Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Respite Care

Aahh respite care.  We are all in need of respite from time to time, especially special needs parents.  I've heard the divorce rate among special needs parents is anywhere from 90% to 97%.  This is so sad to me, but its not hard to see why. 

You are sleep deprived.  You are financially strapped because having a special needs child is expensive.  You spend a lot of your time at doctors offices, hospitals or on the phone with health insurance companies making arguments to have get things covered.  You worry about the time you spend away from work at these appointment.  You may not agree on treatments for your child or the school your child attends. You are physically and emotionally exhausted and it seems like you have no time for each other.

Then comes the issue of leaving your child with someone who may not be fully equipped to handle their needs.  Well, that is not an issue anymore.

I feel we have been lucky that we have family visit often so Dan and I can get away even if it is just to bowl a quick game or two or have a quick bite at a restaurant nearby.  Sometimes after the kids go to bed, Dan and I will chill on our patio by the pool with a beer and feel like we did get away without leaving.  This isn't exactly the norm though.  Most nights, the kids go are in bed and asleep by 8pm and we scarf down dinner and then pass out - LOL. 

The good news is that there is lots of free respite care out there, you just need to know where it look.  There are some really good organizations out there  I recommend checking out http://www.nathanielshope.org/events-programs/buddy-break/locations-and-dates/  The program is called Buddy Breaks organized by Nathaniel's Hope and is typically held in local churches.  They have locations in FL, GA, CA, KS, MD, VA, TN and MI.  We have one near our house that we haven't yet used, but I have several friends that have used it and they are very happy with the care.  They will take siblings as well, but I believe they have to be at least 4 or 5 years of age. 

By the way, if you have not heard of Nathaniel's Hope, I encourage you to explore their website.  They have a ton of useful information for parents of special needs children.

For anybody out there in GA, my mom sent me this document that has a listing of camps/respite care.  I haven't found one similar for FL yet - would love to get my hands on it!  http://www.metroeastglrs.org/glrsDOCS/2012_Summer_Recreation_Directory.pdf

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