Caring for a child with a disability can be overwhelming. Simple tasks of daily life, like going grocery shopping or cleaning the house, can become very difficult. Respite care is temporary care for persons with disabilities that is intended to provide assistance to a family to prevent burnout and family disintegration. Respite gives families an important pause from daily routines, essential for the mental, physical and spiritual maintenance of both the caregiver and their loved ones.

Since not all families have the same needs, respite should be geared toward individual family needs including parents, siblings and sometimes even grandparents.

Recreation and leisure activities are also a critical dimension of the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. These activities help children with disabilities meet new friends and develop skills and competencies. Traditionally, respite and recreation are given low priority as an area in which support and assistance are provided.

“She is a tree of life for those who hold fast to her, and happy are those who support her.”

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers 3:18

Local Resources

Adolph and Rose Levis Jewish Community Center – Helene & Roy Schwedelson Special Needs Program offers respite programs for parents while their children participate in fun programs including Saturday Play at the J and Parents Night Out and Kids Night Out.

JAFCO’s (Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options) mission is to care for children with developmental disabilities in the Jewish community while working in partnership with families and the entire community. The JAFCO Children’s Ability Center supports families raising children with developmental disabilities by providing family enrichment, resources and respite care all within one state-of-the-art center.

Grandma’s Place, Inc. offers respite services 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year to parents of special needs children between the ages of 0-12. It is a safe, fun, warm and loving environment. Meals and age appropriate activities are provided by trained, nurturing staff. Every child’s stay is individualized to meet his/her needs.

Spectrum Behavioral Services, Inc.  Spectrum Behavioral Services refers Autism Spectrum Disorder assistance in South Florida. (561)491-2335

The Arc of Palm Beach County provides services, continuing education, rights advocacy, care and family support and advocates for the rights and needs of people with intellectual disabilities in Palm Beach County.

United Community Options of Broward, Palm Beach and Mid-Coast counties provide in-home, short-term, respite care to children with varying exceptionalities.

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability