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Respite facility is sorely needed

I just finished reading the article in the Oct. 7 News about the proposed respite facility in the Town of Tonawanda and I am thrilled that the parents of children with special needs will have a place for their children while they obtain a well-deserved respite. To the neighbors who don’t share my enthusiasm, I offer the following: Change places with one of the families for a mere 24 hours and perhaps understanding of the need for such a facility will prevail.
Without the facility being advertised, there is a wait list of 70. Does this exemplify the need? Absolutely!
Having a 20-year-old son on the autism spectrum, yes, there is definitely a need. Most parents cannot leave their child alone for any period of time, worry constantly that they will be called to pick their child up from school due to behavior issues, hope they can take their child out in public without the child having a meltdown, hope their child survives another day on the bus ride to school, and just once, perhaps, their child sleeps through the night. It may sound like a toddler, but this is the reality of many parents with children in their teens or beyond.
To the neighbors who object to the facility, who may be reading this article while sipping their morning coffee, who had a night of uninterrupted sleep, who will run errands alone, who will dine leisurely at home or at a restaurant, I implore you to rethink your objection.
Want to really know the reality of having a child with autism? Read “Love Anthony” by Lisa Genova. Perhaps when you finish reading and crying, you’ll realize a few extra cars in your neighborhood won’t be such a burden. If only that was the most significant worry of parents with special-needs children.
Ronna Glickman
Amherst