Callaway County Special Services and Easter Seals Midwest of Central Missouri want to give local parents of children with autism a night off.
The two organizations have partnered to hold a Respite Night 5:30-7 p.m. April 10 at the Adult Enrichment Center located at 911 S. Business 54 in Fulton.
"It's really an opportunity for families to get a much-needed break from providing 24-7 care to their child with special needs," said Staci Bowlen, director of Easter Seals Midwest. "Parenting is difficult anyway, but parenting a child with special needs has a whole variety of other issues."
According to a press release, the event is aimed at children ages 2-12 who currently receive autism services from Easter Seals Midwest. Registration is required - contact (573) 874-3777.
Julia Kaufmann, executive director of Callaway County Special Services, said her organization became interested in holding a Respite Night after contacting Easter Seals Midwest about staff training for autism.
With approximately one quarter of the 130 individuals in Callaway Special Services' case management system with an autism, Kaufmann said she and her staff saw a real need for such an event.
"We have, in terms of that age group, 12 to 15 families that may be attending that evening," Kaufmann said.
Bowlen said the event will include a combination of down time and more structured activities.
"We'll have music and sensory play, and parents can have a little bit of time for themselves to do anything they want to do - a chance to have time to yourself," Bowlen said. "We provide a secure, nice, safe place for the children and everybody is highly trained."