Not-for-profit helps give parents a break

April 2, 2009 Last October, Seguin Services, a not-for-profit organization, opened a home away from home for young adults with developmental disabilities so their parents can get a break. It's one of two weekend respite homes for adults in the state of Illinois.

Located in Proviso Township, Seguin Adult Respite's five-bedroom home invites 10 individuals to spend a weekend of activities.

Joe Mengoni is the vice present of residential and case management services.

"We're in operation on Friday, any time after 3 until Sunday before 7," said Mengoni.

There is an on-site staff person 24 hours as well as behavioral and medical staff available.

"We're only open I believe it's like 28 weekends out of the year at this point . What we do is rotate so that not every weekend an individual will be here, maybe someone else you know out of the 10 individuals who are signed up," Mengoni said.

For individuals, it's a chance to be independent from their families. But, for parents, it's a break from the challenges and stress of caring for a family member with a disability.

Debra Vines' 21-year-old son Jason has autism. She and her husband had never had a break from caring for their son.

"He's been coming about two months every other weekend. Well, my husband and I have some alone time for a change, and we've been married for 27 years"," said Vines.

Lydia Riley's 20-year-old son Cameron loves coming here.

"He comes as often as they'll have room for him," said Riley. "He likes to bowl, he likes to go to enchanted castle. They involve him in the community. He's not just locked away some place and put in a room."

And for mom: "It's like a breath of fresh air. I'm a single parent, Cameron does have a brother, you know, but it's just like some days when he comes here, I do nothing because I can.

"They like to have fun, they like to get away from their families too," Riley said.

There is no charge for the families. However they must be a Proviso Township resident in order to qualify for the program.

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