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Finding the proper care for your special needs child is of the utmost importance. You want to ensure that the respite caregiver is one that has compassion and understanding but is also stern when they need to be. Interviewing a respite caregiver for your child will be overwhelming if you don't have a basic foundation to build on. Below is a list of things you need to keep in mind that will help you ask the right questions. Knowing the questions to ask will give you the peace of mind that you are making the best choice for you and your special needs child.
Interest In Their Field
When interviewing a potential candidate for respite care, the first thing you want to know is what interests them about the career path they have chosen. This question will give you a good indication of who they are right out of the gate. If the person you are interviewing talks only about them and how respite care only affects them, you may want to move on to the next candidate.
A good respite caregiver won't talk about how it looks good on their resume. They will talk about how passionate they are about helping those with special needs. The answer to your question should be centered around how much they want to make your life and the life of your special needs child easier and more fulfilling.
Knowing how a potential caregiver manages their time and other commitments is something that is very important. If the person you are interviewing has another job or is going to school, you need to know if they have a set plan on managing their time. For instance, your child's caregiver is someone you are going to depend on if there is a situation where you can't be home. Having your caregiver call an hour beforehand to cancel because of a prior engagement not only throws you off, but will also throw your child off. If your child is dependent on a schedule, this will only add frustration to an already frustrating situation.
Ask your potential caregiver how they intend to balance other obligations that they have. You need to hear they have a set plan. If they cannot provide a set plan, it is time to move on to another candidate.
Strength And Patience
Working with a child that has special needs is going to come with it's own set of struggles and your potential caregiver needs to be ready for any challenges. Ask your candidates what would give them the strength and patience to work with your child during a daily struggle. For instance, if your child is having a hard time with eating lunch and breaks into a fit of rage, you want to know how your caregiver will handle the situation.
If your potential caregiver tells you that they will offer your child a few choices or they will get on the same level with your child to try to figure out what is really causing the frustration, it's a good sign that they have a basic knowledge of child development and how to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.
Trusting your special needs child with someone else is an overwhelming concept, however, it is one that has to be done at times. By having a basic foundation, you will be able to ask the right questions that will help you make the best decision for your needs. For assistance, talk to a professional like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care.