We are now waking up to the fact that self care is important.
That can be very difficult during the silly season that is Xmas. Particularly, if you have to look after someone else.
Caring for someone with complex needs never stops.
There is extra pressure on the carer to ensure their loved ones enjoy the Xmas period.
For example, if you are the only person who is licensed to drive the accessible vehicle, then you may have to go without alcohol and drive.
Likewise, the pressure just doesn’t come from those people that you care for, it comes from everyone close to you.
If you have other children or close family, you might feel you need to do more to make their Xmas ‘special’.
For example, it is easy to feel that you spend too much time with one child to the expense of others.
It can feel like you are ignoring partner at times.
You can feel like you have to make up for that.
It is all pressure, pressure and more pressure.
And lets face it – Xmas is pretty stressful anyway.
So what can you do?
1. Talk About A Care Plan
Making a care plan can seem like a chore and not a helpful tool.
The point about making a plan is to start a conversation.
Having a conversation about how you are going to manage the Xmas period.
For example, you might be worried about ensuring the person that you are caring for attends every family event.
But they may not want to do that, and if they do, talking the only way to reach a comprise.
Talk about what the priorities are and how you can both give time back to each other.
Talk about the actual day and make a timetable. You might have a lot of things to do on the day and having a timetable is good way for you both to be less stressed.
Anything that you can put in place to give both of you certainty is a good thing.
2. Don’t Say No To Carers
It can be tempting to say, “Cancel the carers for Xmas day.”
You can feel a responsibility to spend as much time with your loved one as possible.
However, if you have an established routine, why break it?
All that is going to happen is you’re going to be under extra pressure to fill in the gap that you’ve created.
Don’t cancel the carers
3. Treat Yourself
If you are caring for either a family or close friend, you cab often make many unseen sacrifices.
Whether they are child, young or old person, the sacrifices might be different but they will still be there.
Xmas should be a time to treat yourself.
AND YOU SHOULD TREAT YOURSELF
Give time back to yourself.
Think about the things that you have been putting off and do at least 1 of them.
1, 2 and 3 of Care at Xmas
Caring at Xmas can be tough but by working together with the your family, friends and the people that you care for – you can enjoy yourself too.
What do you buy severely autistic children for Xmas?
Many parents struggle every year to get gifts that their child will enjoy. The problem is often exasperated by parents seeing siblings’ faces light up on Xmas morning.
So we thought that we’d try and help you out a bit.
Severely autistic children tend to be very physical. Many like to climb and they enjoy intense interaction so anything physical and sensory is always a winner.
Texture is often very important as well.
Here are a few ideas:
Does your child like intense pressure?
Many severely autistic children do….
Foam rollers are great for creating intense pressure.
But as a bonus..
With a foam roller, you can also introduce massage and you might find that your child loves you for it.
Foam rollers are also great for grounding.
Buy it here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Core-Balance-Massage-Therapy-Exercise/dp/B01MS4QSBR/ref=asc_df_B01MS4QSBR/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=205160974284&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10417057556891518698&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006864&hvtargid=pla-487544710762&psc=1
For some children who also have sensory loss, love Thera Tubing.
Thera Tubing is more durable than Thera Band and like Thera Band, you can also get it in different strengths.
Why do they love it?
They love it because it is easy for them to create vibrations with them. If you combine the different strengths and colours, you end up with something very fun.
Find it here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thera-Band-Resistive-Exercise-Tubing-7-5m/dp/B000KGMN7W/ref=sr_1_5?adgrpid=50713638862&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs5_Nicqe5gIVFuDtCh2n1gQIEAAYASAAEgKg7_D_BwE&hvadid=259097706709&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1006864&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=10282190970130856772&hvtargid=kwd-320394172474&hydadcr=13282_1748158&keywords=theratube&qid=1575551339&sr=8-5&th=1
Snake Massage Tube
This snake massage tube has batteries inside it and that makes it vibrate. Your child will love these. The only problem that you may have is replacing the batteries when they run out.
Find them here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rovera-Snake-Massage-Vibrating-Tube-Massage/dp/B006ISCJVG/ref=asc_df_B006ISCJVG/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=208032295378&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1155471962628997983&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006864&hvtargid=pla-420380865086&psc=1&th=1&psc=1
Many severely autistic children love rough and tumble, and if your child goes to SEN school, chances are they already love Swiss balls.
Although we are not saying that you have the space at home.
Find it here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trideer-Exercise-Multiple-Anti-Burst-Pregnancy/dp/B01GE7F3TA/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1OXE4B6OR3MG5&dchild=1&keywords=swiss+ball&qid=1575552745&sprefix=swiss+%2Caps%2C140&sr=8-5
Again going down the rough and tumble route…
Trampolines are fantastic for autistic children because it allows them to be energetic in safe way. This is particularly true of the mini ones (pictured above).
If your child loves rebound, then get them one of these and they’ll never stop bouncing.
This one is little out there but here us out:
Many autistic need a mess space, where they can just make a MESS!
There are a couple of ways that you can do this….
Like in the video above, you could put a chaw/whiteboard that can be easily cleaned.
However, what you might also considered doing is putting up sheets and just letting them go wild.
By using sheets, you can allow your child to keep what they create and explore it again, which can be great.
In fact any kind of thing that encourages messy play is often a great way for you and your child to spend good time together.
We’re yet to meet an autistic child that doesn’t love bubbles.
Sportify/Amazon Music Pass
Here us out:
We work with a child who loves the guys pictured above because of their washing machine sounds!
They on Amazon and Spotify, so it might be time to get subscription.
Hopefully that has given you some ideas to get you started!
I created the Disabled Kid’s Xmas list last year as bit of fun. But hell – I had so much fun doing it, I felt like I had to create a 2016 edition. So here it is: The Disabled Kid’s Xmas List 2016.
Switched Activated Toys
Having low motor skills should not be a barrier to play time. Switch activated toys might be expensive (Olaf retails at £52.99) but they will always make my Disabled Kid’s Xmas list. You can get Olaf and others here.
The Kiddy Coyote
Ok, Ok I know that there are some old favourites on this Disabled Kid’s Xmas list so far but with good reason. The kiddy handcycles really do transform your child’s wheelchair into an all-terrain animal. Trust me, your child will be be begging you to hit the park on Xmas morning. Find out more here.
The UNYQ Prosthetic Cover
Does your child hate the look of their prosthetic? Think they’d feel differently if you changed it look more like Iron Man? Well with the help of UNYQ you can! One of my favourite Disabled Kid’s Xmas List picks – find out more here.
Asics GEL-NIMBUS 18 GS
A new addition to the Disabled Kid’s Xmas list – Asics trainers are perfect for children who have difficulty standing and whose feet might collapse inwards. They look pretty cool too! Check them out here.
A Ball With A Bell Inside
Think football is just for the sighted? Think again!
Get your blind or partially sighted child a ball with a bell in it and let them fly.
Earlier on this year – I was told a beautiful story. It involved a young girl who had learning difficulty and her mother who had taken ill. The young girl had a hard time understanding what her mother was going through so her parents commissioned an accessible book from the provider Change. They are affordable and can help you explain difficult concepts to your child.
If your child has difficulty sleeping at night – a Safe Spaces pod can be a great way to know that they secure and happy. Check them out here.
That is all for this year…..