Tip: RESPITE CARE OPTIONS

Some grandparents care for their grandchildren full time. Others may host grandchildren part time, for holidays, during summer months or when emergencies arise. That responsibility can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s important for caregivers to get a break from the physical and emotional stresses that can accompany caring for loved ones. Respite care is a great tool to do just that – giving the caregiver a chance to refresh, regroup and re-energize!   
 
You can find community programs and activities for your loved ones with autism that will allow you to relax, go to lunch with friends, see a movie, get a massage or take care of business for yourself. Your health is especially important when others rely on you as the primary caregiver.
 
Organizations – check with your church, synagogue or community services organizations to see if they have respite care or recommendations for people who can do child care for you.
 
School Programs – contact the school district to learn if there are after school programs sponsored for recreation
 
College Students – ask if special education, nursing or students majoring in autism studies might be seeking respite care opportunities.
 
Community Classes – check community organizations (local city Parks & Recreation Departments, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s) for after school classes, day trips or other activities that don’t require a guardian’s presence.
 
Care.comis a website that enables families to search for, qualify, vet, connect with, and ultimately select caregivers in a low-cost, reliable and easy way. 
 
The FANinfo site has a calendar of events and activities for families residing in in Orange County, CA.  Contact local autism centers, support groups and service providers to learn about classes or group opportunities your grandchild would enjoy.
 
Camps – check your local community for day camps during holidays like spring break or summer break. Check out this guide to summer camps for kids with autism.