This is a post from one of the followers on our Instagram page. Ida is an Au Pair for a special needs child much like me. She wrote about her experience and everything else.
Ida choosing a special needs kid to au pair with
I remember the day so vividly. I just felt that this would be the day where the first family would contact me, and I was right. Oh my gosh how was my heart pounding! When I scrolled through the pictures and it felt so right.
I remember seeing the first pictures of the little boy in some kind of machine which helps him standing and the next one in a wheelchair. I was thinking about whether I ticked the little box where the organization asks you about being willing to take care of special needs kids or not.
A few days later I talked to the dad via skype. After talking about general stuff, I asked him about how limited the boy was in his movement and just how he is general. He just told me like it’s the most natural thing which gave me so much confidence to take on this adventure and so I did.
Leaving Austria to Au Pair
Oh gosh, thinking about this now makes me realize how not ready I was! I barely knew anything about the family but here I was leaving Austria for the year which ended up lasting 19 months. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything in the world, cause throughout all the ups and downs that were included in this time I learned so much about kids and foreign cultures and myself and life and made friendships which were closer than I could have ever imagined.
Anyways, one very big part of my au pair time, except the other kids I took care of and the amazing family I extended with and all the adventures and whatsoever was little J. He had CP and therefore couldn’t talk, walk, crawl, use the toilet or feel himself. J was five years old by the time I arrived, but he was basically like a tall baby considering his abilities.
Arriving and working with J
The first few weeks I was so confused by the squeaks he made I came running anytime I heard something haha! I figured out his preferences and his dislikes as fast as with any other kid I ever took care of.
After a few days, I already liked hanging out with him so much. He was just such a happy kid and his beautiful giggle seriously could end wars! He loved everything including chocolate, in the pool, he just smiled for hours nonstop cause he liked it so much, in therapies he gave his all so he crashed on the car ride back home, and he thought my silly voice was hilarious even after the 100th time.
The only thing that annoyed me was the pity looks people gave me, whether it was some other au pairs we met in the park or strangers in the mall. I couldn’t help it, but it bothered me. What’s the difference between changing a 5-year old’s diaper or a baby’s? I actually think it smells less bad.
I would have done anything to give him the ability to walk and express himself with words. Life doesn’t always work that way though, and he was given the best possibilities possible. He had the most caring family around him, awesome au pairs also before and after me and therapies and medical treatment. Not to mention the best school I think I have ever seen, and he melted his teachers’ heart with his goofy cricket smile. He was having the most out of life.
Another thing I have to mention is that the whole entire community involving special needs kids is amazing. People are more grounded I guess and start valuing things others might not even realize. In case anyone thinks it’s filled with a bunch of pity talks and feeling sorry. You’re so wrong. Uplifting.
Ida’s Experience overall.
I really loved the whole experience. It didn’t even feel so different from the other kids I took care of or my extension family. I loved it and I am so proud of myself for having the courage that I took the step. That is seriously the hardest part, simply cause you to have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. I loved it. I love J with every bit of my heart. He was my ray of sunshine on the days I needed it. If I could have, I would have brought him home with me.
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