In response to your March 10 article “Parenting: It’s difficult to get away without kids”: I understand the difficulties that many couples have in making arrangements for time away without their children.
However, I cannot help but think of the many parents of young and adult children with developmental disabilities. Parents in that category may not be able to find someone to come into their home to provide care, depending on the level of needs of their child.
There are overnight respite services for families of people with developmental disabilities through several local agencies.
Parents go through a variety of preparations to use out-of-home respite services. They can include checking that adequate medication and/or adaptive equipment is sent with their son or daughter, along with providing information about their child.
A parent of a child who struggles with challenging behavioral issues has an entirely different type of preparation, along with likely trepidation about the respite stay. Some parents of adult children with developmental disabilities have not had a vacation by themselves in years, because of their hesitation to place their son or daughter in the care of someone else.
When we think of the challenges of raising children, we should not forget parents whose care of their son or daughter may continue many years past the norm.
Respite services are a vital component of the emotional and physical health of those families who care for someone with a developmental disability.
Director of Admissions and Outreach Sunshine Residential and Support Services