You’re No Burden, I Assure

You’re No Burden, I Assure

One day running errands with Chloe in her wheelchair and carrying my baby Sam, a very nice lady stopped me to chat about Chloe. She ended by saying, “thank you for carrying such heavy burdens and still being such a happy person.” I know she meant that with all the compassion and empathy in the world and I certainly wasn’t offended, but for Chloe’s sake I wanted to just shout from the rooftops that she is not a burden! These lyrics came to mind: You may need me to carry all your weight, but you’re no burden, I assure. You tide me over with a warmth I’ll not forget and I can only give you love....
Special Needs Babywearing

Special Needs Babywearing

This is something that’s relatively new to me! Bear with me, we are all going to learn a little something new here! Last summer we decided that we wanted to start doing all kinds of fun things with our kids. They are a little older, almost all of them walk where you want them to (where you want them to is the kicker) and it’s time to start making memories! There is a place in one of the canyons not very far from me called the Fairy Forrest. People paint rocks and bring them to this little area in the woods a bit off the beaten path where they create a kid of fairy community. Fun! Then I recalled what I read, something about a dried creek bed? Not so dry some parts of the season? Might require some rock jumping or wading? Errr… wheelchair friendly? Not so much. Or what about a cave adventure! There is a cave a couple hours away that we went to with some of our friends back when we were dating. Shoot, that was AGES ago! How fun to take the boys into a cave where they can kind of skip along a marked path, looking at amazing things and learning a little on the way. Yay! But stairs… like a hundred stairs down into the dark earth. Oh my… no stroller in this area. Will my boys ever do any fun adventures again? I started to look into baby wearing, specifically for large children. I was not looking for a mega back pack from some outdoor retailer. (Besides, the weight limit on...
Sibling Troubles? Helpful Tips From Parents!

Sibling Troubles? Helpful Tips From Parents!

We posted a couple weeks ago how you shouldn’t let having a chronically ill or child with special needs hold you back from having more children. Overwhelmingly people who have gone on to have more children are happy that they did and feel like it was the best decision for their family. But, it’s not easy. How do you go about making sure their siblings get as much attention as your more demanding child? It’s easy for mom and dad guilt to creep in, to think that you aren’t doing enough even though you might be. Here are some ideas from the experts, special needs parents. Take them on errands by themselves – Even short trips like the home improvement or grocery store, or even to the gas station, will provide them moments of one on one attention with a parent. It will make them feel special and listened to. Plan a date night (Or a date day!) – A few parents recommended this. Give each sibling a night a month, let them choose what to do, where to go, and have both parents go on the date. Getting away from the distraction of a high needs sibling is crucial to building a relationship – even if it’s only for a few hours a month. Late nights – Have a special night where the sibling gets to stay up a little later and spend time with mom and dad. Remember how cool it was staying up past your bedtime when you were younger? It’s great! And time spent snuggling with mom and dad make it even more special. Find them...
In Case of An Emergency

In Case of An Emergency

I worry quite a bit how my family would respond to the fire alarm going off unexpectedly. Would they freeze, would they hide? Which ones would respond appropriately? My seven-year-old has been known to cry during drills at school, he cannot process the loud noise… and he is one of my typical children! One of my friends recently scared the pants of her five children by intentionally setting off the alarms and having a drill about an hour after they had gone to bed. She said it was frightening to see that some of them just froze! I thought this was a great idea and I plan to scare the pants off my children in the same manner sometime in the next few months. But if I am worried about my typical children, what about my sweet daughter who may forever function on the level of a one-year-old? What if there is an older individual under your care? Many cities have programs where you put a sticker on the home windows of people who are impaired in some manner and might not be able to get out of the house on their own. I know my state has a registry as well. You might want to see if this is a service available to your family if this is a concern. A simple Google Search shows me that there is likely one for every state. But what about car accidents! What if you are unconscious and someone comes to help your special needs child. How will they respond, what will they do? There are a few different medical alert...
Deciding to Have More Children After Your Special Needs Child

Deciding to Have More Children After Your Special Needs Child

Deciding to have more children is something that weighs very hard on the parents of children with special needs. Can you ever have enough time, will you be able to work with them, can they reach their full potential when you are spread thin? Is it fair to even consider it? Overwhelmingly the answer for people who have continued on to have more children was that they were glad that they had more children. For many reasons. Here are a few: No matter what life brings, your special needs child will never be alone. Not only are we reassured of this as parents but the child knows that everything they do, they will have a sibling beside them to help and encourage them. My children are still young, but I have seen so many examples of protective caring siblings that I can’t wait to see how their relationships will develop. Having a special needs sibling is good for typical children. Many families talk about how their other children are far more patient, quiet and caring for others because of their experience with their special needs sibling. They are often quicker at developing that ability to think outside of their own needs. The extra stimulation is good for children with special needs. Our house is crazy, it’s noisy, there are toys everywhere, kids everywhere. Dylan is always trying to ‘catch’ the other kids, she wants to be where they are and will try as hard as she can to get there. That is motivation that a therapist cannot provide on their own! Logistics work themselves out – One mother asked...
Who’s In Charge Around Here?

Who’s In Charge Around Here?

I get it. They are sick, struggling, or can’t verbally tell you what they’re feeling…. so you let it slide. Over and over again, you let it slide, your special needs child’s behavior. I’m sure for special needs children or not, parents do this all the time, but I’d guess that with special needs children, you have a list of excuses a mile long of why you should just let it go. I sure did it and sometimes still do. It got so bad at one point, that I asked her doctor for help. He referred us, for this and other reasons, to a neuropsychologist. A multi-day evaluation resulted in this understanding: Chloe knows what is going on, is aware of our emotions, behavior, and how her emotions and behavior have an impact on our emotions and behavior. That was good news, right? Well, sort of. It meant, plain and simply, that Chloe had us wrapped around her tiny, little special needs finger. The specialist recommended we read and immediately implement the concepts taught in 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan, PhD. I’d be lying if I said I got right on that. I had a hard time believing a book could magically fix all our frustrations in how to handle Chloe. And I certainly did not like the idea of disciplining my angelic and “can do no wrong” child. However, living through a few more months of feeling completely out of control in my home and all social situations, I realized I needed to at least give it a whirl. Reading the book, for me,...