This is the beginning of our journey with respite services, so I would like to take you with us in the process while it is fresh in my mind.
I am pretty forgetful.
Respite services, in this case, are services set up for the parents of children with disabilities so that we can have time to do what we need to do and not worry about where our children are or who they are with. This is the best of my understanding of these services. I was told about respite through Lakes Regional MHMR. If you are familiar with Lakes Regional, you know these people are amazing and a truly wonderful asset to our community. When I have an issue with the school or when I need services, I call MHMR and these wonderful people never fail to find solutions. I would be where I am today with my children without them.
When you fill out paperwork through MHMR, there are a ton of papers, you will be asked if you need certain services. One of these is respite. There are several ways this can be done. The ones I opted out of, being a very protective parent, were finding your own provider and having MHMR use one from their list. If you trust someone, and you know them very well, you can request they fill out an application to be a service provider.
I received some wonderful news a few weeks ago. Navarro County now has a respite house. This is a place that is staffed for people who are approved and are able to take care of the special needs community. This was a much needed service, an I am overwhelming joyous that we now have that. This is the option I chose.
Basically, what I did was call my case manager at MHMR and request the days I need respite care. She did the work on filing papers and she sent the request. The amount of time you have for respite is limited, so choose wisely.
I received a phone call in a few days from a lady who works in the respite house, and she came by to do paperwork yesterday. This whole process has been a two week process so far. That is relatively fast. The paperwork done with her is basically just the likes and dislikes of the children and getting to know health issues and personalities.
The way it was explained to me, Matt and Sam will each have their own room. They will have activities going on the entirety of their stay. They will not be staying in the house most of the visit, activities outside the home are a huge part of the experience. Overall, it sounds perfect. It actually sounds like an experience many of the community may not even get in their normal every day life, not all kids go to movies or even play games.
I am waiting on the next step. In the mean time, I am confident my children will be in very good care, and I have no need to worry like I would if I had used a sitter, or even family.
We worry about our children, but there is a certain kind of special worry with our special needs kids. I am thankful this takes a lot of that worry away. Peace of mind is really essential in these circumstances. Now, I have it.