Hearing Firsthand from a Respite Parent

True Friends Respite programming supports individuals of all abilities with short-term stays. Recently we connected with one of our parents to learn a bit more about how they became acquainted with our Respite program. Learn more below.

Q: How were you first introduced to True Friends?

A: I was first made aware of True Friends by my daughter’s special education teacher. She spoke so highly of the programming. What I really was looking for was quality programming for my daughter once she graduated, and I just wasn’t finding it. I toured 13 programs, each more distressing than the one before. High staff/client ratios, lots of idle time, and the physical environments were depressing. It was feeling hopeless, and I was scared.

Q: What made you decide True Friends was the place for you and your loved one?

A: I was weighing options and my heart was heavy. Unexpectedly I received a call from my daughter’s waiver case manager making me aware that True Friends recently began an out of home respite program and were taking referrals. We toured Camp Eden Wood and learned about the program and I was so incredibly relieved! True Friends was the perfect fit; low staff/client ratios, a beautiful setting, personalized programming based on my daughter’s interests, opportunities for her to explore the outdoors and be integrated in the community in a meaningful way. We enthusiastically signed on and looked forward to what lay ahead.

Q: How has True Friends impacted your life?

A: Knowing my daughter looks forward to going to “camp” each morning and eagerly waits to leave home is a gift. She is afforded opportunities that no other program offered, and the approach that is consistently taken is person centered. Community resources have been integrated into her day and she is part of a community, all things I really wanted for her, and was worried may be elusive.

Q: How has True Friends impacted your loved one?

A: My daughter is very social. Prior to her beginning True Friends, her opportunities to engage with others, develop friendships, and be part of a community were very limited. I worried she had nothing to look forward to. That shifted the day she started at True Friends. She looks forward to camp days, and on the days she doesn’t go she asks me all day long when she goes next! It’s been a great fit!

Q: Do you have a favorite experience or adventure while you were attending True Friends?

A: Anytime my daughter can be outside she is happiest; trips to Como Zoo, visits to nature reserves and parks in the metro, a day at Camp Courage to see the horses, or a picnic lunch would top her favorites!

Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about True Friends?

A: My overarching message is that True Friends works hard to create meaningful programming that expands my daughter’s world and life experiences. She is engaged, happy, and being encouraged to explore new things.


Learn more about the Respite program here.

Share this story

Help provide more experiences like these

Related Articles