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Calls to Action

Respite Care and Autism

How to Get Some Help...So You Can Get A Break

You deserve a break!  Having a family member with autism can be a challenge.  It's easy for families to get over-stressed as they deal with their family's needs, juggle medical and therapy appointments, and manage work and other responsibilities.

Parents often sacrifice their own health and well-being to meet the care-giving needs of their children. Research has demonstrated that respite services can make a significant positive difference in the lives of families, allowing them to take a break and increase their social and emotional well-being.  It is also shown to have a positive impact on family relations (Cowen & Reed, 2002).  

This month's Community Connections is dedicated to helping you learn more about respite services, how to get it, and how to find a worker that meets your family's needs.

Expert Interview: Dr. Maureen Dunne, Director of Autism Services at Easter Seals Central California

Dr. Dunne is responsible for researching, developing, and implementing expanded autism resources throughout the organization. In this interview, Dr. Dunne answers questions about Respite Services and autism.

Click here to read the interview.

More Than A Mom: Living A Full and Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs
by Amy Baskin and Heather Fawcett


More Than A Mom is full of practical advice, strategies and reassurance.  Click here to read important excerpts from More Than a Mom's chapter on Finding the Help You Need. Amy Baskin and Heather Fawcett give workshops and keynotes based on the book for special needs groups and conferences.

For more information, go to morethanamom.net. You can also read Amy's special needs parenting blog for Today's Parent Magazine here.

When You're Ready to Interview: Important information You Want to Know about Your Respite Worker
Individuals with autism are very unique. We cannot expect any and every worker to be a match for your family. It is crucial to search until you find a respite worker who can provide you with the support you need.

Click here for 10 items you will want to discuss with potential respite works before you make a decision.

Service Providers Survey Results
Family Services wanted to hear from Service Providers about what they consider their biggest challenges when providing respite services to an individual with autism. The survey highlights important information on funding,worker recruitment and retention and other challenges providers face as they respond to family's needs.

What are some of the greatest challenges you face as respite care service providers?

Limited funding for individualized supports.........81.8%
Staff recruitment/retention.......................................43.6%
Behavioral challenges................................................40.0%
Lack of information about autism............................10.9%
Other..............................................................................10.9%

Click here to see the results of the entire survey.

Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grants
In 2007, Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grants awarded over $15,000 to respite care training at the Lansing Area Parents Respite Center. As a result of this funding, respite care providers in the area were better trained to care and work more effectively with children with ASD.

Click here to search our Resource Guide for respite care providers in your area!