“My wife, Allison and I have two beautiful children. Anna is eleven and Eric is eight, and both of them have autism. In our house, eight solid hours of screaming, whining and crying is not uncommon, and Eric only sleeps about six hours per day. Both Anna and Eric require medication and specialized care, so babysitters are not really an option. Instead Allison and I take turns caring for them. Sometimes I take the kids out to a movie just to let Allison have a couple hours at home to work in quiet. Since we’ve had kids, we’ve almost never socialized as a couple, and all of this has put a serious strain on our marriage. Both of us have wondered, “What do we do? How are we ever going to get a break?” After a while, life is just about working and taking care of the kids and being exhausted all of the time. You almost lose your identity.
But an email, forwarded by Allison’s brother, changed our lives. We believe we received that email through divine intervention, because without it we may have never heard about Jill’s House.
Allison clicked on a link about Jill’s House, and her interest was immediately piqued even though the facility was not yet open. A few months later we began the application process, and took a tour. We were amazed. The facility is fantastic, and the professionalism of the staff put our minds at ease.
That first weekend that Anna and Eric stayed at Jill’s House I think I checked my cell phone every five minutes, but Allison and I stayed out later than we had in years because we knew we could. Now, Anna and Eric love coming to Jill’s House so much that they often ask us, “When can we go to Jill’s House again?”
Allison and I see that at Jill’s House our children are not merely accommodated, they are genuinely loved for who they are. The staff engages with them and finds out what interests them. Anna has developed a love for swimming at Jill’s House, and Eric is breaking out of his shell too, building confidence to try to new things. Even in the day to day ,when we are exhausted and getting almost no sleep, we have something to look forward to. We are getting into a routine of respite, and we tell everyone about Jill’s House. Finally, Allison and I have a sense of peace.” –Mike Radford