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Without Respite Care I would not have been able to participate in my other child’s life basically. I don’t know that I would have the wonderful relationship with my husband that I do, and I don’t know that I would have been able to hold down a job. We have no family in NE and the majority of the caregiving falls on me.

It isn’t normal to have an adult live with you that needs constant monitoring and attention their entire life. As much as you love your child, not being able to live a semi-normal life can break families and relationships apart. You can feel completely isolated and filled with despair. Your attitude towards your child can be frustration. It is difficult to find Respite Care but when you can, it helps give you that break to give attention to all of your family and gives you time away to appreciate your child with special needs. It allows you to have somewhat of a normal life so you don’t resent your child.

I have met families that needed Respite Care and did not know they had the ability to have it, many of these families have divorced, many of the mothers are very frazzled and feel isolated. They have a hard time socially, if they can even get away, because they are so completely stressed out and isolated and feel like they have nowhere to turn. The other children feel resentful because it is all about the special needs sibling. Respite Care helps families and especially those that don’t have the family support and gives these families time for a semi-normal life to help regroup.

Most children move out of the house when they are old enough. You could have your child go to a group home but no one takes better care of your child than your family. It has to be cheaper for the state to have Respite Care and services at home than to try to support them in a group home situation. I believe taking away Respite Care services would devastate families that now receive this. I believe many of the adult children that stay at home would have to go to group homes and that would ultimately cost the state more in services.