Caring for a child with a disability can be overwhelming. Simple tasks of daily life, like going grocery shopping or cleaning the house, can become very difficult. Respite care is temporary care for persons with disabilities that is intended to provide assistance to a family to prevent burnout and family disintegration. Respite gives families an important pause from daily routines, essential for the mental, physical and spiritual maintenance of both the caregiver and their loved ones.
Since not all families have the same needs, respite should be geared toward individual family needs including parents, siblings and sometimes even grandparents.
Recreation and leisure activities are also a critical dimension of the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. These activities help children with disabilties meet new friends and develop skills and competencies. Traditionally, respite and recreation are given low priority as an area in which support and assistance are provided.