How do you transition your child's aideHow do you transition your child’s aide?

Aides come in all shapes and sizes. They’re people. Some have behavioral degrees, others are just kids in college who need a job (read no training).

Aides have lives just like anyone. And, may are younger people in their 20’s. They change jobs, get married, and go back to school.

Also, in general, many aide jobs do not pay well. We once lost a very good aide because her job simply wasn’t paying the bills.

What does this lead to…transitions. Aides move on and our autistic kids have to get used to yet another aide.

How do you transition your child’s aide?

First, hopefully the aide gives you some notice. Two weeks is about normal, yet some aides will be very cognizant of their clients’ sensitivities and give longer notice. They understand a transition may be difficult.

However, things happen in life. With that in mind, the worse situation for our kids, in my opinion, is when the aide gives you absolutely no notice. You show up to a service and the aide has been replaced. Or, your service is cancelled because the facility is finding a new aide or facilitator.

This is not only a bad situation for your child–who may have trouble getting used to a new person–but I believe it reflects badly on the outgoing aide. It’s a responsibility issue. Yet, some people don’t see it that way.

(Of course, last minute situations happen in life. Family tragedies and transitions can happen quickly and there may be no fault. I really don’t have a problem with something like that, even though that’s been rare in my experience.)

I have experienced people who do not plan ahead well. And, unfortunately, they don’t consider our kids and how tough it is for some of them to transition.

Second, with a decent amount of notice, I’d like to see some overlap.

The incoming and the outgoing aide/facilitator work together for a session or two (or a day or two).

Third, always talk to your child about the upcoming transition. Let him/her know that so-and-so is leaving in two weeks, let them know why, and explain to them that people need to change jobs from time to time. Let them know it’s okay and they’ll get to know the new person and they’ll get to like the new person just like they liked the old person.

Try not to get too  mad about the transitions. They are out of your control. They are often good for the outgoing aide. Try to feel good for them.

It may cause some issues on your end, but your child has to get used to transitions and change. Life will throw a lot of them out there. Maybe by practicing change, they can get used to it.

Here are some helpful tips to help your child with transitions.

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