How to Prepare for Camping with a Special Child ( Summer Escapade Galore!! )

Now that school is done in two weeks and summer is almost here, what better way to relax but to go camping!

Plan and prepare what to bring so nothing is missed and everybody can enjoy and have fun.

But wait, can you bring your special child with the whole family?

Of course, he may have special needs but he has the right to enjoy and spend time with everybody.

This will be a special bonding time for everyone – to relax, unwind, breathe some fresh air and enjoy nature.

Let’s go and delve on how to prepare for camping with a special child in tow.

I promise you, it will be a summer escapade galore!

Camping with a special child is fun-preparation is the key!

Where to go

Months or weeks in advance, you need to plan where the family wants to go and reserve or book the place.

I assume you did this already. Did you book a cabin or a tent area? Or are you bringing your camper? Either way, all three are fun places to stay.

Is your site somewhere close, like half an hour ride or maybe up to 2 hours is good. But some families love to go long driving, like a 3-4 hour or more travel, which might be uncomfortable though for the kids, especially your special one.

You can actually make a long trip comfy by breaking it into shorter trips. How do you do that?

Rest in between, like after an hour or two, look for a park with a picnic table or a grocery store with some benches outside where you can rest or maybe eat your snacks or lunch.

Even a 30-45 minute rest would give everyone a space to relax and a time to stretch and fill the hungry tummy.

Then, off you go again for another ride. Make sure that you let Dad or whoever is driving know that you need to stop every after 1-2 hours of driving to recharge.

Plan your activities and meal preparation

Planning is key to success, comfort, and fun in camping.

If you are camping with your extended family or friends, like what we do all the time, for sure there maybe a minimum of 4-5 families or around 16-25 people.

For a big group like this, it will be surely fun and the most important thing is to decide how you will prepare your meals.

For our group, we usually assign which family prepares this or that meal, so we prepare and cook only once or twice for that weekend get away.

On the first day though, that is on check in day, each family brings packed lunch or dinner, so we don’t worry what to eat when we get to the site and we can focus on pitching our tents or preparing for the first night.

That said, you know what food and cooking utensils to bring when you have planned your menu for your assigned day and specific meal. For example, you don’t need to bring eggs when you are assigned to prepare dinner on a Saturday.

Swimming is an all-time favorite activity for kids including your special one.

When booking for a camp, always look if the site has a swimming pool or a suitable lake. Be sure to be with your kids at all times during these activities for safety reasons.

Outdoor games like badminton, frisbee or parlor games would be fun as well for the whole family.

Be sure to bring those rackets and shuttlecocks, frisbee flying disks and materials for parlor games like sacks, big hankies, empty bottles, etc.

What to bring

It is best to make a list of what to bring so you will not forget anything or at least you will be able to bring the most essential things that you need.

I remember in one of our tent campings, my husband forgot to bring our sleeping bags, it’s good that my brother’s family were in their camper with heating, so they let us use their sleeping bags.

Here is a list of what you will need:

1. Shelter and sleeping needs

  • Tent- make sure that what you have from years before is still usable and clean, otherwise, you have to buy again. Does it fit everybody or do you need an additional tent if everybody will not be accommodated? If you want to purchase a new one, you can buy at AMAZON by clicking here.
  • Sleeping mattress or airbed- don’t forget to bring the pump to put some air
  • Sleeping bag – it is usually cold late at night and early morning, so this is really important; suitable for one to 3 -persons depending on the number of family members; lots of choices at AMAZON.
  • Pillows
  • Extra blankets- the regular ones that you can use at daytime when you want to have a nap or just want to lie down
  • Weighted blanket- if you have one, bring it!

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2. Cooking materials

  • Stove
  • Match or a lighter
  • Propane
  • Kettle, frying pan, rice cooker – you have to know what food are you cooking so you know what to bring
  • Laddle
  • Chopping board

3. Eating utensils

  • Disposable plates, spoons and forks, glasses
  • Serving spoons
  • Napkins

4. Clean up materials including stuff for bathing and swimming

  • Towels
  • Tissue paper
  • Boxed tissue
  • Toiletries-including soap, body wash, body scrub or sponge, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunblock
  • Make-up, lipstick, deodorants
  • Diapers ( click to buy ) for small kids or even for your non-toilet trained special one

5. Food and Water ( think of your assigned meal plan so you don’t miss anything )

  • Bottled water
  • Water for cooking in a large container
  • Rice
  • Cooler with ice and hot dogs, pre-cooked food
  • Fruits
  • Snacks-cookies, chips, nuts
  • Drinks, including milk for young kids and your special one
  • Coffee or chocolate for grown-ups
  • Bread
  • Travel food in a separate bag for long trips- usually cookies, nuts, including water
  • Pre-packed lunch or dinner depending on your check-in time so you can concentrate on putting up your tent upon arrival
  • Other food- meat, fish, dried food such as beans, eggs, vegetables, spices, salt, marshmallow, etc

6. Clothes

  • Sweaters, jackets, toque, scarves, mitts- Be prepared for cold nights and on early mornings
  • Jogging pants- especially because there could be mosquitoes or ticks
  • Jammies, preferably long-sleeve tops
  • Socks
  • Shorts and light-colored or white shirts for daytime use when it’s usually hot
  • Underwears
  • Caps or hats

7. Other Essentials

  • Flashlight
  • Light for the tent and for your dining table
  • Camp chairs
  • Alcohol or disinfectant
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellant
  • Coins- some showers need coins to function
  • Hanging ropes for wet towels and clothes
  • Books and board games – reading to your special one can still continue outside or inside your
  • Camera or phone
  • House keys
  • Travel diary if you are fond of recording your experiences
  • CD’s to entertain you while traveling for long trips
  • Slippers
  • Balls, Badminton sets, freebies
  • Small toys for your special child
  • Lightweight stroller for your special kid- very important!

Related post: How to Travel with a Stroller: Ten Best Lightweight Strollers ( for Children with Special Needs ) 

What do you do during camping?

How to prepare for camping with a special child

When you have small kids and a special child with you, fun activities need to be planned so they don’t get bored.

Activities that kids enjoy are swimming, outdoor sports like biking, ball games, badminton, etc.

Hiking could also be fun if your special child can walk by himself.

Let him stroll at the start then maybe carry him later in your back if he gets tired. Then plan to go back to your tent at this point, otherwise your back will get sore carrying him for a very long walk.

As you progress with your hike, show your special child the plants, flowers, trees, or animals around you and this could be an educational experience for him as well.

Campfire and barbecuing or grilling hot dogs and marshmallows are things that they also love.

This is a special time for families and friends to bond by sharing experiences or jokes around a campfire, or sharing music by singing in a guitar accompaniment, if your family is musically-inclined.

If possible, tell your kids to limit the use of social media ( phones, laptops, DVDs, etc ) and instead encourage them to play active games and interact with family especially siblings and cousins their age.

After the camping, what?

Be sure to ask your older kids to help you out with folding the tent and keeping all the things that you need to bring home.

Make your trip back home fun by playing music and singing while traveling. If you think your special child cannot handle the noise, put on him an earphone.

You can also play games in your car, like the ” I spy ” game where you take turns in saying something that you see around, for example, a red flower, and let the other family members guess where it is.

When you are already close to where you live, you can eat out in a restaurant so you don’t have to prepare another meal at home because by then you will be very tired.

Then, putting away stuff is another hurdle to do. Try to keep all things in their proper places so when you need them again in your next camping trip, you know where to look for them.

Inspect all your stuff and clothing to make sure that you don’t have ticks with you.

Remember, that weekend with your family including your special one is a precious event.

He will always cherish those times with you. Keep memories alive through pictures and videos.

Lastly, if possible, allot a day for rest and to put all stuff in proper places before you go back to work , so productivity in your workplace is not affected.

Till next camping!

Prepare for camping with a special child

Do you and your family love camping? Do you always bring your child with special needs? Not that hard, right? Please share your experiences with us.

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About Special Needs Fathers ( Meet three awesome dads! )

Let’s talk about special needs fathers this time. 

It’s almost Father’s day and what better way to honor them than to put out this post on how they are as partners of their wives in taking care of their special kids.

We all know that there are lots of struggles in raising up kids, more so if they have special needs and these become challenges that are easier to hurdle if both parents are present for their kids.

Thus, we cannot underestimate the help that our special needs fathers do.

I don’t know if you agree that dads give more tough love than moms, and I don’t know if they are really tough even with their special kids.

Let’s all find out, shall we?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read about our full affiliate disclosure here.

Jojo and Nathan

Special needs dad with son

A very responsible family man, Jojo is a full time nurse who likes to go fishing and do some basic carpentry in his free time.

Married also to a nurse, they have 2 kids, their eldest daughter is in  medical school and the youngest is Nathan, “the most special in the family, ” according to him.

Tell us about Nathan

Nathan is now 12, he was born with Down syndrome and diagnosed with autism later between 8-9 years old but started to show signs at 4 years old .

At present, he’s still having a hard time expressing his needs.”

 When did you know that Nathan was special and how did you react?

” Actually, I was in the Philippines attending to my sister’s funeral when I learned that my son had questionable genes and that they would have to do some studies later to confirm his diagnosis, since he had the features of Down syndrome.

 It was like a double blow on my part, attending to my sister’s funeral and my son having Down syndrome, at that time in my life.

 And I was helpless because I was in the Philippines and my wife was still in the hospital since she delivered earlier than expected. I couldn’t get to the US in time for the birth of my son and I couldn’t miss my sister’s funeral. “

According to his wife, Diane, it was really difficult for him to accept at first. ” Jojo was given a parental leave for a few weeks, he just can’t function and think straight. I had to encourage and push him to get up and move on.

It took him probably 2 months to accept everything that happened to us.”

Related post: Down Syndrome with Autism-my son has both and he is a Gift from God!

Is there a special activity that you bond together as dad and son? 

” We like to watch TV and listen to music together. We also love visiting my sister and her husband who lives in the same city as us. “

How do you share with your wife in taking care of Nathan?

Down syndrome boy doing basketball with dad

” We take turns, since we’re both working 12 hours, on our days off (we alternate our work schedules, too so that there is always someone present for Nathan) and I bring Nathan to  let him attend to some activities, like soccer and basketball with the other special needs kids via special olympics.

I also like to cook and Nathan loves to eat ( and me ) so, this is one thing that my wife loves me doing for Nathan and our family.

When Nathan was younger and starting to be potty trained, I really tried hard to let him go to the bathroom on specific times of the day and before I went to work and it all paid off.

He has been fully toilet-trained since he was around seven.”

Related post: How to Potty Train a Child with Special Needs…When is the Best Time to Start?

Do you have any fears or concerns about his future?

” Yeah, since we’re getting old and we don’t know what will happen to his future.

Luckily he has a sister who loves him very much and willing to take care of him. 

Hopefully by that time he can express what he wants and his needs and will be able to do some daily basic living activities. “

Related post: Big sister, Little brother…he has Down syndrome and Autism!

Does he have any big challenges at the present and how do you handle them?


” Nathan doesn’t talk and when he doesn’t get his way he stomps upstairs and won’t come downstairs for awhile or unless someone goes to get him.

 We put a certain time limit and if he doesn’t come down, we check on him or we turn on one of his favorite shows so he will hear it and come downstairs. 

He also hurts people, especially if he’s in an unfamiliar environment and can’t communicate what he wants.

To amend that, we just talk to him in a nice way and explain that hurting people isn’t what you’re supposed to do.”

 Is there an activity that he excels?


“He doesn’t have any noticeable talent yet. He just enjoys watching TV, looking through his books, playing with his favorite stuffed toy snake, or listening to music.”

How does Nathan make you and your family happy?

Family support is vital for down syndrome kids

” We are glad when he is enjoying his shows and is dancing with the music that also occurs in the program. 

Sometimes whenever he listens to simple things that we say like,” Help us prepare the table,” and then does what we say, we are happy.

 We also enjoy when he shows that he is responsible, like he brings the laundry basket back to its proper place and when returning home from school he will take off his shoes and socks and place them by the door where they belong without any prompting from us.”

 How do you celebrate Father’s day?

” Simply, we just have a family dinner together at a restaurant. Or enjoy food with extended family. “

Down syndrome son with Dad on father's day
How did Nathan affect your views on life? 

” Sometimes, we  still question why there is such a  thing as a special kid.

 We wonder if everybody should be the same with their knowledge and growth.

 Many times we ask why do we have to take care of Nathan with things, when other kids can do them by themselves. “

Any advice to other special needs dads on how to take care of their special child?

” Just be patient with everything that they do.

Sometimes they get frustrated when they can’t do it the first time or within a certain amount of time, so just explain how to do it with simple words, try to make eye contact, and get down to their level. 

This shows that you see them as an equal and are not looking down on them (as opposed to standing) giving off a commanding vibe. 

Also when interacting with them or if you’re trying to get their attention, do it in a playful manner.

Lastly, spend as much time with them as possible. “

 Any other experiences with Nathan that you want to share?

“He loves to stay with us when it’s bedtime and is reluctant to leave our room to go to his own bed, but because of his bad habits when sleeping (wanting to occupy the whole space) we have to make him go to his room.

 Lastly, he loves the water but sometimes when we go to the beach, it’s a struggle since he doesn’t want to go home.”

Arnold and Alyanna

A hardworking dad juggling two jobs, Arnold is a caring father to three kids with Alyanna as the youngest.

As busy as he is with his jobs, he still finds time to fix their house,  ( his hobby ) and when he starts a project, he doesn’t stop until it’s done.

His latest project was making a washroom in their basement from scratch.

A self-made handy man indeed!

And a man of few words.

Tell us about Alyanna

Girl with Cornelia de Lange syndrome

” My daughter Alyanna is a sweet little 6 year old child,  with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

She just learned how to walk confidently on her own and she has been roaming around our house lately.

As long as her tummy is full and she has enough sleep, she is just full of energy and smiles. “

When did you know that Alyanna was special and how did you react?

” At birth, we were told that Alyanna might have Down syndrome, so work up was done right away, but eventually, she was diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

It was easy for me to accept her condition, after all, she is still our sweet little girl. “

Is there a special activity that you bond together as dad and daughter?

Cornelia de Lange girl with dad

” Singing and playing the guitar is our favorite bonding activity.

Alyanna really listens to me intently when I do this.

When I feed her, I also let her watch Nursery rhymes in my cellphone and she loves it.

She smiles and laughs a lot!”

How do you share with your wife in taking care of Alyanna?

” We work alternate shifts, but my mother who is visiting,  is having the bigger  part of taking care of Alyanna these days.

I’m a hands-on dad, so I have learned how to change her diapers and give her food to eat. “

Do you have any fears or concerns about her future?

” Yes, I just hope that when she is older and we are not around anymore, her siblings could help her in whatever way. 

We have been saving some money too, for her future care. “

Does Alyanna have any big challenges at the present and how do you handle them?

She is non-verbal, so communication is a big challenge, and she is still very dependent  on us for everything, so our love for her and lots of patience do the trick.

Is there an activity that Alyanna enjoys doing?

” As of now, she likes to walk around the house and listen to me while I  play the guitar.

She also loves watching Nursery rhymes in the cellphone or the television.”

How does Alyanna make you and your family happy?

Cornelia de Lange baby with family

” She is so amiable that her smile and laugh is contagious. ” 

How do you celebrate Father’s day?

” Usually I’m working on Father’s day, but my family finds time to celebrate with me, like we eat out in a restaurant. “

Was there an impact to you when Alyanna came into your life? 

” Yes, indeed I became more resilient to the challenges of life.”

Papa Erning and Pangga

My dad is caring in his unique way, which I call tough love. He is a disciplinarian, especially for my brothers, who when they were younger, would challenge him in some ways.

Dad of a Down syndrome girl

Even Pangga then had challenging times when Papa would reprimand her for taking too long in the shower and wasted lots of water.

Papa has mellowed over the years, but his grandchildren would still get his “tough discipline,” from time to time when they would sneak those ice candies from the fridge that were for sale.

Oh well, I guess Papa’s tough love has made us learn how to discipline our very own kids.

 When did you learn that Pangga was special and how did you react? 


” When we learned later that Pangga was special, we took extra care of her, especially giving her breastmilk from her mom and some milk supplement, too.

It was easy to accept that she is a gift from God and a lucky charm for our family.”

 Share with us Pangga’s  growth and development.

I don’t exactly remember at what age Pangga learned how to walk and talk, but I’m sure it was later than her other siblings. 

When she was big enough, my wife’s aunt took care of Pangga because there were 4 other younger siblings  after her. 

Every afternoon, they would go to church, so Pangga learned how to sing the prayer ” Our Father,” in the Filipino version.

 Eventually, she learned how to talk and would answer simple questions. 

She loved to sing, she had a good voice, thus singing became constant for her. “

How did you share with your wife in taking care of Pangga?

 I would help the best that I could, like prepare her bed, food, and give her medicine when she was sick.

 We are a big family, and although there were nannies to help, I was always there to support my wife in whatever way I can. “

Do you remember any struggles or big challenges as she was growing up?

” Nothing serious when Pangga was growing up, but just before her demise, she got sick with slight fever and wouldn’t eat for about a week until the local doctor treated her for a urinary tract infection.

 Later she was brought to hospital because she stopped peeing. Her tummy was observed to be swollen after a day and was advised to be brought  to a tertiary hospital in the city where the doctors found a serious abdominal infection due to ruptured appendicitis and pneumonia.

Her sisters brought her to the city, and we stayed behind in the province because my wife and I are already quite frail for our age to travel.”

Did you hope that Pangga would grow old?

Pangga had Down syndrome

” From early on, we knew that people like Pangga don’t really grow old, more like they pass away in their 20’s, so we feel that we were  lucky to be with her until she was  46 years old.

Though we were unprepared of her death, somehow, we were comforted that she is now in heaven without those pains and suffering, and looks upon us from up there.

We know that she is now an angel looking after us.”

How did Pangga make you and your family happy?

” Being special, we always believed that she was the lucky charm in our family. 

Her innocence and her no nonsense humor made us happy. 

Just listening to her songs with some funny lyrics made our day. “

Related post: Luxury on Mother’s day…our Special needs moms deserve it

What do you miss most about Pangga?

” Pangga’s presence in our family is missed so much since she was considered the lucky gem and our home felt so empty without her, especially for the first few months after she passed away.

 It has been almost five years that she’s gone and we have accepted it and used to not seeing her around anymore, although her memories will always stay with us.

Of course, when we see people like her, we do really miss her!

She was the first ever member who has gone ahead,  in our family of twelve.

 Our home used to be somewhat busy with her presence because she was considered the youngest, and mentally she was like 5-6 years old only, thus we have to remind her always about lots of stuff like, to wash her hands before and after eating, after using the toilet and to take a bath and limit her time in the bathroom.

You know if you have kids around the house, it always feels busy and chaotic.

We also miss her singing that even in the middle of the night, she would sing when she couldn’t sleep.”


Down syndrome girl is considered the youngest in the family

How do you celebrate Father’s day?

” If we have enough budget, we prepare food for family and extended family.

Usually our kids from abroad call us on this special day and sometimes they give me money to spend for some celebration.

Just knowing that my children are all successful in their careers and married life, with the exception of my other special child ( he is now 56 but mentally, like 7-8 only ), my wife and I are happy that we have raised responsible kids who always see to it that our medical needs are met and are always willing to help us out in whatever way.

For me, I don’t need big celebrations for Father’s day, my children’s greetings and well wishes are all that matters.”

 

There you go, three special needs fathers and their experiences in raising their special kids.

Their support and help to their wives cannot be ignored, always appreciated.

To my brothers-in-law, Jojo and Arnold, and my dad, Papa Erning, thank you for all that you did and are still doing for Nathan, Alyanna, Pangga and Batch.

To my other brother-in-law, Aries, whom I failed to interview, your care and love for Mark is much appreciated, as well.

Related post: A Mother’s Unconditional Love.. It is for Real

It’s really challenging raising our kids, more so if they have special needs,  but of course they  give our families pure joy and bliss with their innocence.

Happy Father’s day to all our special needs dads out there!

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Hey, special needs dads, what is your best bonding activity with your special kid? Please share with us.

 

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Down Syndrome with Autism-my son has both and he is a Gift from God!

I have written a post on Mother’s day about five awesome special needs moms and Diane was one of them.

She described her life with Nathan a little bit in that article and today, you will learn more about their story. Their extraordinary life of Down syndrome with Autism.

Related post : Luxury on Mother’s day…our special needs moms deserve it 

Me and Diane

Let me bring you first to the time when we were younger. Diane is my sister and we have 4 years in between us, so basically we have plenty of times growing up together.

We went to the same schools from elementary, to high school, until university. As little girls, our mom would sew us the same clothes, like we were twins. I think she would wear hand-me-downs from me as well.

When she graduated from the elementary, I graduated from high school.

Because I did another four years in medical school, we shared the same dormitory when she enrolled in Nursing. Would you believe, she was more determined in reviewing her lessons than me, she would stay up later at night than me.

But of course, even if I slept early, I would wake up in the middle of the night or early the next morning to catch up on my review. I guess we just have different ways of studying.

She got married earlier than me and went abroad earlier as well, so later on, we just saw each other a few times every few years but of course, the bond will be always there as sisters.

Okay, off to their story, the real story of this blog.

I’ll be repeating some questions from the previous post but this is just so you will understand more if you were not able to read the other post.

Tell us about yourself and your family.

Down syndrome child with family

” My name is Diane, a post-op surgical nurse, married to an OR nurse, with two kids.

I was 42 when I had Nathan, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth and autism at around 8-9 years old, although he already showed early signs like losing his words at around 4. 

Joanne, my eldest is now 24 and Nathan is almost 13. “

Related post: Big sister, little brother- he has Down syndrome and autism

Did you know that Nathan had Down syndrome when you were pregnant?

” I didn’t believe right away even though it was 25 % + in my blood work because two of my friends were 25% + and gave birth to healthy babies .

Also, series of ultrasound didn’t show any sign of Down syndrome .

My specialist wanted to do amniocentesis, but I declined.

Of course, he was not happy of my decision, but he can’t do anything if it’ll show that my baby has Down syndrome.

I’ll just be in pain and there’s a possibility of losing the baby. He was slightly annoyed because he can’t convince me.

I told the doctor that whether my baby comes out with congenital defects or Down syndrome, we would still accept and love him.

And that’s why I chose his name to be Nathaniel because it means gift from God, according to the book of baby names.”

How did you react when you learned that he had Down syndrome at birth?

” When Nathan was born, they told me right away in the delivery table that they will test him for trisomy 21 because of the typical upward slant of his eyes and the straight line on his left hand.

I gave my permission, but I was in denial because even though I have a sister with Down syndrome, I heard from old folks that the possibility of having another Down syndrome in the family will come in the next generation.

I was told that day that the result was positive!

My pleasant day turned into silence of worries.

I was alone in my room.

Our eleven year old daughter was in school.

My husband was not yet back from the Philippines. Two weeks prior to my expected delivery, his sister died suddenly and I let him go to pay his last respect.

And we moved temporarily to my sister- in-law while he was away just in case I needed help anytime.

I made an overseas call the next morning to let my husband know that I gave birth already. I also told him that our son was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Another moment of silence on the other end and he flew back right away after his sister was laid to rest. ”

Was your pregnancy with Nathan the same as your first?

My pregnancy was wonderful. I felt so good and energized after 11 years of trying. Was it because he was a boy?

On my girl who was my first one, I had these horrible feelings all day long for 7 months. I just couldn’t understand what’s going on with my body!

That’s why it took me 5 years to forget my first pregnancy.

I even had postpartum blues – I would suddenly burst out crying loud without any reason when it was only me and my baby at home.”

After diagnosis at birth what happened next?

” There were a lot of struggles from the beginning of Nathan’s life in the outside world.

My mind started to get pre-occupied with things that needed to be attended to everyday.

For a few days, we had to go back to the hospital for more tests that I don’t remember exactly now.

I knew we made appointments to his new pediatrician, cardiologist, urologist, endocrinologist, and geneticist.

Those were quite overwhelming!

There were back and forth appointments almost every week to see his different specialists.

Then we were referred to government agencies who evaluated him in their offices and we were also interviewed at home by their own coordinators.

Physical therapy started when he was 3 months old followed by Occupational therapy, then Speech therapy when he was a little bit older.

They would come to our house 1-2 x per week and that would depend on their evaluation and assessment.

We were just so thankful that we all have those supports. “

How was Nathan’s early development?

Down syndrome child starts school

” At three years old, Nate was placed in the school system so he can socialize.

But before that, I was advised to put him on a daycare.

I found a nearby daycare that I like, but one day during pick up time he was eating his chicken nuggets and he got choked.

We had to do Heimlich maneuver till it got dislodged.

His first 2 yrs in prekindergarten was very exciting. Nathan enjoyed his class.

He knew about more or less 100 words at this time.

He liked to say “hi” to everyone, he was the greeter of the class. “

You said Nathan was diagnosed with autism at 8-9 years old. Can you elaborate on this?

” When he was four,  he had flu shot for the first time per his doctor’s advice and encouragement because I was very hesitant for him to have it.

He got sick for about a week with slight fever after the needle.

And we noticed that he stopped talking.

He couldn’t even identify the pictures in the flash cards.

I was so angry with the doctor !

I called the clinic to inform them about the reactions that I noticed in him.

It took about a year before Nathan got 25 words back from the flash cards, even if he was on speech therapy in school.

Since then until now, Nathan doesn’t get flu shots anymore.

( As a Pediatrician, I always convince my sister that this is not due to the vaccine, but only coincidence that Nathan started showing signs of autism during the time of the vaccines. )

At his annual checkup when he was 6 years old, we were told that he’s due again for booster vaccinations.

Again, I was worried that Nathan will react to these 4 vaccines that they will give him. The doctor gave me assurance that they are different vaccines this time and there’s no evidence that these vaccines can cause autism.

Nathan had overt signs of autism at this time- he liked to isolate himself, loved to wiggle his socks on the air after he removed them, circled our living room, and enjoyed rocking for hours in our recliner/ rocking chair.

We moved the chair to our garage & he would still visit and rock himself there even without light.

Rocks back and forth as sign of autism

The doctor further said that the person who made the article about autism as caused by vaccination was already in prison for giving a false statement to the public.

I was convinced of course, knowing it’ll protect my son for any future ailments.

And once again, he got sick for about a week and the more that he didn’t talk .

His behavior got worse as well.

He would always pull our hair, couldn’t follow simple instructions, pinched us all the time, including his teachers and other kids in school.

Another therapy was added, it’s behavior therapy this time and he was about 7 years old then, and done with physical therapy at 6 years old.

Thank God, Nathan got better gradually and he also got bladder trained around 7 years old.

It took awhile for him to be officially diagnosed with autism because our insurance stopped paying fully when he was more than three and it was so expensive to see a developmental pediatrician and other therapists.

So I have to look for a doctor who did not charge very much because we were spending from our own pockets. “

What are your fears for his future and how are you preparing for this?

” That’s always in my mind because he’s my son . Sometimes I worry because he’s not that independent and he has only one sister who could help him in the future.

So, we already signed some papers in the government agency that Nathan can live outside his family if he chooses to be independent someday.

This is part of government benefit here in our place and we are thankful that they will help in taking care of him.”

How is Nathan at present?

” He has only around ten words that he says constantly and he’s basically non-verbal but he can express himself in his own way.

He goes to a Special Education program everyday for 6 hours and he loves it!
Nathan loves going to school

He wakes up in the morning without struggle, eats his breakfast, brushes his teeth and off he goes.

He usually takes a bath before bedtime.

Nathan loves to eat anything especially chicken or any meat for that matter.

He scoops the meat first on the table and eats the veggies later. If he is alone in the table, he will grab all the meat!

He doesn’t like whole fruits though, so I blenderize them, 3-4 kinds at a time, all fruits, no sugar or milk, so I always put in banana to sweeten the taste.

Nathan still does behavior therapy at school for 15 hours per week.

And he has improved a lot!

He does not isolate himself anymore in the corner, no more shaking of his socks in the air, no more biting, pulls our hair less frequently, and less circling and rocking.

Nate does seasonal sports in school like basketball, as well as weekly music and dance therapy.

Outside of school, he loves to swing at the park and swim. “

Do you have some advises to moms out there on how to take care of their special child?

” Be a friend to your special child, explain everything that you do so they can follow whatever you are teaching them, they will learn eventually though slow, of course.

By repeating things, they will be able to recall in due time.

Praise all the time, they usually like the positive and happy approach.

I tickle Nathan when he does not follow quickly whatever I tell him.

Don’t hurt them, just be patient and calm, with a happy tone plus explanation then they will eventually follow.

Teach them how to be responsible, like let them bring their own clothes or socks from the closet when they need to change.

Or let them bring light grocery items from the car to the house and their backpack to the car when going to school and when getting inside your home from school.

Most of all, give them lots of hugs and kisses, that way they will feel your love and care. “

Down syndrome and autism- my son has both and he is a gift from God

What has been your biggest challenge in raising your special child? Please share your story with us.

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How to Travel with Family including your Special Child ( with Less Stress )

Have you tried going somewhere with your whole family including your special child?

I sure did, with my son who was only three years old then. He is not special but being very young of course has its own challenges and it was our first international travel as a family.

Later in 2016, we traveled again across the globe, this time with my sister who had 3 young kids and one of them is special plus my son who was already eleven that time, but still a kid especially if he is with his young cousins.

During that trip, we had a problem with our checked-in luggage at the lay over airport where we stayed for about 8 hours overnight. Our spouses were not with us and we had to check out our big boxes and travel bags and check in them again early the next morning for our next flight.

We had to contact a friend from that place which took awhile because they were out to someplace, but of course, they helped us and took our luggage to their place and brought them to the airport again the following morning.

Because we knew that we were staying overnight at that place and because we had kids along, I booked for a hotel close to the airport so we could comfortably sleep and maybe let the kids go for a swim at their pool before bedtime.

Lo and behold because of that problem with our luggage, we were able to stay in our hotel for only about 3 hours and it was already midnight when we checked in. Of course, the kids were so disappointed and my sister and I and were so tired already that we just hit the bed and slept for the remaining 3 hours.

From that experience, we learned valuable lessons, therefore I have some suggestions on how to travel with  family including your special child with less stress.

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read the full affiliate disclosure. 

1. Plan ahead of time

Plan ahead of time to make travel less stressful

  • One year to six months before travel, look for the place where you want to go. Research where you can stay and find out what amenities they have so you can plan on the activities that you can do to enjoy. Remember you are traveling to have fun or to visit family and friends.
  • Ask time off from work before buying tickets. Be sure that your supervisor allows you to have this vacation or if you are self-employed, plan so your work is free during that time or you have accomplished what needs to be done so you don’t have to think of work when you are on vacay.
  • Ask permission from the school and teachers of your child if your vacay falls on schooldays; tell them the date, how long is the absence from class and if they have exams to give before the trip or homework that they can let your child bring so he will not miss a lot.
  • Buy your two-way plane tickets 4-6 months in advance so they are paid off when it’s time for you to leave. You can also buy tickets that are lower in price when you book in advance. Again be sure that when you buy, you are sure of the date because re-booking will cause you to lose more money.
  • If you have 1 or more layovers, be sure to look into connecting flights with less than 4 hours layover, otherwise, you will have to check out your luggage and check in again at the next flight. That’s what happened to us. A hard lesson learned! To be sure, when you check in at your local airport, ask if your checked in luggage are to be picked up in your final destination.

2. Make a checklist

Checklist on how to travel with less stress

  • What to do before the trip– check if the passports are updated or if about to expire, apply for a renewal if needed, ask permission from work and school, buy plane or train tickets in advance and book accommodations.
  • What to prepare– your luggage need to be ready at least a month to two weeks before the trip to minimize forgetting things. Do you need to buy new luggage in case the ones that you have are old and outdated?
  • What to buy for the trip- Do you need to buy gifts for families or friends that you will visit in this trip? Make a checklist of the people or the families that you need to give to. Or do you need to buy new clothes, swimwear, toiletries, etc?
  • What to bring for the trip- clothes, toiletries, gifts for friends and families if meeting them, swimming attire, lightweight stroller for young or special kids. This is very important, so everything that you need will be in your luggage.
  • Where to go – visit museums, go to theme parks, like Disney parks, go to resorts. Encourage the older kids to research where they want to go including the addresses, trip plans, tickets, etc. If you can book in advance those tickets, it’s really encouraged so you won’t miss those shows that you want to watch.
  • Final checklist a few days before the trip-things or essentials that need to be put to your luggage or personal bag at the last minute, so you won’t forget, like passports, tickets, toiletries, cellphones, etc.

3. Bring stuff to make the plane ride fun and easy

Favorite toy on a plane ride

  • Head pillows are really helpful so you can sleep well during travel especially if you are having a long trip.
  • Snacks- Kids get hungry easily so bring food so they won’t get so fuzzy. Grab easy to swallow food such as yogurt or bananas for those who have chewing or swallowing issues.
  • Milk for the younger kids, especially if they are still bottle feeding or even in sippy cups and still dependent on milk for their daily sustenance.
  • Books and art materials like coloring books- to keep your kids busy so they won’t get bored.
  • Sweater and socks– needed if the temperature might become too cold
  • Favorite toy– a sensory toy would help your special child feel relaxed throughout the trip
  • Weighted blanket, if your special child has one, or plan to buy to help your child’s meltdowns or to just make him relax most of the time.

4. Don’t forget the lightweight stroller

The lightweight stroller

  • If you have young kids or your special kid is younger and gets easily tired with long walks or is still unable to walk, a lightweight stroller is a must for those long walks in the airport and in the parks or shopping malls.
  • Some strollers even have pockets or trays where you can put your stuff  and the baby’s bag so it’s really a must!

5. Expect some tantrums or meltdowns and be ready

  • Bring your patience and lots of love during this trip.
  • Kids are kids and especially if they have special needs, tantrums and meltdowns are  part of the package. Make them as comfortable as possible and watch out for signs so you can be ready and support your child the best that you can.
  • Avoid crowds and too much noise because these can trigger attacks. Ear plugs could be of help for big noises and eye patch for bright lights. Find some place with open space, even in parks, so your child will not be overwhelmed.
  • Include rest in your activities. Do not rush to accomplish a lot in a day. This way, your special child and the whole family will enjoy more if you feel rested and with enough enthusiasm for the next adventure!

6. Pack light and early

  • It’s so hard to lift up a heavy load or bag.
  • I remember during that incident in the airport, we had lots of boxes of 50 pounds more or less and because we had no adult males in the group, my sister and I had to lift those boxes and travel bags by ourselves.
  • Just bring the essentials and if you can buy the other stuff, like toiletries or gifts in the place where you’re going, do it so your baggage are not as heavy.
  • Your back, arms and shoulders will thank you for those light load.
  • Start packing two weeks before the trip. That way, you will not forget the things that you need to bring. Even a month if you have lots to pack, like including gifts for family.
  • Make use of your checklist and cross out the things that are already in the suitcases. I usually have color coding where I place which stuff so I can always find where I put everything.
  • Early packing  is really important because if you need to buy some more necessities for the trip, there is ample time to complete them.

7. Put important stuff in the carry on or in your personal bag

How to travel in a family-important stuff in carry on

  • Keep one set of clothes for every family member including underwear and a towel in the carry on, so if there’s delay in the plane’s schedule, you are ready if you need to change in the airport or wherever you will get stucked.
  • Also, keep your jewelries and important papers or documents, cameras, cellphones, laptops, in your carry on or personal bag so they won’t get lost or stolen in the check in bags.
  • If you have a baby or your special child with a certain food or is still drinking milk, be sure to keep their milk or specific food in a personal bag. Or their favorite snacks.
  • Don’t forget your printed itinerary and plane or train or boat tickets plus your passports in your purse so they are easy to grab when checking in.
  • Your credit cards, ATM cards or cash should be safely tucked in your purse as well.

8. Instruct the older kids to be responsible

How to travel in a family-older kid to take care of younger sibling

  • If you have 2-3 kids in your group, let the older kids be responsible with the younger ones.
  • Of course, when you are walking in the airport or in a large park for example, it is easy to loose some of your kids if they wander around or you walk faster than them.
  • So, tell the older sibling or cousin to watch out for the younger kin and they need to be together at all times and follow the lead of the parent wherever they are going.

9. Backpacks for every kid

  • Keep their favorite toys and books or art materials in their backpacks so it is easy to grab them when they need them. Make it personal for them and include their phones or iPad if they have.
  • You can also put here a shirt and underwear and toiletries.
  • There will be less stress if they are responsible for their stuff. 

10. Buddy system

Buddy system while travelling for less stress

  • This is really helpful if you are a family of 4 or more, especially if there is extended family in the group.
  • Assign every young member to an older one and tell them to be together at all times and be responsible with one another.
  • Everybody is accountable with somebody so nobody will be left behind.

11. GPS tracking unit

GPS tracking system for travel

  • If traveling by land around the place, like if you have a hired car, a GPS tracking unit is really essential.
  • This way, you know where you will be going instead of worry if you will get lost or not.
  • This will also save time so you can arrive at your destination faster and not miss any schedule of events.

12. Make a picture or mental plan of what is going to happen in this trip

How to travel with a family-mental planning for less stress

  • Imagine yourselves leaving the house and think of the time that you’re supposed to arrive at the airport or train station to avoid delays or missing your schedules. Allot 2 hours allowance to be in the airport or the train station to allow enough time to check in.
  • At the airport or train station- what you will need to check in ( passports, tickets or itineraries- are they in your purse? )
  • Arriving at the airport destination or your destination place. Have you booked your transportation to your hotel or resort or are there families or friends who are picking you up? If so, do you have their phone numbers with you in case you need to call them from the airport?
  • Daily activities-list of places to visit and timetable of these activities
  • Rest days or hours should be part of your trip so your bodies have time to recover from fatigue.
  • Regular ( or almost ) sleeping hours so immunity is not compromised. You will enjoy more if you will not get sick.
  • Visit to families or friends if this is part of your trip and what to give them. Spending time with loved ones during a trip is healthy and fun.
  • Returning home– again the itinerary, plane tickets and the passports, before leaving the hotel or where you stayed, double check if you have them in your purse.

Enjoy and have fun!

Vacations are always fun and exciting but oftentimes, coupled with stress, especially if no proper planning is in place. Therefore, plan in advance so your trip will be smooth with fewer kinks.

Include your older kids when organizing the trip, so they know where to go, what to expect, how to be responsible for their younger siblings and how to behave properly.

Sometimes, they also want to decide where to go and what activities they want to do.

Make your trip fun and educational. If it’s a new place that you’re visiting, go to their museums, libraries, or tourist information areas.

If you can meet local people and learn from them about their culture, food, and lifestyle, that’s a very good way to learn new things about them.

Travel with a family-fun with less stress

Remember, you can go on vacations once or twice a year only, unless you have lots of money, so make it really worth remembering, with less stress but with more fun.

Collect memories with your families including your special child and when you look back later through your pictures or videos, your children will appreciate all the beautiful memories that you have shared.

Have a fun holiday!

How to travel with family including your special child

Have you booked for your family vacation this summer? Where do you plan to go? Share your destination with us plus the activities that you plan to do.

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Luxury on Mother’s day….our Special Needs Moms deserve it

Mother’s day is almost here.

How do you, dear moms celebrate this special day? Maybe eat out with the whole family? Or a movie date with your spouse or even with the kids as well?

The kids or the spouses usually bring flowers home, right, and of course this is a very nice gesture from your loved ones.

I remember when my son was younger, and still in elementary, he would bring something that they made at school, like a special art or a poem, and of course it would always give me a wide smile and I can’t help but give him a big hug.

Plus beautiful flowers from my spouse and daughter, that would make my day!

Here at Pangga ta Ikaw, we would like to honor five special needs moms on their big day, Mother’s day.

We know that they have done a lot and is still doing great things for their families and of course for their special child.

They are very patient and very loving and ” giving unconditional love, ” is their mantra.

Luxury on Mother’s day, our special needs moms definitely deserve this!

Read on their stories on how their special kids make their families extra joyful and blessed.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Affiliate disclosure for more information.

Emerald with Hailey

Down syndrome baby and mom

Our first mom, Emerald was 36 when she had Hailey, her daughter with Down syndrome, who is now 2 years and ten months.

She has 2 other daughters who are older than Hailey.

As an elementary school teacher, her days are always full and busy. But her family is her priority.

Related post:

Raising a child with Down syndrome-our baby is our happy pill

What is your biggest challenge in raising Hailey?

” It is how to keep her healthy because simple colds can lead to something serious.”

How do you cope with Hailey’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” I always try to be very patient and understanding of her and asks help from her older sisters, so I don’t get overwhelmed.

I appreciate all the little developments that she shows everyday. Like at her age now, she is able to express herself with simple words. “

How does Hailey make you and your family happy?

Luxury on mother's day
Hailey’s family ( Dad not in picture )

” Hailey is a very happy child; she learned the word “love” and with that she extends her hand to hug and kiss.

It makes my day and gives me comfort even on a very tiring day.”

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

”  Since my husband is away, I celebrate this day with my daughters.

We eat out in one of the simple restaurants in our town, or if it’s a weekend, we go to the beach, which Hailey might be anxious to experience at first but eventually, she enjoys it. “

How does Hailey affect your life as a mom?

” Having Hailey is one of the greatest things that happened to me and my family.

She makes our life more special with her unending expression of love..it’s like everyday is Mother’s Day.

Hailey makes me realize that though some people maybe lacking in terms of mental capacity or even physical skills but the ability to show affection can be expressed in so many ways.

Lastly, she makes me realize that we can be very happy even in small things and that’s what actually really matters. “

Here’s an awesome gift for our special needs moms. Click on the image to see the price.Mixbook for Mother's day

Diane with Nathan

Nate has Down syndrome and AutismAt 42 and after 11 years from having her first born daughter, Diane gave birth to Nathan, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome right after delivery.

It was not easy for her to accept the diagnosis but nevertheless, named his son Nathaniel, which means ” gift from  God.”

At around 2 years old, Nathan showed signs of autism and was diagnosed when he was three.

Nathan is now going 13 and although can say some very few words, basically he is non-verbal.

Diane works part time as a bedside Nurse and with her husband, takes turns in taking care of Nathan.

What is your biggest challenge in raising Nathan?

”  At around 2-3 years old, after Nathan got the very first and last flu shot, he got sick for about a week with slight fever. Then we noticed that he stopped talking.

I was really hesitant for him to get this shot but his doctor encouraged us, so I firmly believe until now that this caused him to lose all his words.

I got so upset and angry with the doctor and called the clinic right away to inform them.

Eventually he showed signs of autism, until at 6 years old, he was given another booster of vaccines, that I believed made his autism worse.

Nowadays, our greatest struggles with him is cutting his nails every week and his hair every few months. No hair dresser would like to trim his hair because he flails his arms around and kicks a lot.

He is getting stronger each day and his dad needs to hold him tight because he fights with all his might. “

How do you cope with Nathan’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” Together with my husband, who is also a Nurse, and my daughter, who loves his brother a lot, we take turns in caring for Nathan.

Related post: Big sister, little brother… he has Down syndrome and autism !

Until now, it’s still hard for me to see him not able to associate properly with kids his age.

We just take each day’s struggles as challenges that eventually and hopefully will make Nathan better especially in his speech and self-care later in his life.”

How does Nate make you and your family happy?

Nathan has Down syndrome and autism

” Although Nate is basically non-verbal, he can say a few words like stop, done, outside, go away, bye, and please. This makes us happy that at least he can express himself in his own simple way.

Nate is also a very neat and organized kid. He loves to shower every night, loves to brush his teeth morning and night time , all with assistance and no tantrums.

 He’s a little bit responsible of his personal belongings like every time he comes home from school or outside, he puts away his shoes by himself. When he takes off his clothes, he puts them in the hamper. When he is done with his snacks and drinks, he puts the dishes in the counter.

Nathan makes us smile too when he goes to the mirror and tries to act out anything, He is amused himself doing this, as well. Maybe he is an actor in the making, who knows? “

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

” I’m working on Mother’s Day, so no celebration this year, but usually, if I’m free, we eat out in a restaurant after attending mass. We’ll do that when I’m off work next week.

Ever since Nathan attended school, he brings home a Mother’s day card or a small pot of plant from school. This makes my day! “

How does Nate affect your life as a mom?

” I may have accepted my son as special, but there are lots of times that I feel sorry for him especially if I see our family friends’ kids of his age and they can already do things and here is Nathan, still unable to read and write.

There’s 5 boys of them that’s almost Nathan’s age and he can’t just socialize with them . Nathan would just sit in the sofa watching them or watching television, but he’s happy though to see them running around the house playing. “

Watch out for more insights about Diane and Nathan in another blog sometime soon. 

Gift for Mother's day
Give our special needs moms an awesome gift to store memories of a lifetime

Lee with MarkLuxury on Mother's day

At 42, Lee gave birth to her youngest and only boy, Mark, also a Down syndrome kid.

He is now 10, but is still non-verbal. Mark has 3 older sisters.

Lee is a full time government employee and juggles her time with family and work, which sometimes call her on weekends.

Related post: A mother’s unconditional love… it is for real

What is your biggest challenge in raising Mark?

” Starting Mark on solid food is really a struggle. He cannot properly swallow solid food, so we have to prepare them always in a blender.

Growing up, Mark relied mostly on milk and he had frequent diarrhea, thus he would be confined to the hospital a lot of times.

Until now, his food is still processed in a blender and being given to him by me or his dad or nanny. He still cannot feed himself.

Mark is only partially toilet-trained as well, so still needs lots of assistance. “

How do you cope with Mark’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” I  have ever since accepted Mark for what he is and although taking care of him is challenging, I have lots of support in my husband, my daughters and his nanny.

Patience, understanding, and acceptance of what he can do everyday keeps me grounded. I don’t expect anything but just appreciate what he is and what he can do.

I still believe that eventually he will be able to talk and will be able to be toilet-trained.

When? In due time. “

How does Mark make you and your family happy?

Lee and Mark with family

” Mark is easy to take care of, he is able to follow simple instructions, like taking the hand of his grandparents or us his parents or other elders to his forehead as a sign that he is asking for God’s blessings.

He has no tantrums and just loves watching TV at home.

Although he cannot express himself, his mere presence in our lives with his innocence make us realize that life can be as simple with just the basic needs and still be happy.”

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

” Usually, we prepare some food and celebrate with my family and my parents. Nothing extravagant, but just getting together as a family.

This day makes me realize how challenging it is being a mom especially since I have a special child. “

How does Mark affect your life as a mom?

” Mark is a blessing to our family. He may have made my life busier and more challenging, but at the end of the day, taking care of him is a joy and source of satisfaction.

He may be delayed in his development but because of that, I always feel that having a ” baby” ( Mark ) in our midst keep us grounded and full of simple joy. “

Mylene with Alyanna

Alyanna and mom

After 2 kids , Mylene at 38 had Alyanna, who was diagnosed later to have Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

Now 6 years old, Alyanna is still non-verbal and has just started to walk on her own.

Mylene , who is working part-time at a senior’s home, is always full with three young kids, including a special one.

What is your biggest challenge in raising Alyanna?

” Starting from Alyanna’s diagnosis, I have accepted that she has delayed physical and mental development. Having studied Nursing, it was not so hard for me to take care of her.

Until at almost 3 years old, we were advised to submit Alyanna to have open heart surgery for a hole in her heart which was noted when she was more than a year old. The doctor had to observe for a few months to see if it would close spontaneously.

We had to fly all the way to another city where the heart surgeon was. We stayed in the hospital for 5 days after surgery ( including 2 days in intensive care unit ).

My husband and I were quite stressed during that time because we did not know the outcome and thinking that she is so young , so small and so frail, we were not sure if Alyanna would recover fully and come out safe after the surgery.

Thank God we were able to get out of hospital with Alyanna  then already smiling, eating apple sauce and yoghurt, and on the road to recovery.”

How do you cope with Alyanna’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” I’m so thankful for the support of my family-my husband is hands on giving food to Alyanna and taking care of her during his off days from work. Even my daughter who is almost 10 can take care of her, as well.

Nowadays, my mother-in-law who is on vacation with us has been a big help for taking care of Alyanna, to doing household chores.

I can also count for help with my two other sisters.

So, family support does the trick for me.”

How does Alyanna make you and your family happy?

Luxury on mother's day

” Alyanna smiles a lot, she giggles, too especially when her sister tickles her.

When I arrive home from work, she lets me feel that she misses me by hugging and kissing me when I get to hold her.

Her mere presence in our lives is a blessing and we appreciate every little thing that she can do.

Lately, she enjoys walking back and forth from the sofa to the love seat. She’s like telling us, ” See I can walk now, you don’t have to hold me anymore.”

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

” It’s usually an extended family celebration, either at home or someone else’s home or at the park. It’s always a potluck thing where every family brings their specialty.

It’s all about food, stories, games, singing, and laughter.

My 2 older kids who are in the elementary and even Alyanna who is in SPED, gives me special crafts on this day and they validate my job as their special mom. “

How does Alyanna affect your life as a mom?

” With Alyanna around, life is always happy. Whose heart would not leap as she giggles and laughs when tickled or even for no reason at all?

I know she is God’s gift to us, who will always keep us grounded and humble.

Alyanna is our reality check.”

Berling with Pangga

My mom Berling, who had a small retail business, has 10 kids. Pangga, my sister with Down syndrome, is the sixth child and she had her when she was 29 years old.

Pangga had Down syndrome

Related post:

Down syndrome-signs and life expectancy

My mom married at a very young age, did you figure that out?

Having 10 kids is also something. I only have one and he is a handful.

I really appreciated my mom when I got married and had my own child.

Mama is now 80 years old, somewhat frail with health concerns and some memory problems.

Even if I wanted to interview her, she wouldn’t be able to remember details, so I’ll just relate to you some observations on how she raised Pangga with all her big family plus being a full time self-employed retailer. I also learned some facts based on her stories when she was younger.

My mom breastfed all of us and had every baby home-delivered by a traditional midwife. She would also need the assistance of that traditional midwife to take care of her babies like bathing them, until maybe two months old.

She was a really hardworking and responsible parent. She did not go to any business school, but because of determination and hard work, she was able to contribute enough for the family’s finances. My dad worked full time as a government employee with just the basic salary.

Jill of all trades

Luxury on Mother's day

In one of our family reunions, we gave her the award, ” Jill of all trades ,” ( from Jack and Jill ) because she was into several pursuits when she was raising her family.

When we were younger, she learned how to sew anything from ladies’ brassieres to girls’ dresses and hair accessories and she would sell these items in a makeshift store in local communities during special occasions in any town in the province where we lived.

She would also accept dressmaking orders from clients. Aside from having a retail store at home, I remember at one time she had two stores in different locations. She repacked household food items like sugar and spices that she sold on her store.

Growing up, we kids would reluctantly help her with these. I guess kids are always like this, lol!

My mom always had paid help in her businesses and around our home. In fact, we grew up with different nannies every few months or years, except for one who really stayed with us for a long time until she got married and even came back when her kids were grown up.

Aside from the retail stores, my mom was good at cooking any food that she sells , like snack items or dessert which were made from scratch.

She was the most persistent businesswoman I know.

We kids definitely learned how to be responsible from her because we would always be asked to assist her in all these endeavors.

So, with all her busy business life, you may ask:

How did she raise us, ten kids with 2 special ones?

Mother's day honors the light in the family-our moms!
All ten kids joyfully celebrated our parents’ Golden wedding anniversary.

Of course, as I mentioned awhile back, we always had nannies to help. My younger brother who has mental retardation stayed at home and was trained to take care of himself and to help around the house.

Pangga, on the other hand, who really developed late, physically and mentally, stayed with my mom’s aunt in another town and would come to visit us every few months, until she stayed with us in her later years leading to her death.

All of us siblings were also trained to pitch in with the household chores and in her stores, so everybody helps.

The older siblings would be baby sitters with the younger ones, as we were growing up. Since I am the oldest daughter, I was usually tasked to be like the mom when Mama was away or busy in her stores.

Generosity as a family trait

Aside from being a very responsible mom, she was also very generous with her siblings and other people around her. She and my dad , when we were still young, provided for the school expenses of one of her sisters, a trait which we copied with our own siblings down the line.

Being a big family, whose parents are medium income earners, who would have imagined that we all could successfully finish university, except for the 2 special ones?

It all started with an all out financial help for our studies, for me and my older brother, from one of my mom’s sisters who worked as a nurse abroad. I believe she got this benevolent trait from my mom, as well.

This then started the tradition in our family of sending to school our younger siblings and the next in line, until everybody graduated.

My mom was and still is a strong cohesive force in our family.

Luxury on Mother's day

Celebrating Mother’s day

We may not have celebrated Mother’s day big time when we were younger, but now that we have our own families, we realize that our ” Mama Berling,” has been a source of inspiration for all of us for being so resourceful, responsible and caring.

Since most of us now live abroad, we try our best to call her on this special day and hand out some cash gifts to make her smile.

In one of our visits about 3 years ago, I bought a personalized cake and prepared some food to celebrate with family.

A big hole in her heart

Pangga had Down syndrome

When Pangga passed away, being the first in our family to leave us, my mom got so depressed for a few months. She couldn’t sleep and eat and felt so useless.

We, the kids have come to the rescue to fill the void in her heart!

We made a schedule so that almost daily, she received a call ( most of us are based abroad ) from us kids and her grandchildren, to cheer her up and to make her feel that we are here for her and we still need her.

Of course we prayed a lot, as well.

Thank GOD she eventually recovered and now, even if she is getting frail and not as active and productive at home, she and my dad and my special brother enjoys tending a vegetable garden at a place where she feels she is useful and happy.

This is quite an expensive hobby; selling the produce from the garden is way less than the amount that they spend on fares to go back and forth and the salary that she gives to the workers, but who cares?

Mama’s garden

This is her happy place and this is what makes her wake up early in the morning, rather than sleep in and wake up at noontime to go back to sleep again after a few hours.

Keeping her busy in the garden, even just overseeing her workers, make her days feel full and productive.

Happy Mother’s day,Ma! We love you!

Mama's garden

Extraordinary supermoms

I’m sure you would all agree that as moms of special kids, they are also “special,” in their own right.

Special and extraordinary.

Taking care of normal kids is itself challenging, how much more with special kids?

Not only double or triple hard and more challenging, and if the kid has some health problems as well, it adds to the burden.

But mind you, these moms, have all what it takes to be super moms and they all deserve luxury on Mother’s day, right?

From Pangga ta Ikaw, we wish Emerald, Diane, Lee, Mylene, and Mama Berling and all the special needs moms out there a joyful, blessed ” Happy Mother’s day! “

We  truly appreciate what you do for your special kids and your whole family.

May your tribe increase!

Special needs moms

Mixbook to store memories for Mother's day gift
Make memories with a photobook. Click the image to see the price.

How do you celebrate mother’s day? As a special needs mom, do you feel extra special on this day? Share your story with us.

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How to Travel with a Stroller : Ten Best Lightweight Strollers (for Children with Special Needs)

It’s almost summer and maybe some of you have travel plans in mind already.

Our kids are growing fast and before they go on their own or have friends of their own, we as parents would like to travel with them to places that they will remember in the future.

Which kid would not like to see Mickey Mouse in Disney World? Or the Legoland? Or enjoy those fantastic roller coaster rides or those awesome animal shows in some famous theme parks ? Or the merry-go-round for the younger ones or your special kid?

For sure your child with special needs would be delighted to see awesome places and cartoon characters with their siblings and cousins.

Of course, we all know that some children with special needs have mobility issues because they develop late.

Related post: Special needs stroller: choosing the best for need and comfort

They learn how to walk and to run much later than kids their age.

But these should not stop you from letting them explore their environment, much more traveling even to places far from home, like where you ride an airplane.

So have you thought on how to travel with a stroller? 

Of course you want to go places with your special kid’s comfort in mind as much as possible.

Because he or she cannot walk long distances and gets tired easily or maybe still non-ambulatory, thus a stroller will be your best friend during your escapade.

I have looked at the ten best lightweight strollers out there for your children with special needs.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read the full affiliate disclosure here.

Here goes:

1. Bily BCS330HG Compact Easy-Fold Stroller

Billy lightweight travel stroller
  • Product Dimension: 80 x 47 x 104.1 cm
  • Item weight: 14.3 lbs
  • Maximum weight to carry: 40 kg
  • Good for newborns up to 36 months old
  • With 5 point harnesses, adjustable foot rest
  • Available in sophisticated heathered gray or funky graffiti pattern
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Multiple position seat recline and pivoting arm bar for safety and comfort
  • Ultra light-weight
  • Quick and easy one hand fold
  • More leg room for taller babies

Cons:

  • The brake pad which is in the middle of the bar gets kicked randomly and makes the stroller stop all of a sudden making the baby uncomfortable and might fall
  • It is not good for windy days
  • The wheels are small, thus, not very good for grassy areas and bumpy sidewalks
  • Cannot is small and cannot shield baby much from rain or sun
  • Toddler can topple back when lying flat because the back of the seat reaches only the baby’s shoulders, with no head support
  • No shoulder strap or luggage handle
  • No cup holder or tray

2. Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller

  • Product dimension: 31.2 x 18 x 39 inches
  • Item weight: 11.8 lbs
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 lbs
  • Comes with a three-tier, extended canopy to protect your baby from UV rays
  • 2 colors: fire red and slate
  • The seat reclines and offers 5-point safety restraint system
  • With a large storage basket for baby’s necessities
  • Comes with removable child tray to hold a cup and a juice and a parent tray with 2 drink holders
  • With one -year manufacturer warranty
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • With a peek-a-boo window to keep a watchful eye on your kid every time
  • Very lightweight, thus perfect for traveling and day trips
  • All- terrain wheels and front suspension offers a smooth ride
  • One-hand and self-standing fold which makes it convenient for travel

Cons:

  • Cannot recline completely flat.
  • Folding is not one-handed and a little tricky

3. Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller

Summer Infant 3D Lite Travel stroller
  • Product dimension: 41 x 8.75 x 10 in
  • Item weight: 15.87 lbs
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 lbs
  • With stylish aluminum frame and large seating area
  • Comes with easy to fold frame and carry strap
  • 4 position recline with 5 point safety harness
  • Anti-shock front wheels and lockable rear wheels
  • Available in 9 colors
  • Comes with extra large storage basket, rear storage pocket and parent cup holder
  • Adjustable and removable canopy with flip-out sun visor
  • Click the image or here to see the price 

Pros:

  • Easy compact fold with carry strap
  • Can recline all the way back
  • Tall enough that a 6’3 person can push it without hunching over
  • Made of lead-free aluminum material which makes it very lightweight and durable
  • With additional padding for more comfort

Cons:

  • Cannot be cleaned with abrasive cleaners, solvents and bleach
  • The canopy sun visor is too high and cannot cover the kids’ eyes
  • The handle bars are quite tall for a short parent, thus uncomfortable for long walks

4. MacLaren Mark II Stroller

MacLaren Mark II travel stroller
  • Product dimension: 78.3 x 48.3 x 105.5 cm
  • Item weight: 4.43 kgMaximum weight to carry: 24.9 kg
  • Comes in 2 colors: black and marina
  • ” The lightest full – size reclining buggy in the world “
  • With 2-position recline seat
  • Fits children from 6 months until 25 kg ( 55 lbs )
  • Four wheel suspension with replaceable wheels
  • Made of strong ultralight fabrics
  • With a removable, washable coordinating seat liner
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Features state of the art designed chassis, air craft grade aluminum hexagonal tubing for greater strength and durability
  • With lifetime warranty- must register stroller with MacLaren within 60 days of purchase
  • Comes with extendable waterproof/UPF 50+ sun canopy and built-in sun visor
  • The breathable mesh center and panel inserts protect the baby
  • The handles are anti-microbial
  • With buggy ID tag and wind resistant rain cover that comes in handy when needed
  • Easy to fold

Cons:

  • On the pricey side
  • Cannot stand on its own when folded
  • Difficult to maneuver on bumpy streets or terrains

5. Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience Stroller

  • Product dimension: 78.7 x 64.8 x 100.3 cm
  • Item weight: 8 kg
  • Maximum weight to carry: 22.7 kgWith 2 seat options of rear-facing ( up to 30 lbs ) or forward-facing ( up to 50 lbs )
  • Anti-shock front wheels
  • UV rays can be blocked with the large canopy peek-a-boo window
  • Easy to fold lightweight aluminum frame, with auto lock and strap
  • With easily accessible basket for baby’s needs and parents’ storage pocket and cup holder
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • The reversible design allows use for younger babies ( rear-facing ) to when they grow up and become more curious ( forward-facing )
  • With infant head support for the rear-facing option and 5-point safety harness
  • Comes with 6-position recline ( 3 in rear-facing and 3 in forward-facing ) that can be one-hand operated
  • The height of the canopy can be adjusted to suit taller or shorter babies
  • The canopy is long and can be extended to fully cover the baby against the sun
  • Easy to maneuver because the wheels glide smoothly
  • Perfect for any terrain with easy to lock rear wheels and front swivel wheels
  • The handles are comfortable for taller parents

Cons:

  • The cup holder is flimsy
  • With very small storage compartment which is hard to access when baby is sitting in the stroller
  • Strap is a bit awkward to carry stroller
  • Opening and closing is a bit tricky
  • The seats are very low to the ground, so parents have to bend way down to help the baby when needed

6. Besrey Lightweight Stroller

Besrey Lightweight stroller

  • Product dimension: 60 x 48 x 100 cm
  • Item weight: 4.9 kg
  • Maximum weight to carry: 33 lbs
  • With 5-point harness and protective comfort pads
  • Made from high quality anti-rust aluminum alloy
  • Fits easily bins in an airplane and very light, can be a carry on
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Can be easily folded with one hand
  • Adjustable canopy for full sun cover
  • With removable handrail for easy putting on baby and out
  • Convenient easy to access large bassinet
  • With fully reclining leg rest

Cons:

  • Sometimes, doesn’t open properly and sags when baby is sitting on it
  • Does not recline
  • The brake is an issue when taking a flight of stairs or off the train
  • No shoulder strap or bag, thus not very convenient to carry

7. Cosatto Woosh Stroller

Cosatto Woosh stroller

  • Product dimension: 74 x 48 x 104 cm
  • Item weight: 6.0 kg
  • Maximum weight to carry: 25 kg
  • With 5-point harness
  • Lockable front swivel wheels and all-round suspension
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Comes in lovely colors and design
  • Very easy to assemble
  • With study chassis for longer use
  • One-hand folding
  • Roomy seat, decent-sized basket and adjustable calf support for baby’s legs
  • Comes with a rain cover
  • With double length hood and visor for full sun cover
  • With cushioned chest pads
  • 4-year warranty

Cons:

  • Some say the wheels break after a few months
  • Tricky folding and unfolding mechanism for some customers
  • The rain hood can be easily kicked by the baby
  • The wheels get stuck on uneven surfaces
  • The handle doesn’t move up and down to suit a taller parent
  • Comes with a bell that could be annoying to some

8. Pockit Lightweight Stroller

Pockit lightweight stroller

Pros:

  • Wheels rotate 360 degrees, thus easily maneuvered when unlocked and locks for stability on uneven surfaces
  • Very tiny when folded so fits in an airplane bin very well, or can also fit in a carry on bag

Cons:

  • Very wobbly on uneven pavement- careful your kid might topple off
  • Handles cannot be extended, thus not comfortable for a tall parent
  • Very challenging to fold
  • Strap not included
  • Overhead canopy is not very useful
  • Small storage below, cannot fit lots of stuff

9. ZOE XL1 BEST v2 Lightweight Travel & Everyday Umbrella Stroller System

ZOE XL1 travel umbrella lightweight stroller
  • Product dimension: 10 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Item weight: 11 pounds
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 lbs
  • With a large basket underneath and a cup holder
  • Comes in 7 colors: Aqua, black, eloise plum, london navy, noah grey, red, lime greenWith a twin model ( for 2 babies )
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • With a little window on top of the canopy to peek at your baby
  • The handle is good for tall parents

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap
  • Does not recline as much
  • Doesn’t stand upright when closed
  • Difficult to maneuver for some

10.Evenflo Aero Ultra-Lightweight Stroller

  • Product dimension: 29 x 22.25 x 40 in
  • Item weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 pounds
  • With easily accessible extra seat back storage pocket
  • Comes with a spacious storage basket, 2-mesh in seat pocket, and a parent cup holder
  • Comes in 2 colors: lark and dove
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • The easily one-hand folded stroller can stand on its own
  • Made of functional and long-lasting, high quality materials-imported polyester, metal and durable plastic
  • With large canopy and a flip-out visor
  • Allows easy and safe putting and removal of your child because of the rounded foam handlebar and rear wheels that lock
  • Includes ParentLink customer service perks like real-time chat and free live video installation support

Cons:

  • No rain cover or weather shield
  • The front wheels are single wheels ( not double ) and goes in opposite directions, that you have to manually straighten them
  • Sometimes tricky to navigate polished floors and pavements because of the plastic wheels
  • Flimsy cup holder
  • The storage basket has no front mesh and stuff inside can fall out, especially when folded
  • Reclines up to 120 degrees only, thus uncomfortable for some kids to sleep on
  • No strap to carry

My top two choices:

For me, considering the type of stroller, how small and light it is but durable and useful but not so pricey, I recommend these two strollers:

The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller

and the Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience Stroller.

Enjoy your holiday!

I hope I have given you ideas on what’s out there on the market if you are planning to buy a lightweight travel stroller for your child with special needs that you can use this summer when you plan to travel anywhere local or abroad.

After all, the comfort of your special child is your best interest as well as the light load that you have to carry and keep either in your car or the airplane bin.

Happy shopping!

Don’t forget to bring your camera or phone ( with camera ) and capture those precious moments, the laughter and wide smiles of your kids.

Their happiness is very contagious and will rub off on you as, well.

Enjoy your summer holiday!

How to travel with a lightweight stroller

Are you ready to buy the lightest and most comfortable travel stroller for your special child? Or your old one is already worn out and you need a new one?

Where do you plan to visit come summer? Share your plans with us.

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How to Spread the Word of Love … Ten Songs to Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness day.

Autism spectrum disorder is a life long disability that affects how a person communicates and relates with others and how they experience the world around them.

There’s a lot of stigmas to people with autism.

Many people misunderstand those with the spectrum.

Therefore, let us join organizations all over the world on this big day ( April 2nd ) and the whole month ( April ) every year when they do autism-friendly events and educational activities to foster understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

Worldwide support is done by lighting blue landmarks, buildings, homes and communities in recognition of people living with autism.

In line with these activities, musicians all over the world have made and performed awesome songs to celebrate this day.

We all know that music is a vibrant way of letting people learn about something or disseminating important information.

Likewise, listening to songs about autism uplifts people with ASD and their families  and inspires others to learn how to understand them.

I have found really beautiful and inspirational songs that speak about autism.

Songs that were written and performed by musicians, ordinary people with families who have autism, and even young people with ASD.

Ten songs that will touch your hearts, like they touched mine,  and will open up your minds to accept and understand these kids and adults with autism.

Awesome songs that will teach everyone how to spread the word of love about autism, ten songs to celebrate world autism day on April 2nd and same day every year.

Sit down and enjoy the videos and sing with the artist- I have written the lyrics below the videos so you can follow.

Here goes:

1. Beautiful blessing

This song, written and sang by Chelsea Stepp, was inspired and dedicated to her youngest sister who was diagnosed with autism at age two.

She considers this song her most important personal accomplishment because the organization “Autism Speaks,” used it as promotional material, thus Stepp performed it at the annual Summit for Autism in Washington.

Chelsea Stepp is a singer-song writer from Warfield, Ky who started singing when she was 3 or 4 after her parents bought her a toy karaoke machine. She started playing the guitar since she was 14, not really serious at first, but with constant practice, got better with her craft.

She auditioned for ” American idol,” when she was a teenager and won ” Big Sandy Idol,” an Eastern Kentucky-based competition.

 

 

Here’s the inspiring lyrics, which spreads autism awareness and how we need to acknowledge that kids with autism are misunderstood a lot because they can’t express how they feel.

” You mean what you say, just can’t say what you mean

Bottled up inside your head, and bursting at the seams

Trapped inside a world that’s all your own

Your thoughts roll in like waves crashing on the shore

Time is ticking, time is ticking, time to pace the floor

Back and forth to find the place where you belong

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

Things could be better, but things could be worse

Give me your heaven, give me your hurt

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

Act like I understand, but if I told the truth

I couldn’t stand as tall if I were in your shoes

Everyone needs a hero, and here you are

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

Things could be better, but things could be worse

Give me your heaven, give me your hurt

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

It’s all those things you’ll never had you’ll never miss
But I would give anything if I could change this
Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse
Things could be better, but things could be worse
Give me your heaven, give me your hurt
Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse
Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse.”

2. Not so different

Cassandra Kubinski, the singer/songwriter, wrote this song for her friend Vanessa, who had 2 boys with autism spectrum disorder.

She learned that this family had to overcome challenges, red tape and judgement to get education, after school programs or just collect information.

Their goal is to raise awareness and solicit funds for autism programs and services across the UK, US and Canada.

 

 

Listen to this beautiful song and follow singing with the lyrics below.

” I can be sunshine
Even when all you see is rain
I can be silence
Inside I’m calling out your name.

Words don’t come easy
But I hear everything you say
Reach out and touch me
I need to feel your heart today

So don’t say that I’m in the dark, ‘coz you can’t see my light.

It takes every colour in the spectrum to make the world so bright
If we want to understand
We all must learn to listen
Love speaks in a million ways

And in the end we’re not so different
Yeah, yeah
We’re not so different
Yeah, yeah

It can be hard I know.
When all you wanna do is help
But just I’m learning everything I need within myself
It takes a village, it takes a will, it takes some work and it takes time
Discovering slowly, growing the world that is in my mind. “

The rhythm tree- music therapy progrma for children with special needsWell get by-autism song

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

3. Through my eyes

Lyrics: Valerie Foley
Music: Fiona Johnson
Artist: Scott James

This song tells how a person with autism feels and looks at the
world around him. That through his eyes, he sees things differently than
us.

That knowing how he feels and sees things, maybe he has fears, but
we just need to understand him, and guide him to overcome his fears.

 

 

The lyrics are so powerful. Sing along with Scott James and feel how an autism person feels, so you can see the world through his eyes and be more accepting of his world.

” See the world through my eyes
It changes shape and it changes size
It’s not quite the world you see.
If you could find a way to look around inside my mind

Maybe you would understand me 

I’m not blind, but I can’t always see
I’m not deaf, but things can sound strange to me
I’m not trapped, but it’s hard to feel free
Imagine what it’s like to be me

Imagine what it’s like to be me

It’s hard for me to try to think things through or talk like you
Everything can be a blur sometimes
But if you walk along beside me, hold my hand and guide me

Together any mountain we can climb 

‘Cause I’m not blind, but I can’t always see
I’m not deaf, but things can sound strange to me
I’m not trapped, but it’s hard to feel free

Imagine what it’s like to be me
Imagine what… I’m dreaming of my future and it’s brighter than you know
I’ll get there on a different road when I am ready to go…

I don’t need pity, I don’t need tears

I just need someone to help me understand my fears
Tell me you believe in me, let me know that I’m OK
Help me feel safe in the world and I will find my way

‘Cause I’m not blind, but I can’t always see

I’m not deaf, but things can sound strange to me
I’m not trapped, but it’s hard to feel free
Imagine what it’s like to be me
Imagine what it’s like

Imagine seeing the world through my eyes.”

4. If the world only knew

Lyrics and music by Scott Evan Davis, in collaboration with the students of p94 Spectrum school.

Performed by Ilan Galkoff, 12 year old, who said, ” I am not autistic but I chose to sing this song because I love the message in it.

It is a song about people with autism wanting to be the same as
everyone else and not to be told they can’t do things because of their
disability.

 I have been fortunate enough to appear in a few
West End Shows. I love singing, art and raising money for charity. I
hope you enjoy the song and will believe in yourself enough to show the
world what you can do.

 I have a wonderful cousin who is autistic and I dedicate my song to him. “

 

 

Check out the lyrics and sing with Ilan.

“Every day seems like the day before

Keeping to myself but wanting so much more

I could be a painter

Or in the hall of fame

I can almost hear them calling out my name

But when people look at me

That’s not what they see

If the world only knew what I could do

They would be astounded

If the world only knew what I could do

I would be surrounded

If the world only knew what I could do

Maybe I’d be free

If they could see there’s so much more in me

I put up my guard to deal with fear

When things get too hard then I disappear

I wish that I could tell them

And make them understand

Being different wasn’t something I had planned

But when people look at me

They don’t want to see

If the world only knew what I could do

I would be respected

If the world only knew what I could do

I would not be rejected

If the world only knew what I could do

Then I could be free

And they would see all that I have in me.

I would show them all that everyone is different

I would stand up tall instead of run away

 If there was no world I’d have nothing standing in my way

Then I would be still only me

If the world only knew what I could do

I would shine in glory

If the world only knew what I could do

I would tell a different story

If the world only knew what I could do

Finally they would see

I am just what I’m supposed to be. “

 

Autism breakthrough- helps families with autism
Ten things about autism- how to understand kids with ASDEarly intervention games- to develop social and motor skills for kids with autism

5. I’ll never give up on you

Lyrics and Piano by George L. Rodriguez

Sung by: Racquel Roberts

Rodriguez  has a son who was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old, and was already 18 and high spirited when he wrote this song in 2014.

The first line, ” I look at you with your angelic face, ” was inspired by the photo of his son when he was 3.

 

 

This moving song is dedicated to children, parents and people who are living with a unique life experience, which maybe different and misunderstood by others.

 

” I look at you with your angelic face

A beautiful child a bit out of place

Sure you’re different if that’s all they see

Yet given the chance you can be so much more.

Caring people will open up doors

In my eyes you’re perfect to me

Everyday things others easily do

Language and play come so hard to you

Still step by step each moment is brand new.

So take my hand and I’ll lead the way

With laughter, love, patience, faith

When we believe our dreams can come true

I’ll never give up on you.

Sometimes your blue skies will suddenly rain

Like ripples of water not exactly the same

People will stare hon, you needn’t explain

For your life’s a story, the world is your stage

Just be yourself, no matter your age.

To all the critics you’ve got nothing, nothing to prove

So take my hand and I’ll lead the way

With laughter, love, patience, faith

When you believe your dreams can come true

I’ll never give up on you.

How did it happen this global mistake

1 in 100 is too much to take

Questions to answers, answers are keys

Unlocking this mystery

Here are your keys.

So baby take my hand and I’ll lead the way

With laughter, love, patience, faith

When you believe your dreams can come true

Your life’s a story, the world is your stage

Just be yourself no matter your age

This is your time take it!

To yourself be true

I’ll never give up

No I’ll never give up

No I’ll never give up on you

I’ll never give up on you

Love You.”

6. Unstoppable: A Song for Autism

Singers/Song-writers: Tommy Byrne & Isabella Guerriero ( 2018 )

Tommy was in his 20’s when Anthony, his cousin, was diagnosed with autism. His parents brought him for stem cell treatments and gradually he improved and became more verbal and was able to go to school.

Anthony has been a source of great joy for their family and he was nicknamed “Unstoppable Anthony” ( thus the title of this song ) because of how he can change people’s lives-with random hugs to strangers in restaurants or jumping on their laps with a laugh and a big,wide smile.

Tommy thought of some of the song’s lyrics and melody while on his way home on a train and he went to visit Anthony the next day where he asked his sister, Isabella, also Tommy’s god daughter, who was 7 at that time, to help him finish the song.

Isabella got her crayon and paper and wrote the lyrics and was done after 25 minutes. Anthony’s dad also helped in the chorus part and reminded them about how he communicates.

 

They hope that this song can be a voice for people with any disability, including autism.

The important message of their song is, ” We hear you.”

 

” I know you get frustrated, trying to tell us what you want to say.

I know it’s not easy for you, but that’s okay.

When you go through hard times, you’re not by yourself.

We don’t like it either and all we want to do is help.

We see the words in your smile.

We see the joy right in your eyes.

When something in your world goes wrong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Life is one big ocean, waiting there for you.

Don’t be afraid of those waves, just jump right through.

We all believe you can fly, if you really want to.

Just remember you can do anything that you want to do.

We see the words in your smile.

We see the joy right in your eyes.

When something in your world goes wrong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

We see the words in your smile.

We see the joy right in your eyes.

When something in your world goes wrong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong. “

7. I’m in here

Artist: BJ McKelvie & Cathy Hutch

This song is sung from the point of view of a child with autism as he communicates with a loved one.

That he wants to reveal himself as he tries to find a way to show who he really is and all he needs is acknowledgement that he is just here and just wants others to see the world through his eyes.

 

 

” With every breaking dawn

A brand new child is born

Someday they’ll be full of hopes and dreams

It won’t be very long until they move out on their own

‘Cause that’s the way life’s supposed to be.

But something isn’t right

There’s a lost look in their eyes

They’re crying out 

“Why can’t you just see?” 

I’m in here

When the joy turns to crying ( crying )

See the world through my eyes

For just a moment in time

I’m in here

Oh don’t you know I’m trying ( trying ) 

To find a way to show you who I am

So through the years

Through triumph and through tears

These are the one who make their own way

They touch you deep inside

Where your love just cannot hide

Just open your heart and hear them say (hear them say )

I’m in here

When the joy turns to crying 

See the world through my eyes

For just a moment  in time

I’m in here

Oh don’t you know I’m trying
To find a way to show you who I am
The world may be cruel
In my times of desperation
Can’t find the words to express how I feel
So I strike out in pain and frustration
I might not speak
But my feelings are so clear
I’m in here
I’m in here
I’m in here
When the joy turns to crying
See the world with my eyes
For just a moment in time
I’m in here
Oh, don’t you know I’m trying (trying )
I’m in here
To find a way to show you
I’m in here
When the joy turns to crying (crying)
See the world with my eyes
For just a moment in time
I’m in here
Oh, don’t you know I’m trying
To find a way to show you
I’m in here
When the joy turns to crying (crying)
See the world with my eyes
For just a moment in time
I’m in here. “
8. Missing pieces

Written by Mark Leland/ Tim Calhoun in 2008
Artist: Mark Leland

This song encourages everyone to do their part in helping families with the overwhelming task of raising a child with autism.

 

 

” It was a mid December evening

In a room of heavy breathing,

When I looked into my little baby’s eyes,

And like the ships that sail the ocean,

He had captured my emotions,

Wrapped them up just like a gift

At Christmas time.

I thanked the Lord above that he was mine

I prayed to God that everything was fine,

After months we saw him changing,

Nathaniel’s speech was rearranging,

So we took him back to see what they could find

And after ironing out the creases,

They came up with missing pieces,

And they told us that autism’s on the rise,

I looked into my little baby’s eyes,

I promised him to find the reasons why.

Now I lay him down to sleep

I pray the Lord my son could speak,

And make him strong, where he is weak

This I ask of you…

And just like him, there’s many more

That need our help to win this war,

Cause who knows what might lay in store,

To help them make it through.

The doctor says, there’s so much more to do,

To put the pieces back together,

But it’s up to me and you.

So now we lay down to sleep

And pray the Lord they all could speak,

Please make them strong, where they are weak.

This we ask of you…

Cause now we know there’s so many more

That need our help to win this war,

And who knows what might lay in store,

To help them make it through.

Yes, who knows what might lay in store,

The missing piece is me and you..

Hello Dad. “

9. Through the spectrum

Written and performed by Carla Bianco

 

 

This is an ode to mom through the eyes of an autistic child, how the kid feels his mom’s unconditional love.

 

” When I was two years old

You saw something special

They couldn’t see

You did everything you could, mom

To reach me.

You opened the door

When the world shut me out

You showed me how I didn’t need to be more.

And You turned on the light

And taught me to smile

I just see things a different way.

I can see the world

Through the spectrum

Everywhere a rainbow

Like an anthem

When they try to see

Through my point of view

That’s when they will see the colours, too

If they could see what I see

They would get to know me differently

But you know what’s behind these eyes, mom.

What I’m feeling

Yes, you’re the one who really knows me

A mother’s love is what showed me.

I can see the world

Through the spectrum

Everywhere a rainbow

Like an anthem.

When they try to see

Through my point of view

That’s when they will see the colours, too.

Oh I see everyone is beautiful

I feel the pain inside your heart

I see everything is luminal

Like a band of colours.

Thanks to you.

I can see the world

Through the spectrum

Everywhere a rainbow

Like an anthem

When they try to see

Through my point of view

That’s when they will see the colours, too

Through the spectrum. “

10. Let me shine

This song was created in 2017 in collaboration with Oxford band Low Island. It was written by Low Island’s Jamie Jay and Carlos Posada.

It was performed by staff and young people with severe autism from Prior’s Court, a specialist residential school in West Berkshire. Most of these young people are non-verbal with severe challenges.

The message of the song is acceptance and understanding of all people in the spectrum, thus “Accept me for who I am and let me shine. “

 

 

This song ( with the lyrics below) is so moving and is proof of the achievements of the young people at Prior’s Court and how they shine with the support of their therapists.


” I have made a connection


A special bond


I help you paint with your own colours

To your own rhythm

Every day is different


Here we aim high

And everyday is always full

Of laughter and light

One step at a time


Stand next to me, walk by my side

You and I are friends for life


Stand next to me, walk by my side

Accept me for who I am ; And let me shine ( 2 x )

Accept me for who I am ; And let me shine ( 2 x )

I’m not broken
, I am unique


So all I want is for you

To believe in me

We’re all proud


To be part of this place


And we will teach each other

Something new every day

One step at a time


Stand next to me, walk by my side

You and I are friends for life


Stand next to me, walk by my side

Accept me for who I am, and let me shine ( 2x )

Accept me for who I am, and let me shine ( 2 x )

Repeat 4 x more.

Let’s come together to celebrate the world autism awareness day

There you go, I hope you enjoyed the songs as much as I did.

If I have touched a person’s heart with these songs, then I am happy that I am able to participate in the celebration of world autism awareness day on April 2nd and for the years to come.

In putting out these songs I know that I am fulfilled and inspired to show how to spread the word of love to people and kids around us with autism.

After all, they just need our understanding and acceptance.

 

Do you have somebody in the family or anybody that you know who have autism? 

Which of the songs remind him or her to you? 

Please like and share
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How To Enjoy Spring Break ( Ten Activities Which Will Get Everyone Excited )

I’m sure our kids are excited of their one week spring break, including our special kids. This is the week that they can sleep later than usual and wake up later as well.

One week of no homework, no time set for bedtime and waking up, nor studying for exams.

If you have vacation days, you might want to apply for vacation, too, so you have lots of time to bond as a family.

This is like mini-summer, even if it’s only one week, if you plan to make the most of it, it’s all worth it.

So, have you planned on how to enjoy spring break with your kids who will be out of school for the week? 

Skip the laundry and ignore the mess in your home. Just go and do fun things with your family and your special child.

There is no better time than bonding as a family by doing any or all of the following fun activities.

How to enjoy spring break…plan on doing any of these 10 activities to get the kids excited.

 1. Go swimming

Go swimming to enjoy spring break

If you are stay at home parents, you can go to the pool and swim anytime, but if you are working, after-work would be fun  as well.

Aside from fun, swimming is a good exercise for everyone, too.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Affiliate disclosure for more information.

Go to the library during spring break2. Go to the library

This is the perfect time to head to the library and borrow lots of books and DVDs or CDs.

For kids who can read, they will enjoy reading book after book after book. If your special child cannot read, reading to him is the perfect bonding time for you both.

You can all read while in the library and read at home with the borrowed materials or watch the DVDs at home before bedtime.

Or you can buy these books online to stock up for your kids to read or for you to read to your special kid.

Click the images to see the price.

Love you forever by Robert MunschDr Seuss's book collection5,000 Awesome facts ( about everything )  Mummy Fairy and Me

3. Watch movies

You can go to the cinema  as a family and eat out after the movie date.

But if budget is tight, watch old movies at home in Netflix or the YouTube or with the borrowed DVDs from the library.

Or you can buy cheap DVDs from the mall. You will enjoy just the same. As long as the family is together, that’s all that matters.

 4. Do cooking lessons

How to enjoy spring break-learn to cook and wash the dishes

If your special child loves to eat, give him cooking lessons in your kitchen of the food that he likes to eat a lot.

Let him help prepare the ingredients and mix together the food in the frying pan. Start with simple recipes like make sunny side up eggs, make a hamburger patty, make a pizza from scratch, or bake cookies.

After cooking, let him help wash the dishes and clean up the mess in the table. This way, he learns how to be responsible.

5. Do art activities

Do art activities during spring break

You can let your special child do some coloring or make some cards that you can give out later on  like for somebody’s birthday, etc.

If your special child has talents in drawing or coloring, he will really enjoy this fun activity.

Or if he is not into art, this is the best time to introduce him to drawing and coloring.

Bring him to the dollar store and let him choose the art materials that he wants including the coloring books and crayons or colored markers if you don’t have these at home.

If your special kid is a girl, she might want to do some crafts, like make necklaces or do some scrap booking.

6. Visit the grandparents

How to enjoy spring break- visit the grandparents

Now is the perfect time to go visit one of the most important people in your family. The grandparents will be delighted to see their grandchildren again.

They might have babysitted your special child when he was younger, and this week is the best time to catch up.

Bring some food so you can eat together as an extended family.

Or your kids might want to sleep over with their grandparents, then you can have alone-time” as a couple.

7. Invite cousins or friends for a sleep over

You can ask your kid’s cousins or friends in your home for a sleep over and make them some popcorn while they watch movies or do some artwork. This is the time for them to catch up on the activities that they enjoy together.

Kids also like to tell stories about their experiences in school or with their other friends, so making them bond overnight would make them enjoy time together.

8. Go to the zoo or the museum

Go to the zoo during spring break

This free week maybe the best time to re-visit the zoo or the museum if these have been your activities during the summer.

I’m sure there will be lots of new displays in the museum or new animals in the zoo if you haven’t been there for a while.

This is a great time for your kids especially your child with special needs to learn something new or to apply what he has learned in school.

9. Play in an indoor park

Play in an indoor park during spring break

There is still snow outside and the park may still by muddy and have lots of puddles, so it will not be fun going to the outdoor playground.

So to pump the kids’ energy, why not go to an indoor amusement park and let the kids run around, or let them go up and down the slides and other play structures.

Bring their cousins  or their friends along and while they are having fun, you can maybe go shopping if the park allows them to be left on their own or you can stay in their waiting area and read a book ( if you’re alone )  or you can chat and catch up with your grown up cousins or friends ( parents of your kid’s friends ).

After their play, I’m sure they are tired and hungry, so go to a restaurant where you  can all grab a pizza or anything that the kids love to eat, like hamburgers. This brings you all to the next activity.

10. Eat out as a family

I think this is the best activity that everybody looks forward to.

Of course this could be the final activity of the day if you have done an earlier activity, like playing in an indoor park or having gone swimming or watching a movie.

Whatever you have done earlier in the day, I’m sure everyone is tired and hungry, so a pizza or a hamburger or a pasta or even a full meal is very much welcome.

Just enjoy and have fun! 

You don’t have to do everything listed above because your budget will burst and there’s only a week to choose the best activity for the whole family. Especially if you will still be working during this time.

But of course, if you plan ahead, you can still do free activities like go to the library and borrow books and DVDs, go to the public pool on free days, etcetera.

Kids grow fast, so while they are still young and willing to go with you to fun places, grab these free days and just enjoy!

Before you know it, school days are starting again and next year, they maybe older and have their own set of friends and not willing to go anywhere with you anymore.

We have an advertising relationship with the stores we link in this post. 
We'll earn a commission when you shop through our link with no added cost to you.
squeezy canoe
Let your special kid sit in this squeezy canoe while reading to let him focus more.

Mixbook to store memories

Which activities do your kids enjoy with your family? Is there a specific activity that your special child enjoy the most?

 

 

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How to Potty Train a Child with Special Needs…. When is the Best Time to Start ?

Almost all schools require your special child to be potty trained for them to be accepted. Especially if the schools have no educational assistants and of course, the special education teachers can hardly accommodate your kids’ ” accidents,” most of the time.

For the parents of regular kids, potty training is not really difficult because kids usually show readiness as they age, which is usually from 18 months to three years old. Of course parents usually see resistance from the kids at first, but eventually they oblige happily.

It is different though for your special child who develops later compared to normal kids.

And this could be a real struggle for the parents, on how to potty train a child with special needs- especially if you are a busy working parent who wants your special kid to start school.

Is there a right age when to start potty training?

Because your child is special, you have to observe carefully if he shows signs of readiness. Of course, these signs show up later, and do not coincide with his chronological age.

Ask yourself these questions and when the answers are positive, then your special child is ready physically and psychologically to be started on potty training.

Therefore, the age when to start potty training varies from child to child. And will somehow depend on how they have developed physically and mentally at certain ages.

Physical Readiness

  • Does he stay dry throughout the night?
  • Is he dry at least for 1-2 hours at daytime?
  • Can he sit with or without support?
  • Can he keep his balance while squatting on the toilet bowl ?
  • Is he able to walk without support?

Psychological Readiness

  • Is your child able to understand instructions?
  • Can your child show in his face that he needs to poop or pee at certain times?
  • Can he control his urge when you tell him? Even partially?
  • Can your child know the difference between wet and dry?
  • Does he ask to be changed when soiled or wet either verbally if able or tries to get the clean diaper by himself?
  • Is he able to undress and dress himself, even partially?
  • Does he know when he needs to go to the bathroom? A non-verbal child may give out sounds that he is pushing.
  • Is there no added stress in the home like birth of a sibling or loss of one or both parents?

We all know that special kids develop much more slowly than kids their age, so you need to really observe how he is developing and responding to your cues.

Never rely on his chronological age so you won’t be frustrated.

Bear in mind that they can be toilet-trained but much later than normal kids.

Reasons why special kids refuse toilet training

Even normal kids will refuse toilet training at some point at the start of the training. Or would sometimes regress after having been toilet-trained for a while.

More so for special kids, who might have a struggle with understanding the benefits. Or they might be having issues with the following:

  • Fear of sitting on the toilet or falling down
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Startling experience of an automatic flush in a public washroom
  • Power struggles
  • Stressful life events like birth of a sibling, death or separation of parents
  • Poop withholding

Be very patient and understanding when your special one struggles with these issues.

It is really important that you give all the support that they need to overcome these challenges.

Once they feel comfortable and accepting of the training, it will be a breeze for both of you.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full affiliate disclosure here.

How to encourage your special child to continue with potty training

  • Scheduling their poop or pee time- Making them seat on their potty or on the toilet bowl after every meal or before going to bed. Or making them pee every one to two hours. They will learn that doing it at certain times will make them do it successfully each time.
  • Buying them the potty seat that they like or they enjoy.
  • Reading them a book about potty training to give them ideas on how to properly do it.
  • Letting them read a book or watch Nursery rhymes while they are seating on their potty. It will make them feel relaxed and focus on what they are reading or watching rather on how difficult they need to push.
  • Happiness jar– Fill a jar with chocolates, lollipops, small toys, or notes about their favorite activity like a trip to the zoo or to buy their favorite book when they use the potty daily for a week.
  • Celebrate in the evenings- when they stay dry during the day or they have used the potty successfully, celebrate by going to the park or do something that they enjoy before bedtime.
  • Make them pee before bedtime even if they still wear diapers so there’s a greater chance of them staying dry the whole night. Or wake them up in the middle of the night to pee ( if it’s also comfortable for you or you’re still awake ) so he gets dry till morning.

What parents say about their experiences on potty training their special child

Diane on Nathan

Diane and Nathan on potty training with positive reinforcement.

Diane has this to say about Nathan, who has Down syndrome and autism. He is now 12 years old and fully toilet trained.

” We started Nathan on potty training when he was still a baby; we would let him sit in the toilet bowl after every meal.

His dad would let him pee before bedtime, at midnight, and wakes him up at 6:00 AM before he goes to work.

We used positive reinforcement by giving him M&Ms; when he was successful. He was really happy about this.

When he started school at 5 years old, he was still on diapers. At 7, he began to get upset with his diapers, so we did not put him on it anymore. He had few accidents at school ( twice at home ) then, so we would let him bring under wears and socks in his school bag.

He can hold his bladder now for a long time, even during travels. His dad usually brings him to the bathroom every 2-3 hours to let him pee.

Nathan doesn’t want to poop in school, he usually does it at home at nighttime. So, when he’s taking a long time in the bathroom, that means he’s waiting for us to go in there and wash him.”

Emerald on Hailey

Hailey will soon be started on potty training.
Hailey who has Down syndrome and now 2 years and 7 months has not been started on potty training.

Her mom Emerald says she plans to start her when she is around 2 and 11 months basing on the experiences of other moms in the Down syndrome group that she joined in Facebook.

As of now, she observes that Hailey can follow simple instructions like if she wants her milk, she will say “dede,” and her mom would ask her to get the bottle and she will follow.

Emerald would like a little more time for Hailey to increase her level of cognition because she observes that when Hailey runs she’s still not concerned of her safety.

Lee on Mark

Lee and Mark on potty training

Another Down syndrome kid, Mark, who is now 10 years old but still non-verbal, is only partially trained.

Lee, his mom, started potty training him when he was around 5 years old .

They would let him sit in the toilet bowl after breakfast and dinner to poop.

At least every hour, they would let him pee in the toilet as well.

Mark was dry at night at around 7 years old and did not want to wear diapers anymore.

He goes to school without diapers but still would have accidents. At home, he would just pee anywhere. Likewise, he never goes to the bathroom on his own.

Check out these books on potty training. Click the images to see the price.

Potty training book for fun and focus

The Potty book for girls

P is for Potty -book for potty training

Patience and determination brings success

It takes lots of patience, understanding and motivation to stay focused and determined to make toilet training successful.

Just remember that like your special child’s development, toilet training likewise takes awhile to be a success.

Count every day and his small wins and reward him and yourself for these little accomplishments.

He will eventually refuse to wear his diapers and will be happy to sit on his potty or the toilet bowl to do his thing.

And you will both dance with joy once he does it on his own, every day, every time.

How to potty train a child with special needs

Have you started to potty train your special child? Do you have any tips that you could share other special needs parents?

Please like and share
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Ten Best Potty Training Toilet Seats….Choose What Your Special Child Will Love to Use

Your special child maybe slow in his development but for sure, somewhere in his timeline, you feel that he is about or almost ready to ditch his diapers.

This is really important because most special education programs require special kids to be toilet-trained partially or fully before they can be accepted to the school.

Aside from observing if your special child is ready for the training, like he can follow simple instructions, he can sit comfortably in the toilet bowl, he is dry the whole night or at least 2 hours at daytime, etc., choosing the best potty training toilet seat for your child could make a big difference.

If he likes what you buy for him, he will be interested at all times to sit on it and will be potty trained in no time.

I have looked at the ten best potty training toilet seats in the market today thinking of their usability, durability, comfort, pleasure and interest for your child when using it.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read the full affiliate disclosure here.

Here goes:

1. Potty toilet trainer set with step stool ladder

Potty trainer toilet seat with step srool and ladder

Click the image or here to see the price.

  • Product dimension: 26 x 14.8 x 3.8 inches
  • It measures 6.5″ or 8.8″ from floor to step ladder.
  • It measures 16.1″ from floor to seat.
  • The package includes: 1 footrest, 1 pad, 2 handlebars, 6 plastic screws, 1 screwdriver
  • Comes in various colors: green, blue, red, pink
  • Suitable for boys and girls with pee catching design to sustain their interest in toilet training.

Pros:

  • It can be easily assembled ( even kids can help their parents ) to fit in a toilet ranging from 14″ to 16.1″ from floor to toilet bowl seat.
  • The sturdy design lets your child walk up and down and sit safely in the toilet.
  • Very easy to remove and fold so the adults can use the toilet after your child is done.
  • It comes with a padding on the toilet seat to make your child comfy when he seats.
  • Best for 1-7 year olds, with the footrest being adjustable as your special child grows up.
  • The very wide step and handles make it safe for the kids.
  • Can also be used as a stepladder when kids brush their teeth.
  • The stairs make it interesting for the kids.

Cons:

  • Does not fit high toilets over 61.1″ high.
  • The splash guard is not tall enough for little boys.
  • The seat is wide for small kids, so they have to sit closer to the front for them to feel safe, but makes their pee not fall properly to the toilet, rather ends up under the foam cushion or drip down his leg unto the floor.
  • It is not that stable when folded and propped against a wall-needs a clip to keep it closed.

2. EasyGoProducts Potty toddler toilet trainer

EasyGoProducts Potty toddler toilet trainer

Click the image or here to see the price.

  •  Product dimension: 14 x 13 x 6.8 inches
  • It fits most standard or elongated toilet seats
  • It can be adjusted to the size of your toilet seat.
  • Comes with anti-spash at the base which makes it hygienic

Pros:

  • It is easy to clean up with a removable backrest
  • it is easy to install and to remove when an adult needs the toilet.
  • Easy to bring to travels because it comes with a handle.
  • It comes with adjustable handles and 4 non-slip strips at the bottom to secure your child in place and prevent falling.
  • With a soft cushion seat to make your child enjoy sitting  comfortably.
  • The cushion is removable for easy cleaning.
  • There is a storage hangar that can be used on the side of the tank.
  • It is light and doesn’t wobble.

Cons:

  • It cannot fit in some toilet seats.`
  • It has a large gap on the sides of the front shield which allows urine to pass through to the seat and floor
  • The lock is only useful for oval toilet seats.
  • It is quite bulky to carry around.

3. Potty training set by Evibaby

Potty training set by Evibaby

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 11.6 x 11.0 x 4.7 inches
  • Comes in white
  • Suitable for all kids from 1-7 year old.
  • Comes with a free brush for cleaning.

Pros:

  • It has a lifetime guarantee.
  • It is BPA-free- warm in winter, breathable in summer. The multi-layer  protects baby’s skin and comfortable.
  • With non-slip strips and adjustable levers which secures the set in place so the baby feels confident that he will not fall.
  • With an integrated urine splash guard so the urine does not go to the floor.
  • Easy to clean with no crevasses to build up germs
  • The adopt soft cushion is removable for easy cleaning, thus more hygienic.
  • Easy to adjust and fits multiple styles of toilet seats.
  • The high back rest makes the child feel secure.

Cons:

  • A lot of force is needed to tighten well the locking mechanism for the ” bars ” at the back.
  • Cannot fit some toilet seats.

4. Fisher-Price Ducky fun 3- in- 1 potty

Fisher price ducky fun 3-in-1 potty
Click the image or here to see the price
  • Product dimension: 45.7 x 34.3 x 33.5 cm
  • It could be used 3 ways: as a potty chair, a step stool or a trainer ring.
  • Can be fitted in most adult toilet seats. ( but cannot fit padded toilet seats )
  • Splashguard can be removed for the boys.
  • Can carry kids up to 100 lbs ( 45.4 kgs ) to be used as a sturdy stool.

Pros:

  • The friendly ducky character is inviting for small kids.
  • With 4 tunes and fun ducky sounds that encourages your child to sit down comfortably and enjoy the music.( thus requires 3 AA batteries ).
  • It is easy to bring for travel.
  • The feet of the potty can be removed by taking off the screws if space in the car is limited and they can be easily put back when needed for stability.
  • With handles that make the kids feel secure.
  • The removable bowl makes cleaning easy.
  • By removing the potty ring to fit in the adult toilet makes transition easy for bigger kids.

Cons:

  • The sound goes off randomly especially when it’s older.
  • The songs play at times even when not in use which can become annoying especially at night.

5. Summer infant my size potty

Summer Infant my size potty

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 15 x 11 x 15 inches
  • Seating area: 9.5 x 11.25 inches; Interior seat opening: 4.5 x 6.25 inches
  • Requires 2 lithium metal batteries ( included ) with a battery life of 6 hours.
  • For kids 18 months up to 50 pounds.
  • Comes in white and pink colors.
  • With a removable clip on splash guard for boys.

Pros:

  • It helps the kids to transition easily because of the ” adult ” look.
  • With a flip up lid design, to let boys easily pee while standing up.
  • The removable bowl makes it easy to clean.
  • With a built in wipe dispenser that keeps flushable wipes easy to reach and promotes hygiene.
  • Makes your child feel rewarded with the flush handle with realistic sounds.

Cons:

  • It is not portable.
  • The removable splash guard can fall off easily which makes peeing of boys a challenge.
  • The seat cannot be detached from the potty if you plan to use it as toilet seat insert.
  • It slides easily across the floor.
  • Quite small for bigger kids
  • It takes a lot of space in a small bathroom.
  • Cannot be easily stored unless you disassemble it.
  • Too many cracks and crevasses to wipe down.
  • The back part does not stay on very well.

6. BabyBjorn Potty chair

BabyBjorn potty chairBabyBjorn potty chairClick the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 36 x 35 x 31.5 cm
  • Comes in various colors: gray, pink, blue, green, turquoise, white, purple
  • Simple, ergonomic design with high backrest and comfy armrest
  • BPA-free plastic

Pros:

  • With splash guard that prevents spills
  • Easy to lift out and clean inner potty.
  • With rubber strips on the bottom that make it stable.

Cons:

  • Difficult to store because of the big size and awkward shape.
  • Hard to bring to travels because of the big size.
  • The kids’ thighs and bum could get pinched by the plastic in between the potty and the chair
  • A little pricey.

7. Cute frog potty training urinal for boys

Cute frog potty training urinal for boys

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 29.4 x 20.8 x 15 cm
  • For 8 months to 6 year old boys
  • With strong sucker that will allow adjustment of height according to size of your child
  • Interesting frog shape and rotating windmill will let your little boy enjoy doing his thing
  • Comes in different colors: blue, green ( also with stand up design), coffee

Pros:

  • Easy to clean design -with urine groove separation and smooth surface
  • Can be put up on the wall easily
  • Large capacity so urine will not overflow
  • Teaches boys to pee standing up- makes them feel like an adult male

Cons:

  • Sometimes the suckers don’t stay up- needs to be screwed on, thus not suitable for tiled walls
  • Not very big

8.Baby potty and chair by LuvdBaby

Baby potty and chair by Luvdbaby
Click the image or here to see the price
  • Product dimension: 32.6 x 32.2 x 25 cm
  • With bright fresh, funky design and in bright vibrant colours for another level of experience
  • Light weight, very durable and easy to assemble.

Pros:

  • Suits well for tall kids
  • Has a high back for support making it comfortable for the baby to sit.
  • With 4 legs made stable with a non-slip rubber base.
  • A raised splash guard prevents accidental spills.
  • Provided with a lid and a removable potty to make cleaning easier.
  • 100% lifetime warranty

Cons

  • A little bit pricey compared to others
  • Cannot be used as a step-not so stable, can tip forward
  • Needs careful placement of the child in the seating position for safety and happy experience.
  • With a tendency to tip forward when child gets off which can cause spillage
  • Sometimes the legs come off

9.The First Years training wheels racer potty system

First years training wheels racer potty system

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 13 x 7 x 17 inches
  • With a fun race car theme, your special boy will be encouraged to sit in the potty
  • Kept in place by a non- skid bottom.
  • 2-in-1 potty system which allows the trainer seat to be removed to fit in most adult toilet seats

Pros:

  • Less mess with the high splash guard
  • Your child will feel more secure with the handles on the seat
  • The lift-out pot makes it easy to clean.
  • Because it has no lid, you are encouraged to clean it right away.
  • Just right for younger boys being low and small

Cons:

  • Some little boys would think it is a toy, so would push it around.
  • Pretty low and small for bigger boys
  • With the pot being black, it is hard to see the pee and the poop.
  • Not suitable for tall boys, too low that urine will splash everywhere.
  • The seat is not very comfortable and leaves marks on a kid’s buttocks.

10. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn, Puppy Potty

Fisher-Price Laugh and learn puppy potty

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 11.8 x 14.2 x 14 inches
  • Comes with Puppy’s potty time electronic storybook that child can read or hold while sitting in the potty- with 6 songs and 8 phrases and sounds
  • Light weight and easily movable.
  • Has integrated splash guard for boys
  • Easy to clean and with removable bucket
  • Babies feel secure with handles on the removable potty ring

Pros:

  • Sings instantly on using the potty, so it encourages a kid to stay put until done with business plus reading the book makes the kid
  • With 3 fun phrases, 3 short tunes and realistic flushing sound to reward successful attempts ( positive reinforcement )
  • With a concave splash guard with a little rim inside to contain his pee inside.
  • The book walks the kid through the potty process. Listening to the story distracts the kid as well and makes pooping relaxing and easier.
  • The book is plastic and can be soaped and washed.
  • The cute story in the book will make your child proud for getting potty trained like a big kid.
  • It is low and not scary for the little one to sit on
  • The seat can be moved to the regular toilet easily, thus can be used for traveling
  • Better choice for kids who are stubborn with potty training, with entertainment and rewards

Cons:

  • Not suitable for boys because when they pee they tend to spray over the edge
  • Small for a bigger kid
  • The sensor will stop working after a while and could also sound randomly.

My top choices

There you go, I hope you have found something useful for your special kid, a potty toilet seat that will inspire him to go back again and again until he is fully trained.

If your child is still small, my personal choice would be the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn, Puppy Potty because it is comfortable, easy to clean and with additional bonus, that includes the electronic book and the positive reinforcement that it brings through the fun phrases, songs and realistic flushing sound.

For bigger kids, my choice would be the BabyBjorn potty chair because it is stable and comfortable for the kids. Likewise, it is easy to clean and comes in different colours. It could be used by both girls and boys, as well.

Depending on the capabilities and readiness of your special child, toilet training could be a struggle or a big challenge but with the help of the potty training toilet seat and your patience in training your kid, they will eventually hate their diapers and you will soon forget how hard training was.

Just try to be very patient and put some fun in letting your child be successful a lot of times.

Rewards definitely help!

Does your special child show readiness for potty training? Are you planning to buy a potty training toilet seat soon?

Or if you are now potty training, how are your experiences?

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