When searching for the right person to provide special needs care an interview with the prospective caregiver is essential. Here are some specific questions that are important to ask in order to ensure that you and your family are providing the best possible care for your child that address his specific needs.
Has the candidate received training about individual differences and structuring activities to meet children’s different developmental stages and special needs?
Does the candidate have experience or special training in caring for children with special needs? If yes, what disabilities, limitations, or special needs? Can the caregiver offer references from other parents of children with special needs who have been under their care?
Would they be willing to undergo training or learn new skills to help them best care for a child with special needs, or implement specific learning plans?
Do they feel passionate about discovering the individual gifts that your child will bring? Do they feel that they can learn from this relationship?
Are there external services (such as physical therapist, speech pathologist) in place, should additional care be required? Is the child care provider willing to help integrate external services into your child’s daily routine?
Has the caregiver ever dealt with an emergency special needs situation? If so, what was the situation and how was it handled?
Benefits and challenges
In the caregiver’s opinion, what have been the greatest benefits or joys of working with special needs children? What have been the biggest challenges, and why?
In addition to asking these questions, be sure to provide all of the details about your child’s needs, with examples of what he does and doesn’t enjoy, his preferred methods of communicating, and his specific interests and abilities. Encourage open communication and ask if the caregiver has any questions or concerns to share. Also, make sure to follow up the interview with a reference check in order to get feedback from the caregiver’s previous employers.