine tips for babysitting children with disabilities:

  1. Ask questions: Don’t be shy! You can ask questions like: How does your child communicate? Does your child have physical boundaries? Does your child take any medication?
  2. Meet the child before you babysit: It’s always good to be familiar with each other, and to watch how the child interacts with their parents or caregivers.
  3. Stick to the child’s routine: This will provide him or her with structure and familiarity.
  4. Do fun, but safe, activities: Make sure to ask the parent what activities aren’t allowed, and which activities the child prefers.
  5. Remain calm during challenges: Know what helps calm the child if he or she has a tantrum or anxiety attack. Make sure you know where emergency medications and contacts are kept. Don’t hesitate to call the parents if you have questions or concerns. And call 911 if there is a life-threatening emergency.
  6. Do your research: If you aware of the child’s disability, look online for more information about that disability.
  7. Know how to meet the child’s needs: Be aware of what time the child takes medications and what makes him or her uncomfortable.
  8. Don’t be too helpful: Encourage the child to do what he or she can.
  9. Remember to have fun: If you enjoy your job and show it with your attitude and demeanor, you relationship with the child and parent will be more pleasant.

This summer, take the opportunity to reach out to a friend or neighbor who has a child affected by disability and offer to babysit! Are there any tips you would add? Tell us in the comment section below!


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