FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Au pair Anna Mathilda Ljung, of Sweden, who works for a family in Fairfield has been selected as "Au Pair of the Year" by Au Pair in America.
A nomination letter from the family cites a host of reasons why Ljung, 19, deserves the honor.
She is described as "intelligent, kind, caring, thoughtful and calm under pressure,"
She is valued for playing games, baking and taking the children, Sydney and Joshua on fun outings, but moreover for her impact on Sydney who has cerebral palsy.
Before Ljung joined the family, they say, Sydney had been "thriving in a typical-kid environment" but she experienced changes from the time Ljung took the job offer to when she arrived with the family, according to the letter.
Among changes, Sydney had gone on "an extremely restrictive diet" and began to fall behind academically.
"It was a stressful situation and we had no idea how our new au pair would meet these new challenges," the family said.
But Ljung has been a "champion," not only for managing Sydney's diet, and coming up with fun recipes, but also working with her on academic at a better pace given her setbacks. She also helps with physical therapy goals by encouraging Sydney to use her left side more.
With Joshua, Ljung gives special attention by playing games and sports. She challenges his intellect and teaches him new things the family said.
"Mathilda is more than our Au Pair – she is a friend and a member of our family," the family wrote. "Mathilda entered a situation that could have been stressful and challenging and instead she became a resource to keep our household manageable and fun at the same time."
The United States office of Au Pair in America is in Stamford.
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