A new Central Indiana company will help connect families of children with autism to specialized sitters who are qualified to care for them. Indianapolis-based Synapse Sitters is officially launching during April, which is Autism Awareness Month.
Synapse Sitters is an online networking community and not a placement agency. It does not endorse or place sitters with families. Instead, it provides an innovative and secure online network for families with special needs and specialized sitters to connect.
The company was founded by Indianapolis mom Marie Maher, who has a young son with autism. Marie formerly started and operated LullabySitters.com.
“With LullabySitters.com, I ran a company devoted to helping parents find sitters,” said Maher. “It was ironic that once my son was diagnosed with autism, I couldn’t use most of the sitters on the website myself,” said Maher. “I knew that there were many other parents of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities who didn’t feel comfortable getting a sitter and going out. That’s when I knew I had to pivot my business from one market to another to help give these parents peace of mind.”
Autism and more
Synapse Sitters connects specialized sitters with families that have children on the Autism spectrum and those who have Down syndrome, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, Cerebral Palsy or other behavioral and emotional needs.
“We’ve been beta testing the site, tweaking, and are now ready to officially launch,” said Maher. “I’ve already used Synapse Sitters twice and been thrilled with the sitters I’ve found. We have about 100 sitters signed up and ready to serve new families. I expect that number to grow.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every six children in the United States has an intellectual or developmental disability.
“That’s an awful lot of parents who are struggling to take care of these special kiddos and find qualified caregivers,” said Maher. “They need to have permission for self-care. Hopefully, Synapse Sitters will help them realize they don’t need a special occasion to get a sitter. They deserve to just go to dinner, relax and have a break.”
All sitters must have their education or employment verified. While the education verification is automated, a Synapse Sitters staff member individually verifies employment to ensure that sitters have the specialization needed for this group of children.
In honor of the company launch and Autism Awareness Month, families can get their first month of membership in Synapse Sitters for free by using the discount code “April” when joining. Sitters always join for free.
Synapse Sitters is an Indianapolis-based company that connects families of children with special needs to specialized sitters. It was started by Marie Maher after her son was diagnosed with autism. Maher was a finalist at the 2017 Indiana Conference for Women pitch competition. For more information about the company, visit www.synapsesitters.com or follow it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SynapseSitters and Twitter @SynapseSitters.