When school ends, your child suddenly has a lot of free hours in the day. For a child with special needs, this means worrying if they will be getting the interaction they need and also means that as the parent you may have far less time for other household and personal commitments.
Many parents ask us the question “Should I hire a therapist and increase their therapy hours or should I get a babysitter?”The answer is that it depends on your family and child’s needs. The holiday periods are a fantastic opportunity to teach your child all of the skills they just can’t learn from the school environment.
Things to consider when making this decision:
- What funds do you have available? Generally a special needs baby sitter will charge less than a therapist.
- What is your priority during this time? To have someone to watch your child or teach your child?
- Do you feel your child needs additional teaching, or are you happy with the progress they are making with their current number of therapy hours?
- Do you want someone during the day or in the evenings and weekends, so you and your husband can have time to yourself or together?
- Do you have other children that need to be watched as well? Do you want one person to watch all of them or will you hire two people?
Essentially, you need to decide your goal for the time. If you want the time to be downtime for everyone and a chance for you to take a break – go with a special needs baby sitter. If you want the time to be educational and tailored to meet the needs of your child – go with a therapist. Either one is the best decision, depending on the needs of your family at the time.
If you are struggling to make the decision you can always ask the current professionals that work with your child. If your child is learning at an adequate pace with their current hours, you may not need more. If they are struggling and would benefit from more teaching, you may want a therapist.