Annual Respite Day offers Students and Community Meaningful Way to Connect

On January 21st, 2013, Wauwatosa West High School will host a “respite day” for children with special needs. Many students involved with Key Club participate in events like this but this is an event everyone can participate in. Applications are available in the Career Center and the Main Office. Applications to participate must be filled out by Wednesday, January 16th. It is possible to come to school and participate if you change your mind.

Doors open at 8:00 am and there are a slew of activities to keep the students and visiting children of respite day busy. There games in the gym, arts and crafts, face painting, Bingo and the Tosa West Poms team will be holding demonstrations as well.

Students participate in respite day for many different reasons; some have siblings with a mental or physical disability or know someone who does. When asked why she participates senior, Colleen Seefeldt said “[It’s] a really good cause for families who have to deal with it on a daily basis; it lets the parents have a much needed break from the intense care they need to give to their child daily”.

When asked about what students who participate in Respite Day can take away from this experience Mrs. Lauenstein, director of the Career Center, said “It makes [students] feel fortunate for what you have”.

Mrs. Lauenstein also added “[Students] will walk away with the ability to handle working with kids who have special needs”.

Respite Day gives kids with special needs and their siblings attention special attention for one day. West students will learn quickly that caring for these kids is no easy task. There will be nursing staff and behavioral specialists present throughout the day to assist with any problems students may encounter.

As with years past Respite Day will turnout to be another eye-opening day for any student who volunteers and offer them a glimpse into what it is like caring for a child with special needs.