"We are so grateful to have this incredible program in our community. As parents of a child with special needs it's very hard to prioritize time for ourselves. rEcess gives us the opportunity to reconnect as a couple and build a stronger family. We know they are very capable of attending our son's requirements and needs while making a fun experience for him. What we love the most is the fact that they extend the experience to the siblings, often left aside because of the special need brother or sister who demands most attention. It's the highlight of the month for our kids. The rEcess leaders and volunteers show us compassion and love and make us believe that the world can be more inclusive and possible for our children". -- Fabiana & Stelios
Parents of Thomas, 6 and Gabriel, 4
"The rEcess program at the Kingsway Baptist Church in Toronto has been a blessing for our family. The first time we brought our son to the program, the team thanked us for allowing him to attend the program! What a gift it was to hear that others appreciate him as much as we do. It is so evident that the team members care deeply about all of the children and we are very thankful for the spirit of community they have created for all involved. So much of our time is spent helping our child with special needs that it can be difficult to devote dedicated time to our other son. The rEcess program has given us this time to take our older son on a special date where we focus on him and him alone. This has helped nurture the relationship we have with him and brought us all closer together. Thank you to everyone at rEcess for their generosity of time, energy and endless kindness."
-- Laura Williams
Mom of Bryson, 10
"Recess has been such a special treat for our family. We have 4 girls, one with special needs, thus the possibility of a ‘night out’ or ‘night off’ is not a frequent reality for us. The local rEcess chapter has been a huge source of support for our family. They are always so enthusiastic to be hosting our tribe of girls, planning fabulous crafts, theme nights, special guests, etc. with each monthly event. All of our girls look forward to rEcess Saturdays, even our 4 year old who can be difficult with ‘drop-offs’. The volunteers are exceptional people, giving up their Saturday nights to be with our kids. They are professional and fun loving, each and every one of them. We feel beyond lucky to have this organization close to our home and available to our family. Our kids are always so well cared for and come home excited about their night out. Thank you to all of the rEcess volunteers for being such happy, energetic, generous people. I cannot thank them enough for this service they provide."
-- Heather Mom of Mollie, 10, Rowan, 8, Phoebe, 4 and Teagan, 1
"Finding rEcess has been a blessing for our family. I cannot say enough good about the program, and Deb and Shelley who organize rEcess at Kingsway Baptist Church, plus all of the volunteers who support the program each month. rEcess allows us the opportunity to drop off our son Jack, who has special needs at such an amazing place. Each month, he enters into such a warm, supportive and nurturing environment and is cared for by a volunteer who caters his needs and interests. We are so confident in the care he receives at rEcess that it is easy for us to say good-bye. He also has so much fun there, and is excited each month when we tell him where he is going. This is such important respite for our family as it allows my husband and I the opportunity to spend some quality time with our older son, and to organize an activity that is all about him. It is a really special bonding time for the three of us, and with the peace of mind that Jack is having a wonderful time too."
-- Becky Mom of 9yr old Jack, who has Global Developmental Delay and Epilepsy
"Once a month, parents from the GTA and surrounding areas get a wonderful opportunity. We are granted with 4 hours of respite care for our special needs children and their siblings. The rEcess volunteers are definitely our fairy god parents or genies in bottles. I am one of those parents who get to take advantage of this amazing program.
I have two amazing daughters. Lauren is 9.5 and Jillian is almost 8 years old. Lauren is our "typically" developing daughter while Jillian has cerebral palsy. The amazing volunteers at rEcess know how important it is for parents to get a break, siblings get their own 1:1 as well as our special needs kiddos being taken care of as well. Many people don't understand the need for parents to have time together. Since we started utilizing rEcess, my husband and I have been able to go on rare date nights which hadn't happened since our girls were born. It allows us to reconnect and spend time talking about our lives. We typically see movies or shopping for the girls, not the fun stuff but necessary and it's nice to have that time with him!
rEcess is really the only organization that recognizes our "typically" developing children have important needs like our special needs children. Many parents struggle with guilt. That we're constantly doing things with our special needs children and leaving our "typically" developed children in the background. No matter how equal things are, we will always feel the same way. Lauren gets to have her own 1:1 aid and they do whatever Lauren wants. Crafts, movies, playing in bouncy castles, etc. They realize that siblings have just as many needs as their special needs siblings. It's something that we can't overlook.
Jillian also gets her own 1:1 and they do whatever she wants. They take care of everything from changing/toileting, crafts, transitions from walker/wheelchair, and ensuring they have fun! My girls look forwrad to rEcess every month. After the last date has happened, they start asking again and again when they get to go again. That's the true testimonial for me. Knowing my girls are safe and taken care of makes a world of difference."
-- Cheryl Peters
Mother of Lauren and Jillian