Parenting a child is no easy feat. It involves an extraordinary amount of energy, both physical and mental to keep up with and keep ahead of our young ones. Parents of children and youth with special needs exert at least three times the energy as the average parent. The daily grind of therapies and specialists, advocating at school, coordinating referrals with necessary appointments, orchestrating appropriate childcare and transportation for all the above tends to wear parents down very, very quickly. It often leaves little to no time to work on relationships or marriages. It leaves little to no time to tend to one’s own health care and personal needs. The energy level necessary to get through each day is exponentially multiplied by the number of children with special needs in the family. If the parent is single and with little to no outside supports, the amount of energy needed to get through the day is increased even more!
One of the most common complaints heard from parents of children and youth with special needs is that they are exhausted and burned out. They have no time to re-energize themselves. They are sometimes lucky to have been able to wash their faces or brush their teeth before dashing out the house for the day! The common wish is that they could have just an hour or two to themselves without having to worry about safety, behaviors, or any other concern that keep their collective peace of mind suppressed.
There is an answer to this issue, however. It is called respite. It is the single most unknown and unused resource available to parents and caregivers! Follow this link to learn one parent’s view on respite. Then call your insurance provider to see how you can get it!