Raising a child with special needs can be challenging. Your child has to work harder to achieve goals that neurotypical children obtain with ease. As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to ensure your child knows that they’re loved. That is why it is so important to celebrate milestones of special needs children. No matter whether society views these moments as big or small, for your child and you, this is a huge moment!
Statistics show that 62% of American parents admit that they can be a little overprotective of their kids because they want the very best for them. For parents of children with unique needs, this statistic is probably an understatement.
Celebrating Milestones of Special Needs Children
For these reasons, it is a great idea to give some thought when it comes to celebrating your child’s milestones. It is important to make sure they feel loved and appreciated, no matter what their abilities are. These milestones took a huge amount of effort for them, so it helps build their confidence when they see you have noticed.
Celebrating these milestones do not have to be huge events. Many children with developmental disorders struggle with large events. Instead, try celebrating in ways that are beneficial and tailored to their needs. Here are some helpful tips to help you celebrate the milestones of your child who has special needs.
1. Use a Photo Calendar to Mark their Milestones
You may wonder how to celebrate your child’s milestones with a photo calendar. Well, it’s always good to remind your child of all the milestones they made the previous year. A photo calendar is an excellent idea because it instills confidence in your child.
Imagine your autistic child having a bad day, but then you remind them of the time they made a new friend. Autistic children have a hard time socializing with people, so this is a huge milestone.
When you use a photo calendar at home, ensure you include other people’s photos. This way, they will be reminded of all the people in their lives that love them.
2. Prepare a Special Snack
Even though cake if associated with birthdays only in many households, yours is not an ordinary household. Each time your child accomplishes something they’ve been struggling with, try baking a cake or cookies.
If your child doesn’t like sweets, that’s okay too! Try preparing them one of their favorite meals. If they love breakfast, have a grand breakfast meal for dinner. If they prefer corndogs and tater tots, fix this meal for the whole family to celebrate with them.
If your child likes to bake, this is a great moment to bond with them over. Even if they can’t do all the cooking by themselves, find little things they can do such as pouring ingredients into the mixing bowl.
3. Take a Trip
Not every trip has to be a huge one. If your child loves going to Six Flags or Disneyland (and it’s in your budget), then absolutely go for it. But if your child prefers something small like the park, then that can work just as well. Either way, if you take a trip you’ll want to plan it out.
When it comes to planning your trip, there are several organizations out there that work to help make your trip as easy as possible. Your Autism Guide helps families find locations that are autism-friendly and less stressful when traveling.
If you are traveling by plane, there are programs in place to help those with disabilities through the travel process. There are also theme parks set up to be autism-friendly such as Sesame Place, Morgan’s Wonderland, and Edaville Family Theme Park (Thomas the Train).
4. Surprise them in School
Surprising your child at school is a brilliant idea because you can use this opportunity to show other kids how to appreciate the little milestones in their life. Whether a child has special needs or not, he or she will draw a lesson from such an experience.
To ensure you get the perfect surprise celebration for your child, make sure you communicate with the teachers. That way, the staff can make sure you come at the most ideal time. One great time is lunchtime. You get to spend time with your child and also meet their school friends.
Celebrate Milestones of Special Needs Children
Raising a child with special needs can be challenging, but each time they achieve something, it fills your heart with joy. Celebrating the little and big wins benefit not only them but you as well!
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