One of the challenges of having a physically disabled child is accessibility.
Anything we plan to do we have to do additional research and planning to ensure it is going to be accessible for Annabelle.
Annabelle is old enough to understand she has cerebral palsy and as a result she has to work very hard to move and has to do regularly therapy but she isn’t old enough to understand that she has a disability and what that actually means is that sometimes she will not be able to participate in things due them not be accessible.
She has cerebral palsy but that does not define her. She is a little girl who deserves to have as many opportunities as possible and we will always go over and beyond to let her experience everything she desires.
This month it was pumpkin picking.
A muddy field full of pumpkins is probably high up on the list of fun things to do with children over the Halloween period, but it certainly isn’t accessible.
Annabelle is still pretty small for her age which means we are still able to carry her around if needed but it’s not ideal and after a while of carrying what feels like dead weight, it becomes too much to handle. You also have that risk that you may trip and fall with your child in your arms which again is far from ideal on a field full of pumpkin shaped obstacles.
With pumpkin patches come wheelbarrows, for us this was the perfect solution to getting Annabelle across the field safely and to save our arms. She thought it was fantastic and enjoyed every minute of the ride. We wheeled her across the field looking at the hundreds of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes along the way.
Once we found a perfect picking spot, we put Annabelle into her Upsee so that she could enjoy the picking experience whilst we had our hands and arms free to assist her with lifting pumpkins. We were able to bend down with her so she could pick the pumpkins she wanted and then helped her lift them into the wheelbarrow.
She was in her element. We picked as many different pumpkin varieties as we could get our hands on and she loved every minute of the experience.
There is no better feeling that watching your child participate in something that you were concern was not going to be accessible enough. It is safe to say that we will be going back next year and this may even be the start of a Halloween family tradition!