This amazing exoskeleton is helping people with paralysis walk again

https://wp.me/p8Jhat-b8Z

This sounds very promising. I am not able to exercise right now because of the baby, but before I got pregnant I used a standing frame. It’s a device that holds me up in a standing position and exercise. It’s really important because bearing weight on my legs reduces the risk of osteoporosis and muscle wasting. This seems like it would achieve the same result, but it would be more fun to actually walk somewhere rather than just standing in place Gazelleing.

Holiday Advice for Special Needs Children

Celebrating can be an exciting part of growing up. I still feel nostalgic whenever I watch “A Christmas Story” or smell gingerbread. But for a kid with special needs holidays can be overwhelming or inaccessible.

I want to start a series on tips and tricks for modifying the normal traditions so they can be sensory friendly and accessible for everyone. Halloween is only a couple of weeks away and I want share some of the things that we do so N can enjoy the holiday, too.

Sensory Friendly Costume Ideas

Like many kids on the spectrum, N has problems finding normal clothes that feel comfortable to him. He currently wears ladies leggings because they are too big on him and fit like sleep pants. (Believe it or not, the school suspended him for “crossdressing” the first time he wore them. It’s a weird story of ignorance and foolishness that will get its own blog post later on.)

Because of his sensory issues, the costumes at Party City with hot polyester with itchy seams are out of the question. I like to sew, but most busy parents don’t have the time. Don’t worry — I have a few ideas that require little to no sewing.

  • Try some PJ’s. Onsies are very popular right now and could be used as a head to toe costume. Even Walmart has superhero PJ’s with detachable capes.
  • Sweatsuits are super comfy and can be decorated in minutes. You could add a cape and use fabric paint to make the logo for a superman costume. Sew or glue pompoms to the top and decorate the pants to create a gumball machine outfit. Here is a link to some great ideas that can be thrown together with a little fabric glue and paint.

http://www.cutegirlshairstyles.com/lifestyle/10-diy-food-halloween-costumes-kamri-noel/

  • Try masks instead of face paint or just go without. Some kids can stand the feel of body paint, but like masks. Some can’t do either so the costumes themselves just have to do.
  • Try wearing normal clothes underneath a costume. Some little ones are fine with the outerwear if the fabric that touches their skin is soft.

Wheelchair costumes

These can be lots of fun because you can turn the wheelchair into a prop and it’s great to have a “vehicle” to ride on instead of walking around the neighborhood. I usually end up with my own kid and a couple of hitchhikers before the night is over.

  • Kids in powerchairs have an advantage because the only part that they need access to is the joystick. Cardboard or foamboard can be painted to look like the Batmobile or Cinderella’s carriage and strapped to the sides. There are so many ideas on Pinterest, but I really like this site:

http://www.coolest-homemade-costumes.com/tag/wheelchair/

  • Manual wheelchairs can be a little tricky because you need to have access to the wheels. You can still decorate the back or the front as long as it doesn’t interfere with pushing the wheels.
  • I usually use a manual chair, but I like to rent a powerchair or a scooter for the week of Halloween. It allows me to move around easier plus the weight limit is much higher. Last year I was a train conductor and I added wheels to 55 gallon totes so I could attach them as train cars. I had a baby in my lap, N plus two other kids on the back and hubby on the platform attachment. It’s not just the disabled children that get tired of walking; the little ones and lazy husbands need a break, too.

Next time, let’s tackle candy and other treats.

Martha Stewart meets Ironside

Like many people who have a chronic illness,  I am always cold.  Trying to stay warm in a wheelchair can be challenging.   Coats can be bulky and hard to remove while seated.  Blankets can get tangled in the wheels.  I really envy those babies who are warm and cozy in their little car seat covers.  I have yet to find one that is big enough to go over me and the wheelchair,  but I do have some crafty solutions.

  • Modify your clothes so they are easier to use.

    There are a few companies that make “wheelchair garments” but since they are speciality items, they can get rather pricey.  I cheaped out and just cut my jacket down the back, then I added a couple of buttons at the top.  Now it is much easier for my hubby to slip it off with me having to transfer.

  • Mermaids are warm and gorgeous

    I’m sure you have seen all of the cute little mermaid tails that are so popular right now.  Since they are more like a sack or cocoon, you don’t have to worry about it dragging the ground, falling off or getting tangled up in the wheels.  There are plenty of patterns for making your own, but I just decided to wing it.  I think it turned out well and it is really warm.

wp-image-2082350757.png

If you can’t crochet or sew, you could also make one using fleece and liquid stitch.

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I also made one that looks like a slice of pizza, because I am completely ridiculous.   I also think it is a good conversation piece particularly around kids who may be frightened by a wheelchair.

  • Always be yourself…unless you can be a Disney princess.

    I came across this pattern on ravelry and I knew I had to have one.

     http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/princess-dress-blanket-blue

     

    I modified it so it is the perfect length and added a belt to keep it on my waistline.   I also made a Cinderella wig to completely the look, because there is a fine line between eccentric and crazy which I like to play jump rope with.

    20170319_133632-1_medium2

I hope these ideas can help you stay warm and comfortable.   For My able bodied friends — these would make great gifts for a loved one who is ill.