What I Can Do

What I Can Do

“What I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people I love through the fear and the mess. That’s all any of us can do. That’s what we’re here for.” ~ Shauna...
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...
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...
3 Reasons I Don’t Mind When Young Children Point and Stare at My Child With Special Needs

3 Reasons I Don’t Mind When Young Children Point and Stare at My Child With Special Needs

I might be making several generations of special needs parents angry by saying this, but it’s true. I don’t mind when young children point and stare at my child with special needs. In fact, I like it! I’m such a rebel, I know. ‘Don’t point’ and ‘don’t stare’ are pretty basic social recommendations for people of all ages. But let me explain my deviant way of thinking by sharing two examples from the happiest place on earth…you guessed it. Disneyland! Example one. I was waiting with Chloe for the rest of our party to get off a ride that Chloe wasn’t able to go on. We were sitting on a bench and a very cute family was sitting next to us. The mom was passing out snacks and planning their next stop when one of her sons, probably 4 or 5 years old, kept looking at Chloe and/or her wheelchair. His mom noticed and told him it was not nice to stare. Then slowly but surely, he wiggled his way closer and, pointing at Chloe’s pink wheelchair, asked me, “Why is she sitting in that?” I smiled a big grin, excited to talk about how we all have differences and planned to encourage him to chat with Chloe because, well, she loves making friends! Before I got a single word out, his mom went in to panic mode. I’m sure she was thinking, ‘Oh no. He was staring, now he’s pointing and asking questions. He is breaking social protocol. What an embarrassment!’ She grabbed him and angrily told him how it is not nice to point, stare, and annoy strangers....
Very Special Halloween Costumes

Very Special Halloween Costumes

Some people go all out with their Halloween costumes. (I try to just skate by but the kids won’t let me, you know how that goes!) When you have special needs finding or making a costume is especially hard… or especially FUN! We scoured the nets and found some of the best special needs costumes EVER. Here is your special needs Halloween eye candy!   For photo cred, all photos are the owners, I just searched, found some AWESOME ideas, and had to share! Kudos to these...