Adapted Card Holders

Adapted Card Holders

Are you the caregiver for a person with little to no fine motor strength? Just because a person is not able to hold a hand of cards doesn’t mean that person should miss out on playing card games! I love these adapted card holder ideas, mostly because they are simple and truly work great! Trust me, we’ve used them at our house for everything from Old Maid and Go Fish to communication cards and medication reminders. The best part? You probably have all you need to make these work without even making a trip to the store. Images linked to...
Special Needs Swimming Tips and Gear

Special Needs Swimming Tips and Gear

Summer’s here and the living is easy  hot! Let’s be honest, there’s just nothing better than cooling off in a pool, lake, or ocean when those temperatures creep up! And for those with special needs, swimming is also a great way to get exercise in a weightless environment as well as much-needed sensory input. So let me share a few things that work for us with Chloe’s unique needs and I’ll share a few other awesome ideas I’ve seen around the internet that might work for your needs! Use a bath chair. Since we already have a bath chair for Chloe’s bathing needs, I love this idea because it didn’t mean spending any more money! Especially since I never know for sure what will and won’t work for Chloe, anything that is cheap or free is definitely preferred! We love using her bath chair at the beach or at pools because it keeps her safe when I have to use my hands for something else, but still lets her feel the water and be included in what everyone else is doing. In a pool, I put her in her bath chair in the shallow end and other kids love to come and play around her. So even though she isn’t actually swimming, she’s participating and having fun in the pool! I also give her beaded necklaces to hold in her hand and she loves to hit those on the water and make a splash. On the beach, this is also great to let her experience the waves rolling in and out. She LOVES it (as you can see below)! I’ve also...
Toys We Love

Toys We Love

I know not all special needs children will want or need the types of toys Chloe loves, but I have been excited about a couple recent finds and wanted to share! This “Mirror Chimeabout” is Chloe’s latest favorite toy! It is reflective, noisy, and easy to spin. She loves to take beads or a keychain and use them to put it in motion and/or make noise. It was pretty expensive for a toy, but for us, it is worth it! This inflatable sensory tray is another hit at our house! I put anything sensory on it and let Chloe go to town. She especially loves things that make a giant mess like water, shaving cream, and rice. The edges come up just enough to keep things from spilling too much and the material doesn’t bother Chloe’s skin. And the price! You cannot beat this price. If you’ve looked up trays like this before, you will flip over the price this is on Amazon. Worth every penny! Another recent hit is this LED animated light show fan. I got this for Chloe to have for entertainment at a recent hospital visit and I was so glad we had it! At night, I’d turn the lights off, clip this on the bed rail, turn it on, and Chloe would go wild. We’ve also used this on evening walks and in her bedroom. It is always a hit! If your child likes visual sensory input, you can’t beat this toy for the price! Chloe fell in love with a bell carousel at a physical therapy session so I ran home to find it...
Know Before You Go

Know Before You Go

I recently came across an article in Costco Connection. The name of the article (found here) was Making ‘Travel Accessible For Everyone’ with a picture of a person in a wheelchair. Since I’ve recently caught the travel bug, but worry about travelling with Chloe, this really grabbed my attention. The article talks about John Williams of wheelchairdestinations.com, his mission, and how he goes about it. I was thrilled to read that he previews tourist locations with the perspective and needs of wheelchair users in mind, then shares his findings on his website and with “Know Before You Go” videos. How cool is that! He focuses in the pacific northwest. We do have a couple trips planned in that area so I was thrilled! And it got me thinking we need more of this information for everywhere we want to go! In addition to Shannon’s awesome special needs travel tips shared here, I realized how nice it would be to truly know before we go anywhere exactly what to expect in regard to wheelchair accessibility and other features at destinations that will be good to know. For example, I didn’t find out that Disneyland has a special area just off Main Street where you can take your child to nap or change their diaper. They also sell quite a few supplies. I didn’t find out about this until the last day of our third trip there with Chloe. Boy do I wish I would have known about it sooner! There were many times a trip there to decompress and help her climb out of sensory overload would have saved the...
Life is Better With Friends

Life is Better With Friends

Keep in mind, I am not a child psychologist or social scientist. I am, however, the mother of a little girl with special needs and I care a whole lot about her being included in social situations and having genuine friends. I have encountered some positive experiences with other children reaching out and including Chloe and watching her enjoy those relationships and experiences has been a delight! Abby is a little girl in our previous neighborhood who, when riding bikes or walking past our house, liked to stop and see Chloe. During these short visits, we found out Abby was learning to read and we told her how Chloe loves us to read to her. Abby’s mom suggested Abby come read to Chloe once a week. So that’s what Abby did. Both girls loved it! We all looked forward to our weekly book readings. Abby’s mom would help her pick out different books at the library about things Chloe liked — princesses, animals, cars…. we let Abby borrow books of Chloe’s so Abby could learn to read them as well. A real friendship developed and Chloe always looked forward to her visits from Abby! Abby invited Chloe to her princess birthday party. I was so nervous for Chloe to go, thinking she might get left out or have sensory issues, but neither happened. The other girls were so sweet making sure Chloe got included getting her makeup done and nails painted. When they played with the parachute and danced, they made sure there was room for Chloe’s Cinderella “carriage.” This was one of Chloe’s favorite parties ever! At the princess party, Chloe met...