Monday, July 9, 2012

People don't realize

Reading Heidi's post got me thinking. When parents raise small children they run into their fair share of issues when it comes to visiting new places. Kids tend to wander. More falls tend to happen. They can get off schedule.

When you raise a child with RS you have the typical problems PLUS a whole set of other issues. Next week our family leaves for our annual trip to the beach. I have to make sure I am prepared for the usual issues with sun and sand and the ocean. We pack our sunscreen and our puddle jumpers (life preservers) and our toys. But what people don't realize that for a child like Abby (or Ethan) we have to think way beyond that.

A normal kid can bound through the sand by about age two or three. At age five Abby still struggles. By three Grace no longer needed a stroller to navigate the boardwalk but at five Abby still needs hers after a few blocks. The shift in her sleeping schedule means that her sensory system will be good and turned upside down by the second day.

It's not that we don't have fun because we TOTALLY do but there is so much planning ahead. We know that there will be more falls than normal. We know that she will be more frustrated than normal. And we know that in order for all of the family to enjoy our vacation we have to work twice as hard as we would if we had kids with no special needs.

I am just not sure that people realize that even on vacation, or our lazy days at the beach or a simple trip to the mall that so much goes into parenting a child with special needs. Most of us RS parents pray that we make it *SEEM* effortless (;D) but trust me, it isn't.

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