“I found out about Barren Heights through a listing of resources for special needs families. So few people understand our family, so we were nervous that we would be misunderstood. We had a hard week leading up to the retreat, and sometimes it just felt like we would never get there, but we hoped that it would be refreshing even though preparing was tough. We had a long drive to get there and weren’t able to arrive until after dark, and the retreat center was very difficult to find in the dark! Once we found the center, our first impression of the people was fantastic — so friendly and helpful and welcoming.
I was finally able to let go and relax when I was able to meet with the other moms and explain our family’s unique needs, I was assured that everyone would be happy to accommodate our needs with no questions asked, even if the needs were too complex to explain completely. It was such a relief to realize that the volunteers understood that the parents are the experts on their children, so people will gladly do things the way the parents ask. In everyday life, we are rarely treated like the experts on our own children.
Barren Heights is special because it was the only time in all my years of parenting when I didn’t feel that anyone was questioning/judging my parenting or presuming to know things about my children that they did not understand. My children have wonderful memories and have often said they wish to go back. Vacations are just so hard for our family that we rarely take them, so Barren Heights is one of our children’s few vacation memories.