Parents get a night out thanks to group offering respite care to families of kids with disabilities

LITTLETON, Colo -- One Friday night each month, Waterstone Community Church in Littleton turns into a one-of-a-kind night club for kids called Night Lights.

“We first heard about it through some friends who were already coming and it sounded like a great program,” parent Matt Fisher told Denver7 contributor Hanna Atkinson.

Night Lights allows parents to drop off their kids with disabilities and their typically-developing siblings for a few hours once a month so that the parents can have some time for themselves.

“Usually we do something really simple like get some shopping done and have dinner together,” added Fisher.

Doug Pardieck and his wife also bring their kids to the church regularly.

“We tend to go out to dinner, and then after dinner we'll go to a coffee shop and just slow down and hang out with my wife and catch up on things,” Pardieck said.

Night Lights is the brainchild of Kristin Steadman. Her youngest child has serious disabilities, and she was looking for respite care options.

”I did some research on what the options were for respite care here in Colorado and they are pretty poor,” she told Hanna. “So I decided to start my own respite care program to help meet some of the needs in the community.”

Every kid attending at Night Lights is teamed with a specially-trained volunteer for a night of fun and games, arts and crafts, even a movie before mom and dad pick them up.

“The first time the kids can be a little shy and I think the parents can be a little hesitant, but it doesn't take long for them to warm up,” Steadman said. “I think they're relieved to know their kids are in a place where they are accepted and they are being cared for.”

Hanna asked Matt Fisher what he and his wife would do if Night Lights did not exist.

“Cry probably,” he said. “We would do more family stuff, which I think would be great, but I think we would miss that time together.”

And while these parents say their kids have a lot of fun connecting with others, in the end it's all about having that time for mom and dad.

Night Lights offers their service to parents free of charge at locations in Littleton, Castle Rock and Parker. You can learn more about their services and how to volunteer to help out on their Night Lights.

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