Jessica Andrews: Opening Up the World To Families of Children with Exceptional Needs

Jessica Andrews knows firsthand how challenging raising a child with exceptional needs can be for families. She and her developmentally disabled brother, Juan, grew up in the Tampa area. Jessica saw her single mom struggle to get a break, and when she could find respite providers, they were often ill-equipped to properly care for Juan.

Because of her family’s experience, at an early age, Jessica developed a passion for helping children and families impacted by exceptionalities. That passion fueled her to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida, then a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis, and ultimately to earning a Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification.

Jessica has worked in the field for ten years, providing ABA services to children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related disabilities. During that time, she noticed the challenges her families faced across multiple areas outside of behavioral services, such as access to knowledgeable babysitters and respite providers, as well as potty-training support.  Seeing these needs prompted Jessica to act!

Take a Break Behavioral Babysitting

Jessica founded Take a Break Behavioral Babysitting to offer families of children with exceptional needs access to exceptional babysitters and nannies. Take a Break is a full-service respite service with highly trained staff offering services such as:

• Full-time nannies
• Part-time nannies
• Hourly babysitters
• Overnight care
• After school care
• Event sitting
• Mother’s helper
• Travel/vacation services

36 Hour Potty Training Program

In addition to nanny and babysitting services, Take a Break also offers a unique 36-hour potty-training program. In her years of experience working with children with special needs, Jessica realized this is another area where children and families often struggle. Her highly effective potty training protocol is a 5 step process.

  1. An initial intake call is held with the Potty Training Specialist to discuss the benchmarks required for potty training readiness.
  2. If the child has reached the necessary benchmarks for readiness, the Potty Training Specialist creates an individualized plan tailored for the child’s specific needs.
  3. A follow-up discussion is then held to review the plan with the family and answer any questions.
  4. The Potty Training Specialist will work with the child and the family in the home for 3 consecutive 6 hour days and carryover procedures until bedtime.
  5. The family will have ongoing support from the Potty Training Specialist via phone or email for as long as needed.

Families also have the option of a remote service where they consult with the Potty Training Specialist, are provided the plan, and are supported as they independently implement.

Accessing Jessica’s Services

Although located in the Tampa Bay area, Jessica works with families across Florida and beyond to match them with professional, knowledgeable, and reliable respite care. Also, since her potty training program can be accessed remotely, this means families in any location can take advantage of this excellent service as well.

To learn more about Jessica’s services, as well as pricing, you can visit her website at www.takeabreaktampa.com, contact her via email at behavioralbabysitting@gmail.com, or reach her by phone at (813)370-0785.

To improve quality of life, to grant families peace of mind, to provide the support they didn’t think was available, to allow spouses to reconnect, to promote independence within our clients … all of this and more is why we do what we do. – Jessica Andrews, BCBA- President/Owner of Take A Break Behavioral Babysitting

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Amy Nielsen lives in Orlando, Florida. She is the proud mother of four children ranging in age from 5-33! She and her husband, Brent enjoy sports and traveling. Amy is a former teacher with nearly 20 years of experience, a freelance writer, and a special needs advocate. Her mission is to help educate and empower families of children with disabilities to focus on their child's interests and strengths.