I've always liked experiences vs things, but when my daughter suffered from severe seizures and I turned into an official "special needs mom"... experiences and living days to their fullest became even more important to me.
So this year, as my oldest graduated 8th grade and we couldn't think of anything material that she really wanted, we started to plan a trip. It was decided that I'd take only her with me for a mom and daughter trip to hang out before the big years of high school begin. I'll do the same with my youngest when she graduates next year.
As a special needs mom and single mom, there are so many things to consider when traveling! Where can we stay that is kid-friendly, access to everything, including our dietary needs and let's us feel safe as women traveling.
We decided to head to New York! My daughter, Julianne, LOVES photography and I knew she'd struggle to put her camera down on this trip. Which is exactly what I wanted.
My biggest decision was how...
When people meet my daughters, they know instantly that they are so very different from each other. You can see it on their faces, as they're about to launch into the air at Mall of America at Nickelodeon Universe.
One is looking down and talking herself through the next steps. The other is looking up with pure anticipation of the rush.
One is analytical. One loves the gray areas.
One sees adventure in the unknown. One needs all the details.
One loves the flow of a lazy day. One craves structure.
Their differences are a big reason why we travel. Why we go out of our comfort zone. Why we make them both push their limits with new experiences.
There are so many times that I wasn't sure we could conquer the next adventure as a special needs family, but somehow we always found a way. We practiced. We gathered the tools. We did the work to create the fun!
My "job" is to help you, the special needs parent, the teacher, the therapist, write an awesome IEP to help a...
If you sit at an IEP table, this checklist is for you! Parents, teachers, therapists and support team members... you can all use this tool for your next IEP meeting!