5 Qualities You Should Have When Working with Special Needs Children


Published on May 10, 2019

Working with children with special needs is a rewarding job. You see how children can improve day-by-day with housework, personal care, social skills and educational  – even if they have specific learning disabilities or needs.  But it is not an easy job for everyone, especially when the children can at times have challenging behaviour.

Are you looking to work with special needs children?  Here are five qualities you will need.

1. Patience

Why do we need patience? Working with children with disabilities can be intense and stressful sometimes and you need to be ready to deal with those situations. These children can display challenging behaviours. Maybe they do not want to work with you, or, for instance, one thing they have enjoyed doing last week they may not wish to do it the next day with any apparent reason.  You have to be ready to keep calm, breathe, think things twice and know that they are not behaving like that because they are trying to be difficult.

2. Strong personality

These children can be very tough with you, and even more so if they do not trust you and you are not confident with your own approach. Sometimes they can try to test you (as all children do) but sometimes these can be extreme and include threatening, punching, kicking, spitting, scratching or biting.  You must need to be strong, be ready to deal with these situations every day, often on long working shifts.

3. Sense of humour

As you will be working long hours, it is a must to have sense of humour and keep laughter in part of your daily duties, with the team, or with the family. This will help to make it a great day. In care or special needs schools, you will probably work for 12 hours shifts. And often dealing with challenging situations during the day, so the most important thing is to have a good atmosphere with your peers. They will become your friends. They will be the ones who will be next to you to help you in difficult situations and the ones with whom you will spend most of your time.  Likewise, when working with families, parents may often be anxious or upset. It will be your job to help diffuse the situations and help everyone see the positive in any situation.

4. Helpful and solvent

You will need to be very helpful, helping your peers and the family in every situation.  You should be good at solving problems. And always willing to adjust your approach if required.

5. Mentally strong

To sum up all the skills you need, this is most definitely one of the most important ones. You must be mentally strong. As you already know, working long shifts and dealing with children with challenging behaviours, you must be happy to mentally persevere and rise to the challenge! You will be exposed to stressful situations and you must find a way to manage your own stress in a positive and conducive way.


Working with children with special needs is one of the best jobs you can have. Helping people with disabilities, watching how they improve each day, how much they want to live and learn is truly fascinating. If you have these skills and you are ready to have this experience, why not start your journey now?  It will be hugely rewarding.

If you are looking for a job as a special needs nanny or are looking to hire a special needs nanny, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  You can register with us for jobs here, and you can contact us to find a nanny here.