Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Taking Care of the Driver

06/04/2015 | Published by: Monica Castillo

...a great adventure on the road less traveled is what life actually has in store for our little family.  We have a child with a disability, and that, folks, put us in the fast lane of a superhighway.  This is where I learned to read a map, pack everything (and I really mean everything) and take care of the driver. 

My child made me the “driver" long ago, and for that I will always be grateful.  Life seemed so complicated at the beginning of our journey but it has let us experience life from a very different view.  The diagnosis was autism and no one seemed to have a clue.  Where would we go? What would we do? We tried so hard to reach him, but he just pulled away.  We seemed to drive in circles each and every day. 

One day in conversation, the therapist suggested that I rest.  It didn't make much sense to me because there simply was no time and the more that he insisted, the more that I declined.  Who has the time to stop and rest with so much to be done?  I felt that I would miss something if I wasn't always on alert, but in truth, I was so completely overwhelmed I almost couldn’t function.   It took some time to understand what I was going through and that I needed to take a step back and have a little different view.  

What I learned from all of this is that we can all use respite - a break, a rest stop!  As we drive along in our daily lives, we deal with hardships in our families and difficult situations. Instead of letting things consume every thought of our day, we can use a little respite to help us along the way. 

Respite comes in many forms and from many sources like local faith-based organizations and volunteer groups.  Take a moment to visit the Take Time Texas website or your own community organizations to find respite services.  Perhaps a family member or a friend might be able to lend a hand and take care of your child while you spend a little quality time away from hearth and home. Don’t forget to check out the Find Services, Groups & Events page on this website for a few more respite possibilities.   

Whatever your choice, just remember to always take care of the driver.