I am a mom... and like most moms from time to time we have to entrust our babies, kids or teens to people we know, family or friends to care for them when we are out or have an emergency.
This for me almost never happens.
I am a mom of 3. One in college, and 2 in High School- they both have Autism.
I almost never, and I mean never leave my kids with anyone.
Unless, it is an emergency.
For times like this, which I recently had, I came up with a great idea.
What if I made a Walsh Handbook.
Sure you say, I leave instructions, notes, or routines written down for the person or persons I leave in charge of my children.
That is not what the Walsh Handbook is.
For me, I am very organized, and I have OCD... (yes, it comes in handy when it comes to tasks such as this).
When you have children with special needs, or medical conditions, the last thing you want to do is leave something important out, or leave it to chance.
And believe it or not, as detailed as my Walsh Handbook is, when I was being admitted to surgery, I realized that I left out how to get my 2 with autism ready for school the next day, I was so stressed. How could I forget to add it?... Simple, It was to be a same day surgery that turned into several days in the hospital, against my will... LOL...
Thank God, my eldest son, kind of knew what to do and after many phone calls everyday, my kids, made it to school and home intact, with everything they needed.
This is a great idea.. I made 3, one for the house, and one to travel, in case my mom needed to take it with her and one just in case, for my son Michael.
The 1st Walsh Handbook, for home.
The Second Walsh Handbook, with clear plastic cover, perfect for travel.
The 3rd one is just in a plain blue plastic mead report folder, sturdy and perfect for my eldest son.
In the Walsh Handbook I included in clear plastic sleeves the following pages:
1) Important: Need to Know Information for Monday:
Meds for each child, Specific details for routine for that day for each child, and general info for the kids.
2)In Case of Emergency:
Doctors names, addresses, phone #, directions, and type of Doctor (neuro, pedi, family)
Same for Dentists, Urgent Care, Hospitals, Pharmacies, and specific information regarding insurance co.
3)A letter giving permission and consent to my mom, my son, my sister (or whomever you choose) to authorize treatment for my kids for emergency, injury or illness. I put a start date and end date. I list kids names & DOB with health info (asthma, autism, etc).
On the bottom of the letter I included a listed of the meds each one takes and which doctors provide their care. With dosages, per day. I sign and date it and have a trusted friend witness it, as a non party.
4) Important: Need to Know Information for Tuesday (If I am not back)
More detailed meds schedule... here you can make it a rough week schedule..
5)Child 1: copy of school ID, CA ID (my kids each have one), Insurance cards.
6)Child 2: copy of school ID, CA ID (my kids each have one), Insurance cards.
7)Child 3: copy of school ID, CA ID (my kids each have one), Insurance cards.
8)Copy of My ID, and insurance cards, in case of emergency and for proof.
9)Directions to where I will be... I printed them out from Map Quest
* These are the pages I will be adding...
10)How to Bath, and ready them for bed.
11) How to pack their lunches and Backpacks
12)How to ready them (clothes, shoes, coats, etc) for school
13) Bus and pick up schedules
14)Teacher names, and classes
15) This is where I will be putting all the house info they should need.
food allergies, dietary needs, house rules, remote instructions, channel line up, wifi password, neighbor phone #s, and anything else you think your kids would tell them, but probably won't... LOL
My kids were stressed, because of their autism. Even though they know my mom, and my mom has raised us, she may not know all the specifics to my house or my kids.
I know this is extremely detailed, but like I said before, I have children with autism, and the last thing I want for them or the person caring for them is to have a meltdown or worse make a horrible mistake with meds.
It worked great. My mom felt comfortable knowing she didn't have to remember all these details. My kids felt comfortable knowing my mom had instructions that were from me.
This may not be for everyone, and not everyone will need it to be this detailed, but I really subscribe to the thought of why not make it easier for the person who is caring for your children.
This will be part of our routine from now on and since I put the pages in clear sleeves, i can change or add to the pages as needed. It may seem like an extra that you may not need, but in truth... if there was a disaster or an emergency, I know I can just grab one of these Walsh Handbooks and it will have all the important information I will need to get us through it.
After all being prepared is never a waste of effort or time.