FASD,  special needs

The Fine Art Of Finding A Babysitter When Your Child Has Special Needs

I found a new babysitter/ respite worker. Happy clapping. See for your average family finding a sitter might be hard enough, but we are far from average. My little one has special needs. So it was never even remotely possible that we could hire the teenager next door. Or the granny across the road. My little one would chew her up and spit her out while laughing maniacally or raging and trying to tap dance on the stove. We had a wonderful student from university for a few years. She was fabulous and grew to love our daughter as if she were a little sister, or something like that. Then she went and got married. Recently. And while we are super happy for her, we are also sad for us because we lost a friend and a support. We wish her the best and miss her a lot. For months, I have been hunting. In July I placed an ad at the University of Western Ontario and a few calls trickled in, but nothing panned out. I have advertised many other ways with traditional media and social media and word of mouth. We had one person hired and she was totally unavailable every night I asked. So that didn’t work out. 🙁 In truth husband and I both forget what going out is. If I am out, it is at hospital with my Mom. So anyways this week we meet a new gal, training at the Kylee Patchel Evans group or foundation at the university. Studying neuroscience. Way overqualified. Of course with hiring a sitter/ respite worker for a child with special needs there comes a cost. It is impossible for me to hire someone to watch my child or help with my child at under $12 an hour. $14 to $15 is more common. Respite workers don’t come cheap. We hope she’s a keeper. Fingers crossed. Where do you find your babysitter? If your child has special needs, do you have help?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • It's just my life....annie

    we have no sitter and we have no help now that our oldest daughter has moved to Toronto… so we really are not sure what going out is… together… we can go separately but together isn’t going to happen for us for a long time if at all again.

    So glad you found someone and I hope she works out for your family.

  • melissa

    i’m so lucky, my oldest daughter is now my babysitter on saturday nights. the rest of the week, my kids are in school, all 5 of them. i work from my kitchen table. it’s a great situation. my brother in law has an au-pair though. they have 2 kids, one with very special needs.
    i could write a whole chapter about babysitters and special needs from experience w/my stepson when he lived with us. i know, it’s so difficult! fingers crossed for you!!

  • Sharon

    We found our babysitter down the street. She’s a neighbour’s daughter and is sweet as pie. I don’t have special needs kids so it definitely makes it easier trying to find someone but I still like the fact that if anything goes wrong, this girl’s mother is five houses away to help. I DO have a horror babysitter story though. Still makes me mad thinking about it.

  • Rossana

    We always had a hard time finding sitters, {we didn’t have grandparents around that would really babysit} but you do need to get some time to yourselves.
    We found that there was always one of us home with her and we never went out together – a lot easier now that she is older! 😉
    Hope this new girl works out!

  • Dawn

    I agree finding a babysitter is very hard with a special child. My youngest came through the foster care system so finding a babysitter is almost impossible. Usually I can only leave him with family. He doesn’t trust many people yet.