Vienna, VA (PRWEB) April 17, 2014
April has been designated National Autism Awareness Month and is a time when organizations and individuals come together to shed light on the need for education, research and understanding for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). First celebrated in the 1970s by the Autism Society, National Autism Awareness Month is now recognized across the United States as a time to educate the public about autism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010 data shows that one in 68 children has been identified with ASD, compared to one in 150 children in 2000. The number is growing, and the toll on parents is, too:
During Autism Awareness Month, Jill’s House is bringing awareness to the unique challenges parents raising children with ASD face and to the critical need to bring relief to these families. The ideal support for these families has five characteristics:
1. Focus on reducing parents’ stress.
2. Aim to serve children with severe intellectual disability, particularly those whose reduced communication and behaviors make them the most challenging.
3. Put the parents back in control, allowing them the chance to reintegrate socially and in their marriages..
4. Restore parents’ sleep.
5. Relieve chronic daily stress by reducing caregiving burdens while encouraging the child’s development.
Jill’s House meets these needs through overnight respite service focused on solving the most acute problem—parent stress—with the best possible solution: Overnight respite for children with ASD and other severe intellectual disabilities. Designed to be cost-effective (families pay as little as $3 per hour for their child’s stay), Jill’s House is responsive to the individual family’s needs by tailoring each child’s service plan to the family’s requests, which helps reduce, if not eliminate, worry that the child will be cared for well.
While the children enjoy safe, fun overnight stays, the program is designed specifically to reduce the stress experienced by parents and to give them the chance to reengage socially. With long stretches of respite (most stays give parents more than 36 consecutive hours of “off duty”) parents can catch up on their sleep, focus on their marriages and typical children, and reduce the caregiving burden while their child has a joyous time making new friends and experiencing new adventures.
“Our studies show that regular respite from Jill’s House reduces stress by 73%, helps save marriages and builds community among families to reengage them socially,” said Cameron Doolittle, president and CEO of Jill’s House. “It is our belief that all agencies and organizations dedicated to supporting ASD issues must work together to ensure each population group within the growing ASD community is lifted up and supported. Jill’s House focuses on parents. When they are less stressed and well rested the child with ASD benefits, as do typical siblings, marriages, and the entire family unit. It is a critical part of the whole solution.”
ABOUT JILL’S HOUSE
Jill’s House, a full-service overnight respite center, renews families through much-needed breaks while providing a safe, fun environment for children with special needs. This innovative 42,000-square foot, 45-bed respite resort for children ages 6 to 17 with intellectual disabilities and their siblings, is located in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, providing rest to families of all faiths and backgrounds. Jill’s House also serves families in Austin, Colorado Springs and Los Angeles through local partnerships. Since 2010, Jill’s House has provided nearly 350,000 hours of rest and relief to more than 450 families. Receiving no direct state or federal funding, Jill’s House was created and is maintained through individual donations and grants. To find out more visit JillsHouse.org or follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/jillshouse and on Twitter @Jills_House.