Night Lights is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in the Denver Metro area that provides respite care for families with children with special needs and their neuro-typical siblings in Arvada, Broomfield, and Littleton. Caring for oneself enables a parent to provide better care to the children who depend on them. Night Lights provides time away so that parents can refuel and nurture an overall sense of well-being.

Night Lights provides a much needed (and deserved) break for parents while providing a fun and safe social environment for their children who have special needs and their neuro-typical siblings. One Friday night a month at one of our three locations, trained and background checked volunteers provide an evening of respite care and fun through pre-planned activities including arts and crafts, movie time, sensory play, and music. During a Night Lights evening, each child has their own “buddy”. This one-on-one attention ensures safety and personal attention for the entire evening! These trained volunteers are supported by a nursing staff to ensure the safety and comfort of the children.

Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) are those who “have or are at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions and also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally” (McPherson et al (1998) Pediatrics 102/1). An estimated 13.5 million children in this country, or approximately 20% of U.S. children under age 18 years of age, have a special health care need” (National Survey of Children’s Health. (2020). Developmental disabilities occur among all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 17%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have one or more developmental disabilities (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sept 2021).


McPherson M, Arango P, Fox H, Lauver C, McManus M, Newacheck P, Perrin J, Shonkoff J, and Strickland B. A new definition of children with special health care needs. Pediatrics 1998;102(1):137-140

Thank you to Night Lights Sponsors