Why is this film needed?
Many parent caregivers are desperate, exhausted and isolated. The demands of daily life take a heavy toll on their mental and physical health.
These quotes from parent caregivers capture what many caregivers experience every day:
"I suppose the thing that bothers me the most is missing out on holidays, birthday parties, family gatherings, even simple daily things like grocery shopping is non existent. I feel like I’m in jail some days. The isolation and constant yelling/screaming is mind boggling and I’ve had to be put on antidepressants and anxiety medication just to take care of my child."
– Kelley, parent caregiver
Severe autism is unrelenting. It has affected every single aspect of our lives: our work, our relationships, our mental and physical health, our food, how we worship, how we vacation, how we maintain our marriage, how we parent, how we relate to others, how we shop. Every single thing.
– Allie, parent caregiver
"We may put on a façade and we may seem like things are okay, but after so many years of waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it always does, it takes a toll on my heart. The tears I cry when I’m all alone because I don’t want her to think she’s a burden, those are all too real!"
– Tommi, parent caregiver
"I’m beyond exhausted. I drag myself through each day, in service to my son and the love I have for him. The relentlessness of the 24/7 submersion is tougher than anything my worn out brain can recall. It really is an endurance marathon I never trained for."
– Vicky, parent caregiver
"I cannot rest, not even for a second...I'm exhausted to the point of falling asleep while sitting up. And I'm so tired of crying. And what will crying do anyway?"
– Anonymous parent caregiver
“There is 'neurodiverse' in all its splendor and there is debilitating, self injurious, family destroying, heartbreaking HELL that quite honestly should have an entirely different name. What we families are facing with our sweet kids is an uphill battle to be heard, supported and respected. I am talking about an internal war zone in my head, heart and in my home..."
– Carolyn, parent caregiver
“The dichotomy of living and loving a child or family member with this condition is truly like living on another planet. It is completely unrelateable to those who have not experienced it..."
– Carolyn, parent caregiver
There are millions of parent caregivers in America. Their declining mental and physical health constitutes a public health crisis.
The following stats are specific to people in the U.S caring for children under 18 with disabilities:
An estimated 16.8 million people are caring for children with disabilities.
30% of caregivers say caregiving has worsened their health.
43% of parent caregivers report experiencing high stress.
26% of caregivers report their health is fair or poor (compared to 13% of the general adult population).
When parent caregivers are not supported and don’t have adequate resources, the outcome can be tragic.
These are real excerpts from devastating stories that occurred because caregivers had reached a breaking point.
Statistics with no context are easy to ignore.
A tragic story in the news might make us pause, but requires no action.
Until we put names, faces and stories with the struggles of parent caregivers, they will continue to go unseen.
We Need Your Help to Make this Documentary Happen
If you want to see this project come to life, we need your support. There are lots of ways you can help.