Nanny’s Guide to Caring for Mentally Challenged Children

A Nanny, whether live-in or not, must have the appropriate skills and training to work full-time with a mentally challenged child. Mentally challenged children are growing in number. This disability affects the intellectual and physical abilities of the child.

Deficiencies also include language ability and peer interaction. Most, but not all children do not grow out of this and, instead become an adult, with the need of skilled workers and therapists now at an all time high.

The care for children with this disability can last years, or even a lifetime. The care is done either by the family in the home, a professional in the home, or at a live in care facility. Trained and registered staff are required in the institutional settings, yet most people believe that care is bettered carried out in one’s home. A nanny must be well prepared for this job, as it can be challenging if not performed correctly.

The first thing a nanny should do is understand the child’s degree of disability, and be able to assess it, having learned this through training and study. This will give the caregiver an all-around picture of the care necessary to meet the needs of these children. Some mentally challenged children accept the care of a nanny with open arms, others will express their displeasure through destructive behavior or violent tendencies, reactions can vary. Knowing the degree of care needed will help a nanny create a model method for interacting with the child.
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The nanny must have in depth coping management skills. Coming into the family situation of a disabled child, brings about many emotions. Often there is fear, rejection, denial, and anger within the walls of the home. A nanny should be trained to encounter these issues, and possibly be of emotional support for the family through some of the more difficult times. These skills are learned through many psychology courses, seminars and group meetings that focus on the training and education of the provider.

Many childcare courses offer nanny’s a chance to learn about basic early intervention. This is where children with disabilities begin intensive education, regardless of age, often after an initial diagnosis is made. Often using Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA, nanny’s can learn basic skills that could matter for a child’s life. Parents, as well as the caregivers, should take advantage of these early education courses in order to advance the child’s adaptive skills and behavioral capabilities.

For school aged children, nanny’s could do a great service by becoming involved in the educational process at home and at school. Nanny’s are to keep up with the child’s development, as that is most often what the job entails. Working alongside teachers and other providers will not only build up the trust of the family, but the child as well.

In very rare cases, the care of a mentally challenged child can be dangerous, as some are often prone to sudden rage, and can attack at a moments notice. This is when the job takes on an all new level. For a nanny to stay safe, it is recommended to know to what degree of special need the child has, and have a plan of protocol for any kind of incidence that may come up. Being prepared is crucial when caring for a mentally challenged child. A nanny can often be a wonderful source of help and guidance for these children and families.

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