Getting Respite Care When You Need It

Getting Respite Care When You Need It 460 307 bh360

dark haired woman holding a cup of coffee with eyes closed

Getting Respite Care When You Need It

November 11, 2019 | Blanca Garcia, M.A.

Caring for any child can be exhausting. However, parenting a child with autism or other special needs can be especially challenging. It can feel like a full-time, 24/7 job, and in many ways it is.

Kids have legitimate needs that require love, attention and care . . . but so do you.

Before you burn out or near a breaking point emotionally, physically or mentally, it’s important to explore options available that can help alleviate some of the pressure. Getting a “caregiving break” for as little as one hour per week can help reduce high levels of stress. Fortunately, there are caregiver support resources available to help. They’re called “respite” services. A respite is, literally, a break.

A break can be used for many things, be it taking care of your home; attending doctor appointments, family events, school or work; studying; or spending time with other family members. In some cases, respite care also can be used to support your child if he or she is receiving ABA-based therapy. If that’s the case, the respite professional can help teach skills that support the therapy while giving you a short break as the primary caregiver.

How to Get Respite Care Services

Securing respite services is easy. There are trained, licensed service providers that specialize in providing respite support to caregivers of children with special needs.

In California, parents can contact their local Regional Center, which is affiliated with the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Regional Centers coordinate access to state-funded respite services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism and related conditions.

If your child is assessed and diagnosed with a qualifying disability, the Regional Center will authorize respite care services. The state defines developmental disability as “intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other conditions similar to intellectual disability that require treatment similar to a person with intellectual disability.”

The state will pay for respite care services for people at any income level as long as the need for services is demonstrated. The number of hours authorized is dependent on the particular case or need, but is typically 30 hours per month. Parents also can obtain respite care services directly from a service provider and pay for them as needed.

It’s Okay to Ask for a Break

If you’re facing caregiver burnout or simply would benefit from a break to take care of family or personal needs, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Respite care is there when you need it, and helps ensure your own emotional and physical well-being so you can continue to care for your child as the primary caregiver day to day.

If you think respite services can help you and your family, you can explore the options by scheduling a complimentary 30-minute phone or in-person consultation. We’ll help you determine respite services most appropriate for you and can assist you with next steps in the process. Learn more about our respite services.

To identify and contact your local Regional Center, visit https://www.dds.ca.gov/RC/RCList.cfm.

About the Author

Blanca Garcia, M.A, has worked with the 360 Behavioral Health family of providers for over 11 years. She values meeting new people, experiencing new learning opportunities and finding ways to contribute to the special needs community.

Blanca’s previous experience in the educational and child development fields helped shaped her path into applied behavior analysis (ABA) and behavioral health. The past 15 years in the field has provided her the opportunity to work with families and professionals that are passionate about helping individuals reach their full potential – something that drives her to continue doing her best.

In her spare time Blanca enjoys baking, outings with family and friends, and trying out new Pinterest recipes.

Blanca Garcia, M.A.

Senior Director of Clinical Services
Behavior Respite in Action

respite care traditional
Traditional In-Home Respite

Traditional in-home respite is appropriate for individuals of all ages and is available in situations when the parent or primary caregiver has a need for temporary relief or assistance with caregiver responsibilities.

For more articles, visit our Stay Informed page.

Help for Families with Kids with Autism as School Resumes

September 11, 2020 | David Yim, MA and Junxiang (Mark) Hao, BA

Many parents of children with autism are struggling to manage their own work or other responsibilities while their child is attending school virtually. Various services are available, including state-funded services available through local regional centers. Communicating with the service coordinator is key to accessing services.

Read More
Social Skills Development for Kids with Autism During COVID-19

August 10, 2020 | Melina Barragan, MS, BCBA and Lilian Hernandez, MS, BCBA

Socials skills are essential to establish and maintain healthy social relationships. Kids with autism sometimes struggle with their social skills. Dealing with social distancing during COVID-19 is making social skills development more challenging. Telehealth has evolved as a new platform to help kids advance their social skills development.

Read More
Helping Kids with Autism Keep Up with Learning During Summer

June 23, 2020 | Judith S. Cohen, Psy.D., LMFT

Disruptions tied to COVID-19 likely resulted in less learning this past school year. The impact has been even greater for those with autism. Parents can take action at home over the summer to get their kids ready for the Fall. Discovering favorite learning websites and exploring resources for social skills development are just a few examples.

Read More