Our daughter has a rare chromosome deletion 2q23.1 Micro-deletion Syndrome causing autism, epilepsy and intellectual disability.
It is always a little challenging to get the right gifts for Isla at Christmas and this year is proved no different.
This is partly because she knows exactly what she likes.
She also knows what she doesn't and will waste no time telling us or anyone else for that matter.
Fixed interests, one of the hallmarks of autism, are to blame for us only being allowed to buy the same thing for months maybe years at a time. Thomas the Tank Engine and Paw Patrol have been Isla's main toy focus for as long as I can remember.
Recently though, there has been some new developments.
We have managed to switch from buying toys to buying books! However, having completed the ENTIRE series of Captain Underpants, The Treehouse Books and Dogman we have run out of inspiration.
Isla has also shown a recent interest in Disney Princesses. Even more exciting is that she wants to dress up pretty like a princess!
After all these years of not caring about what she wears (as long as clothes are functional and comfortable), I am quite excited about this! Why? It shows she is becoming aware of herself and I am taking that as a jump in development.
I am ready to embrace the pink, blue or yellow and taffeta...depending on what Disney Princess you choose. She doesn't seem to have a preference.
But do you think I can find a Disney Princess dress in a size 12??!!!
It seems that the maximum age for anything Disney is size 8. Of course I know this as it wasn't long ago Isla's sisters were of a similar age. Their Disney Princesses days had long past by the age of 10, nearly 11.
Every change of season I get to sort through the hand me downs from her sisters.
Clothes hold many memories. Their clothes at age 12 started to change from little girl fashion to sassy tween.
Memories of this period where they became less dependent on Mum and Dad come flooding back.
Just like the Disney Princess costume, this is a sharp reminder of where Isla is at and that she is developing at a much different pace.
I acknowledge the feeling and then quickly move on, doing what I can to bring maximum happiness to our girl.
She is definitely not worried of what people think of her so I shouldn't be either.