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Thread: Childcare

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    St. John's NL
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    1,147

    Default Childcare

    What has been your experience with finding good childcare for your TS child? Have you taken your child out for childcare or have you brought someone into your home?

    It would be interesting to get any thoughts you have on this topic for those Moms or Dads who are challenged with finding the "right" person or a suitable daycare center.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  2. #2

    Default Childcare

    I'll be the first to say that I honestly thought it would be fairly easy to find daycare for my child when I went back to work. I work in the social services field and directly work with all daycares in our county. However, ds has TS+ (which we didn't know at the time, although we did know that he was "spirited"). We pulled him out of one daycare that was being far too punitive, next we enrolled him in a private home childcare and the lady quit on us, then we hired a nanny who left after a few months and so on and so on. eventually we worked things out but still it was a struggle as our little guy still tended to physically act out much as a toddler would when he was 4 and 5 years old.
    Recently I took our city council to task as my son was refused admission to a summer camp run by our municipality soley based on the fact that I was honest with them about his diagnosis. They didn't ask for any individual info on him before they told me no. Then they reconsidered and said I could send him but not unless I sent a worker with him (that I would have to recruit and pay privately) plus they wanted me to pay the regular user fee for the camp. Well, I don't know many parents that could afford $400.00 to $500.00 a week for a summer day camp that really is just daycare for school age kids. In the end our city came around and they are providing extra staff IN CASE ds needs it (and honestly he probably will at times). But it took a lot of phone calls, letter writing and migraine pills for me to get to this point.
    Whew! Are you sorry you asked? :D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    St. John's NL
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    Default Childcare

    That's great info. No I'm not sorry I asked because there are probably many families out there going through the same struggles. When you went to the daycare or were hiring a Nanny was there anything specific that you did to try and prepare them for issues they might have faced with your child? How did you bring up TS?

    Thanks so much for sharing. What has been the biggest highlight you've taken from your experience with childcare so far?

    You exemplify "advocating" for your child and other TS children who come after him at that camp. Unfortunately some people just back down and then they carry the stress of having no resources available to them.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  4. #4

    Default childcare

    The good part about advocating for camp for my son was that I understood what the manager of the rec centre was saying about high ratios and not being staffed sufficiently. So I didn't try to argue with her, what she was saying was reality. Instead I focused on our city council and accessibility commitee. Those are the people that approve the funding and make things happen. through that the rec program was approved to hire two full time "integrators" for the summer who will move to different camp programs based on the identified needs of kids enrolled. It's definately a start. I don't pretend that there are easy answers but 50 years ago people with children with intellectual and physical challenges were told their children couldn't go to school and they advocated and look at the changes.

    As for when we were looking for childcare, ds didn't have a diagnosis at the time and TS was probably the furthes thing from our minds. So we actually just tried to explain to people about him and his "quirks", his preferences and dislikes. Unfortunately I have found again and again that being upfront about our sons needs has often led people to quickly say "no" to him and not be willing to give him a chance. And then the few times I decided to not say much - well that was a disaster for him. Now that we have a diagnosis of TS+ I find I am better able to explain to people and offer them more info should they want it. I am meeting with the summer camp people soon to prepare them with info so perhaps I can share how that worked towards the end of the summer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    St. John's NL
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    Default Childcare

    thanks so much, I look forward to your recap later.

    I too have found that telling up front about the TS and providing as much info as possible has been beneficial to my kids.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Ontario
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    Default Childcare

    This question rings true even years later. Before my son was diagnosed with TS and his ADHD, ODD I had my hands full trying to find someone dependable to care for him.

    We found early on that keeping him at home was not good because he needed to be socialized. The Daycare was always running behind him and reporting back problems.

    About the time his tics started showing up (age 3) I found a woman from our church that had a home daycare. It worked out very well because her numbers we low and she was a retired kindegarten teacher.

    I found once he started grade school thats when the problems really started. The after school program did not want to handle him yet the staff were all students from the University.
    I had a woman come in to the house to help me clean it a few times a month and even she did not know what to do with him.

    I changed our life and my work schedule to assure I'd be home when he was ready to get out of school. I paid for early drop off at school.

    It was not easy financially but found it worked better and he had less problems during the evening after being with me.

    You have to put their needs first no matter what the sacrifice. At that point I was a single mom and still managed to balance it for both of us.
    PJK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Default Childcare

    Hi PJK

    Thanks for sharing your experience. When staying home or being able to flex your work schedule to accommodate your child's needs can be done, then I'm all for it. Being in the work industry that I am in I have had some success in being able to flex my time so that childcare needs were at their minimum, but not eliminated.

    What are you thoughts around what a parent could or should share or look for when hiring childcare or seeking out a childcare center if they were not able to do what you did?
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario
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    962

    Default Childcare

    Janet:

    Maybe I was fortunate even with the failures:

    Parents can check their local TS support group for some direction for what other parents have done. I did not have that resource at the time and no one would tell me what disorders my son had yet. He was just considered "unmanagable but sweet."

    Go to the church youth minister or leader, most have degrees and know others in that church or parish that are students planning to be therapist or teachers, nurses or even social workers. Take advantage of that and employee them for part of the year.

    I did once and it was wonderful for all of my children. She was much more patient with my son and understood him.

    If there are camps in the area for children over the summer especially if they are linked to your church, find out how they find the advisors. Most of them are students or grad's specializing in children. Possibly you can hire them between degrees.

    Regretfully sometimes money is the big issue. If you have it, you can find the resources to care for your special needs child. For those of us that don't have plenty to pay out it can be hard for the children concerned.

    I always was straight forward with any care giver and never played down or ignored the ultimate behavior they would experience.
    I always interviewed with a list of questions and another list of concerns and experiences to see their reaction.
    The ones that just shake their head up and down I ran from.

    The main thing I found was to always protect my child first. If I did not feel good about an environment or had concerns that could not be resolved I pulled him out fast to avoid more damage to him.

    My job came second. I could always find another job but never another son.
    There are employers out there that want to own you, especially if you have a management position. There are others that really understand and if you meet their needs and they meet yours it is a successful relationship for everyone concerned.
    PJK

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
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    1,147

    Default Childcare

    My job came second. I could always find another job but never another son.
    very true :D

    There are employers out there that want to own you, especially if you have a management position. There are others that really understand and if you meet their needs and they meet yours it is a successful relationship for everyone concerned
    You're right! More and more employers are focused on the "right fit" for them when they hire, but parents need to assess whether or not that employer is a right fit for them. To have an employer who cares about family values... balance between personal and professional... and/or quality of life, is a great experience.

    Your ideas are very helpful and I thank you for sharing your insight. I'm sure parents facing regular scheduling again in Fall will be sourcing out support on these things soon. Perhaps we'll get some questions posted that will be answered by all the experiences shared here.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  10. #10

    Default childcare

    For our son, after our first private childcare provider quit (she was watching him in her home) I went back to my manager at work and asked to be allowed to go to part time hours. They were very understanding and for two years I would race home for 11:15 a.m. (1/2 day JK & SK in my city) to pick up son from school. We hired an in-home worker privately and she would pick him up two afternoons a week. This gave me a break and gave him extra 1:1 time focused soley on him. Toward the end of SK we transitioned ds to childcare two afternoons per week so that by the time summer rolled around he was used to going there and I believe it helped him get ready to go all day for grade 1.
    But, not all people have the option to go part time and there were, honestly, afternoons that I didn't want to be at home with ds. He is so high intensity that there were days I really needed to have some space. But without family nearby this was extremely difficult to do. It really frustrates me that although I work with children with special needs for a living, I am unable to get supports and services for my own ds (that's a rant for another day).
    On a wonderfully positive note - ds finished his 1st week at the city run daycamp that I arranged to have extra support for him at. The 1:1 worker was absolutely FABULOUS!!!!! Someone was smiling down on us last week. It was the first time ds has ever been with a group of kids and he did not hurt anyone, did not have a meltdown and I did not have to pick him up early or get a list of "what he did wrong" at the end of the day. All the counsellors seemed to genuinely like him and we had educated them all about TS so when ds vocal & motor tics kicked into high gear, everyone knew just how to handle them and to explain to other kids.
    I cried the first day after we got home at the end of the day - I didn't realize how much I was holding my breath and hoping for the best for ds.

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