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Respite Care For Your Autistic Child: How These Services Can Help The Whole Family

by Stella Robinson

Autism, no matter where your child falls on the spectrum, can be a very challenging and frustrating disorder for your whole family. Parents get burnt out trying to care for their children with autism and still provide adequate care for their children not on the spectrum. If you are a parent of one or more children with autism spectrum disorders, you may have more than one day where you feel as though you could really use a break, but where can you turn? There are agencies that can provide respite care in your home for you and your child. Here are some of the ways in which these particular services can help.

Give Parents Time Away from the Home and Help Prevent Child Abuse

Parents who care for special needs children are often some of the same ones who experience higher amounts of stress or have a nervous breakdown. Getting out of the house and getting a much-needed break from the role of primary caregiver helps you gather your senses and your wits about you so that you are in better control. Respite care in your house means you can leave the autism respite specialist to care for your special needs child while you and/or you and the rest of your family get out of the house for a while.

Give Siblings More Time with Parents

The more severe the symptoms of autism your child has, the more time you probably donate to his or her care. That means that your other children might not get enough bonding time or play time with you when they need you just as much. In-home respite care for children with autism and their families means that you can give more of your time to your other children so that they do not feel left out or neglected, which is so important to their emotional and psychological development too.

Allow Your Child with Autism to Stay in Familiar Surroundings 

Consistency and familiarity are so important to a child with autism, which is why respite programs for in-home care for these children is so valuable. Your child can stay right where he/she feels the most comfortable and secure, and the autism respite specialist stays right by him/her the entire time. Many times, structured activities to engage your child on the spectrum are incorporated into the respite professional's visit so that your child momentarily forgets that Mom and/or Dad are not around. It is typically a very relaxing, fun and soothing time for your child, all in the comforts of your home.

Contact a local professional, such as Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, for more information.