When children are born with disabilities, parents are responsible for their care. Many children with autism, learning disabilities, physical impairments, or complex medical issues require extensive 24 hour care including medications, injections, and medical equipment. It is easy for parents and families to become burned out and depressed from providing care to their disabled children.
Respite care is a medical service that gives a break to parents who are providing care to the disabled family member all day (and sometimes all night). It is difficult for families to afford full-time nannies to administer medications and care for children with severe disabilities. Medications must be given on time, otherwise serious life threatening problems will develop. Respite care connects skilled people in the community to offer babysitting and support to parents for a much deserved break. This provides parents with some time away from their day-to-day responsibilities.
Respite care can be as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks for families. It is important for parents to reconnect with other friends, take a break, or go on vacation without their disabled child or worries that a babysitter is not qualified to give medications and monitor their child.
There are many resources in the state of Texas which include governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, churches, and private companies. Families are encouraged to talk with a social worker and apply for different services as early as possible. A partial list is noted below:
Easter Seals of Greater Houston offers respite care for families with disabilities who require around-the-clock care:
Katy Autism Support lists a variety of respite services provided my governmental agencies, private organizations, and churches:
United Health Care Children’s Foundation offers financial assistance for children and families with autism or developmental disabilities who qualify. The application process is here: http://www.uhccf.org/apply/learn-more-about-medical-grants/application-process/
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has a list of contracted organizations that offer services for families and children dealing with autism:
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is a governmental organization that offers support for respite care, individual support, and family support:
Talking about Caring Autism (TACA) is an organization that offers scholarships to families living with autism to help cover physician prescribed services and other medical treatments: