Asha and Joe Payton have four kids. Their oldest Otis, 8, has Down syndrome. “When he was born we were advised to have more kids to help support Otis when he is older. That is why families with a child with an intellectual disability are often big families” Asha said. They had Fox a year later and when trying for a third child got twins Teddy and Pepe.
“As we are a big family it can be difficult to get away” Asha says. “To be honest, it is the cost. Once you pay for accommodation, food and activities it can be really expensive. And you want the kids to have a great time, not all having to share one muffin as we are economising.”
When the family heard about the Take a Break with Us programme they applied and were pleased to be offered a night away in Taupo. “The kids absolutely loved it! They still talk about being able to ‘eat as much as they could’ as we went to a buffet for dinner and breakfast.
They made friends with another child who was also staying at the hotel. “They made a little friendship and they hung out that evening and the next morning they met for breakfast together. It was just lovely to see them having so much fun.
“We went in the hot pools and on Saturday night we all sat in bed together and watched a movie. That was a real treat for them to watch TV in bed.”
Asha says the break was special as they had no financial worries that day so were really able to relax in it. “It is a huge thing for big families, but we didn’t have to worry about what we were going to eat that night. There wasn’t one defining moment that was special, just that we were all together and we had nothing to worry about.
The Take a Break with Us programme is supported by the Smile Club.
Thank you for your support that helps families like the Payton’s have a much needed break away and make memories as a family.
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