Parents with special needs children in southern Colorado were given a much needed break Saturday at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs campus. A local non-profit's efforts are benefiting more than tired adults, as education students from UCCS worked the event for school credit.
Parents were able to drop off their special needs children at the Break Time event, along with their other kids so mom and dad could enjoy some free time. "Even just going somewhere in one vehicle is kind of difficult, so it's just nice to have a break," said Rebecca Freeland, a mother of five.
Her daughter Taylor, is her second oldest and has a long list of special needs. "She has autism, developmental delay and she's deaf. She has a seizure disorder and a sleep disorder. And she has some sensory issues," said Freeland. This Break Time, provided by the non-profit group, The Resource Exchange, makes sure to staff professionals trained to deal with an even longer list of special needs.
"This gives them the opportunity to bring their children to someplace that they can feel confident that they're going to be well cared for." Said Kristy Wilbanks, program director at The Resource Exchange.
With help from a $20,000 grant from the Pikes Peak United Way Wilbanks brought the 6-year-old program out of hiatus.
For Freeland, the return of Break Time means time for herself. "I will be cleaning my house and moving boxes and moving my house, but my children will be having fun," said Freeland.
While her kids worked on some crafts and colored pictures Rebecca will be recharging. "You need the mental break to be a better parent," said Freeland.
TRE is planning the Break Time events every month. Parents can bring their special needs children and their other children for a five hour period at a cost of only $5 per child.