Finding childcare to care for your young ones while you are at work is often challenging. This challenge is compounded when your child is living with autism. Not only do you need a childcare center that can accommodate your child's special needs, but they must also receive autism behavior therapy.
If you've been struggling to find local child care for your child living with autism, here are some tips to help with your search:
Tip: Network with Other Parents who Have Neurodivergent Children
Thanks to social media, it is now easier than ever to network with other local parents of children living with autism and other neurodivergent conditions.
Even if you don't want the day-to-day support of other parents, local groups dedicated to the autism spectrum are one of the absolute best places to get childcare recommendations.
Make a post asking for referrals to excellent providers who offer autism behavior therapies and even those who do not but have experience with children on the spectrum.
Networking with other parents of children with similar challenges allows you to find the best providers much more quickly.
Tip: Ask to Visit Potential Child Care Providers While They are Open
Visiting and observing a childcare center while it is open and children are present is vital. While everyone can be on their best behavior when they know they are being watched, observing for a time allows you to see how the children behave toward their caregivers. Do the children seem happy to be there?
If the childcare provider allows it, you should visit with your child. Take some time to ask questions and see if your child is happy to be there.
Tip: Take Advantage of Early Intervention Services in Addition to Child Care
Lastly, it is essential to note that most children living with autism are eligible for state or federal early intervention services starting when they are very young. Your child's pediatrician, the local public health department, or the local elementary school district can tell you who to contact in your area.
Oftentimes, when a child living with autism will be leaving the child care center during the day to attend early intervention services or other outsourced autism behavioral therapies, it is easier to place your child with them. Many more childcare providers are eager to accept neurodivergent children when they understand that they aren't expected to be experts in autism behavioral therapy.
For more information about autism therapy, contact a local company.