Childcare for Special Needs Children

Parent Q&A

  • I am looking to get some regulary scheduled help with my kiddo.  I am a single working mom and I have a nine year old.  He has issues with sensory processing, adhd, and epilepsy.  While he's quite capable of doing things other nine year olds do, he can be a handful.  Between my work hours and his challenges at school lately I am I'm just not able to keep up.  I'd like to hire someone for regular hours to watch him and help me out two or three nights a week.  They would to pick him up from school at 6pm in Oakland, cook dinner, help with homework, maybe help with clean up or laundry.  Truth be told, I'm so overwhelmed, I"m not sure where I even need the help.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to find an incrediblely tolerant, trustworthy person capable of handing a tough kid with a take charge kind of attitude that can help us get on top of things?  

    In my opinion, you want someone who will pick your son up long before 6:00. By that time the child is exhausted and it's really too late to be starting homework. I used to have my son in the after-school program until 6 and then fight with him about his homework while trying to fix dinner. It was awful. Pay some more money and get him out of the after-school program for as many days as you can. Let him come home and have a snack and relax for a little bit before starting his homework. Then you can come home to a happy kid who is already done with his homework.

    Finding this person is a challenge, we've had a lot of difficulty with it. But it's so worth it. Spend the money and have a happier, less stressed out, more calm child. Remember that he's dealing with social interactions from 8 in the morning until 6 at night. It's exhausting for anyone, even more so for a child with the issues that you list.

    Your poor child, and poor you. That is soooooo much to handle. My own son has none of these challenges, and if I were to leave him in daycare until 6 PM he would absolutely fall apart! That is an incredibly brutal day for any child. It is way way too long. Then to be cooking dinner - starting at what, 6:30? While he just starts his homework then? There is no way on earth that most kids can handle that well - my DS is 12 and that would be a huge challenge for him. I think you're so overwhelmed - and I don't blame you - that you're unable to think this through clearly. Hire the sitter to pick him up no later than 4:00. Allow him the great gift of peaceful downtime in his home. Have the sitter start dinner at 5:00 and have him eating by 5:30. Really - I had a more seasoned parent make that recommendation to me a few years ago and it made an instant difference. Start homework before dinner, before he's exhausted. When you get home, you have dinner waiting for you, a fed and peaceful child, and he can have dessert or warm milk or whatever while you eat. Whatever time he's headed to bed, make it 30 mins earlier (in increments) and I am willing to be anything that you will have a dramatically better home life in a week. Your poor boy isn't "tough" - he utterly exhausted and being forced into an adult's schedule at 9 years old. Never underestimate the power of rest, peace, quiet, eating and sleeping early. Your life will change!

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Daycare options for infant with hearing loss?

Sept 2010

I am writing to seek some advice/recommendations that the BPN community may have for good daycare arrangements for my infant son. He was born with hearing loss (bilaterial microtia/canal atresia - he was born without outer ears or ear canals, but has a functional hearing nerve) and is currently fitted with a bone-anchored hearing aid, which we hope will aid in his speech development; we also plan on signing with him to aid this process. We will need to put him in part time daycare starting in October, when he will be 4 months old. We would appreciate any advice from those of you with similar experiences regarding the type of care that you found useful for your infant with hearing loss - did you find one-on-one care more suitable than a group setting? any specific people/daycare centers that you would recommend? what skills did you find it useful for daycare staff to have to aid in your child's development? We have looked into CEID in Berkeley, but they do not take children until they are 18 months old, so we need to find a daycare solution until then. Thank you for your help! Rita

I do not know how young they start kids but certainly the parents in this community would be an excellent resource... CH

Take a look at our website St. John's Childcare

We have a great infant room, and although our waitlist is long - we give priority on it to families who have children with extra developmental needs - right now we do have some fall spaces. We also have consultative support from an OT, PT & a speech therapist, for kids, parents & teachers through a grant with first five.

Give me a call or an email if you'd like to tour or learn more about St Johns. Celeste

Another resource you might try for suggestions is Support for Families of Children with Disabilities. It's located in SF but they could also connect you with the equivalent family resource center in the East Bay, if you aren't connected already. JM


Home Nursing

August 1999


For children under three with developmental disabilities, there are federally funded programs (not need based) that provide infant stimulation and some respite nursing care free of charge. In some cases, these services continue after age 3. I would highly recommend that you contact the Regional Center of the East Bay (they will evaluate your child, make an individualized service plan, contact care providers etc). Their number is 510-383-1200. Another resource which might be helpful is Through the Looking Glass at 510-848-1112. There is a shortage of skilled nursing in this area and we have found lots of problems with finding reliable providers. I would recommed calling Addus Healthcare although I can't find their number right now. I have also heard good things about Nightengale Nursing.
Jeanna 8/99