Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Finding aides, sometimes called personal care attendants, for our children with disabilities can be very challenging. Finding aides we trust with our loved ones is even more challenging. But I've also noticed another facet to that problem - finding aides for a child that is grown or nearly grown.

I had fewer problems finding folks to help with Ashley when she was small. Treating her like a toddler when she actually was a toddler made sense. Treating her like a toddler when she is an adult doesn't cut it. Helping a young child with toileting or bathing didn't seem illogical to the aides back then. Finding someone who is comfortable, truly comfortable, with those same tasks now that Ashley is an adult is not as easy.

Working with a child that sometimes has a temper tantrum is usually not a problem for an aide. Working with an adult who might also have a temper tantrum is not something many folks want to do. And, as our young children grow into tall adults, the pool of caregivers capable of assisting with positioning, mobility and 'behaviors' seems to shrink.

And then throw into the mix that I want my adult child treated like an adult, even if intellectually she may not be there all the time, and that pool of caregivers shrinks even more.

What strategies have you used to find appropriate aides/caregivers for your grown or nearly-grown child? Do you use different strategies now versus when they were younger? Are you happy with the available pool of aides for your child? If you could do anything differently, what would it be?

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