Respite: An Interval Of Rest

November 7, 2011


Raising a child with a disability has its rewards.  Parents learn to celebrate small successes and thoroughly appreciate when their child succeeds in areas where he has previously struggled.

However, there are times when raising a child with a disability is a challenge.

Not only do parents need to adjust to their child’s disability, but research clearly indicates that there are additional stresses associated with raising a child with a disability.  Some of the documented stressors are:

  • reactions to their child from other people
  • a sense of isolation
  • anger
  • the amount of appointments for medical and support services
  • challenges with learning how to deal with their childs behaviors
  • finances associated with medical and support services
  • feelings of grief
  • concerns over future caregiving
  • emotional and mental exhaustion

Families of children with disabilities are often over-stressed as they try to juggle the demands of parenting, work, and life-in-general.  Several studies have demonstrated that parents tend to get tired and depressed.  It’s not uncommon for them to sacrifice their own health and well-being to meet the care-giving needs of their child.  What’s the answer?  Respite.

Respite is defined as:  “an interval of rest.”

Respite is the temporary care of a child with a disability that allows a family to receive a break from care-giving.  Research has shown that respite care can make a significant positive difference in the lives of families with children with disabilities.  Respite care allows family members to

  • take a break
  • reconnect with spouses
  • strengthen other adult relationships
  • participate in social activities
  • to increase their social well-being
  • have a positive impact on family relations

Respite care may allow parents to have a much needed “date” with each other, it may allow parents to spend time with their typically developing children, and it may just give parents the time to make a doctor’s appointment, read a book, fellowship with other believer’s, and rejuvenate for a few hours and become better able to deal with any stresses when their child returns.

At First Baptist Orlando we have a passion for people and a passion to serve!  So, every 3rd Saturday of the month, loving volunteers from our church provide a free respite program designed to give parents of children with special needs a much needed break from their on-going responsibilities.  The program is called Buddy Break, and thanks to our compassionate volunteers it’s made a difference in the lives of dozens of families!

If you know of a family who has a child with special needs, don’t delay, give them our number today:  407 514-4295

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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4 Comments on “Respite: An Interval Of Rest”

  1. Chrisa_Hickey (@Chrisa_Hickey) Says:

    Do you offer respite services for parents of children with mental illnesses like Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia? It is SO hard for parents of kids with these conditions to find respite.


  2. SpecialNeedsMinistry Says:

    I don’t know where we’d be w/o respite. However, here in Florida it’s hard to obtain…unfortunately. One reason why I’m glad our ministry can provide it to others.



  1. Appointments and Illness | Rileys Smile - March 8, 2012

    […] to share today… A post on respite for families – it’s a lifesaver, I promise: Respite: An Interval of Rest by Special Needs Ministry. To my great relief I am not the only parent deserving of the title […]

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