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____ Wednesday April 29, 2015 ____



Date Night for Parents of Kids with Autism a Great Success

Parents of children with autism often experience increased stress and marital strain

Waterloo Region - On April 16, 2015 Autism Services Waterloo Region hosted its first “Date Night” for 9 couples of children with autism. The goal of this evening was to provide parents with a romantic evening together, while their children are being professionally supervised by staff at Extend-A-Family. We did this as we know that parents of children with autism often experience increased stress and marital strain. We also know that when parents have a time of “respite” where they can reconnect and relax knowing their children are well cared for, the result is decreased stress, increased positivity, and improved quality of their relationship and family life.

Date Night was held at The Walper Social while the children of the couples were being supervised at TheMuseum, by Extend-A-Family staff, directly across the street in order to quell any parents’ fears of leaving their children for the evening.

The evening was completely free for families and was made possible through generous donations from: Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region, Waterloo Region Family Network, Waterloo District Women’s Institute, Investors’ Group Cambridge Consultant Mike Simpson, and The Walper Social.

The aim is to expand this concept to include people across special needs and to increase the number of couples who can participate!

Feedback from the couples who enjoyed Date Night was overwhelmingly positive:

“Last night was fabulous. Everything about the dinner was amazing, the food, atmosphere etc. The flowers were such a sweet added touch…It was truly a great evening and allowed my husband and I to talk and re-connect” ~ Ashley Verbakel

“We reconnected and had a lovely conversation as two people who love each other, not just two parents catching up on the day to day events. We started to remember how we met and acknowledge how far we have come and how we are still each other's best friend. If we had to sum up the evening it would be that we are blessed to have members of the community that understand and care enough to provide an evening for couples to help them reconnect and remember that they have each other no matter the challenges life brings. We were humbled and appreciative for the evening, thank you.” ~ Roxana Miller

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