Special needs program offers parents relief

ORLANDO, FLA. – Parents with children who have special needs have two to three times higher stress levels and financial strains than other parents. That's why one program is reaching out to lend a helping hand and give those parents a much needed break.

The Perez family now consider themselves caregivers for their two young children, a role that can be overwhelming.  But now, they are getting a break they need and deserve.

"The biggest struggle for me is not knowing what's wrong with her at
any given time," Eddie Perez said.

Eddie and Lizzette Perez are proud parents of twin girls, Mia and Mya, who were both born with Cerebral palsy. That's when the difficult challenges began for them.

"We thought it was us isolated with the world," Eddie Perez said.

Four yeas later, they took a leap of faith in their church, which introduced them to a program called Buddy Break, created by the founders of Nathaniel's Hope. Volunteers care for the children with special needs for three hours and give their parents some relief.

"Just to feel normal again to have the extra help and extra hands. That alone
is priceless," Lizzette Perez said.

A reward for the parents; and the volunteers say the children are a reward to them.

"There is a huge blessing that comes back to working with these children. They have a great time and a lot of heart they share back," said Marie Kuck, founder of the program.

There are 20 churches in Central Florida involved in the Buddy break program.