Parents Night Out is designed to help parents caring for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) get a time off once in a while from their exhausting duties as caregivers to the children living with the developmental disorder.
The Sewickley Valley YMCA will be giving out free swimming lessons for children with ASD, while parents caring for them are given the privilege to use the gym free of charge. The initiative will also offer babysitting services, and parents who wish take time off can leave their children— both with or without autism— with qualified Parents Night Out staff who will be capable of handling the children while they are away.
According to Parents Night Out Senior Director for Aquatics Kelly Wagner:
“The kids can come for four hours and their parents can go out or go shopping — whatever they need to take care of at that time.”
The YMCA’s TakeFIVE program was made possible through a grant by Temple, and in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Health and Safety Department, in accordance with its health and safety mission.
The one-time grant received by the organization was used to train its staff on the proper handling of individuals with ASD, while fees being received by YMCA through the program will be used to help maintain the facilities being used by the program.
The organization hopes to raise more money to be able to expand its services. According to Wagner:
“Obviously, the more volunteers we have, the more kids we can take and keep the cost.”
Source: Larissa Dudkiewicz: Trib Total Media: Autism caregivers can get relief through YMCA programs