Self Care in the Darkness

It’s that time of year when the nights start drawing in, the weather starts getting colder, nature starts to shut down in preparation for the winter ahead. It can be a time that can affect many of us mentally, as we struggle with the relative lack of sunlight and being cooped up at home more (just as we are getting used to being allowed out again!). This can be especially true for families of children with special or additional needs, for whom survival from one day to the next can be the reality anyway. At least in the summer, there might be more options for ways to keep our children occupied and engaged.

But autumn, and even winter, can bring their own special opportunities too. Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of cosiness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. Studies show that people living in the arctic circle are armed with a mindset linked to this that helps combat the long ‘polar night’, a bit of ‘hygge’ might come in handy for us all especially for parents of children with special or additional needs.

In the depths of winter, Tromsø in Norway gets no direct sunlight at all, and only the faint glow of indirect sunlight for a couple of hours or so a day. Yet, despite this, Tromsø’s citizens do not seem to struggle with low mood or seasonally affective disorder (SAD) in the way that might be expected. In fact, generally, the mental health of the good folk of Tromsø is in excellent shape.

So why is this? What is the secret that they share? And how can this be relevant to special needs parents? Well, it seems that there is a ‘mindset’ that people living north of the arctic circle share, and the further north you go, the stronger this mindset becomes. How people perceive and frame stressful events strongly influences how they are affected by them.

People who think about adverse situations and events as a challenge, an opportunity to learn new things and to adapt to new ways of living are likely to cope much better than people who focus on the immediate difficulties as well as negative outcomes that “might” happen in the future. How we respond affects our mental health and well-being, as well as our physical health.

So, what does this Scandinavian positivity teach us as special needs parents? Well, it’s so easy to be dominated by negative feelings, fears for the future, the mental and physical exhaustion we can often experience. But maybe if we can train ourselves to find the positives, to look for the opportunities to learn and adapt, we can find our own ‘hygge’ too. We can find that there are ways to cope with our own ‘times of winter’, those dark periods where it all seems too much. And the more we try it, the better we’ll get at it!

This isn’t to sugar-coat things or to deny the difficulties that we face, and we can’t hide from these challenges any more than the citizens of Tromsø can pretend that the sun is still rising. However, by recognising our own capacity to control our responses we may all find some hidden reserves of strength and resilience to help us face each day.

Hot chocolate anyone?

7 Years of Loving You

Our triplets were born at 32 weeks and 4 days gestation, making them “preemies”. We knew one of our babies would have spina bifida, and possibly hydrocephalus, but didn’t know how affected he’d be until he was born. I vividly remember the team bringing him out of my tummy last (but not least!) and he cried the loudest, despite being a teeny 2lbs 10ozs. That was seven whole years ago now so I thought I’d write about seven things I love about him.

  1. “He’ll never walk”

Yes, that’s a strange one to start with, but stay with me. We were told all sorts of things when I was still pregnant like he was a girl (oops) and the spina bifida wasn’t too bad. It was after his first year that we were told he’d never walk. He is indeed a full-time wheelchair user, but what a lot of people don’t know is Jacob CAN walk. He has a special frame that goes around his body offering him full support, but the ability to move. He calls it his “Hulk Suit”. His orthopaedic surgeon will tell us it’s not “functional walking”, which is true, but it does all our hearts good. He’s also defied the odds and can now control some movement in his quadriceps.

  1. He adapts.

When he was little, Jacob’s newly formed speech regressed completely. We were all taught Makaton, which he took to beautifully. I’ve videos of him singing when he was barely even two years old. He did start speaking again but still uses Makaton since it’s used so freely in his school. It’s amazing!

  1. He has a wicked sense of humour!

We are fairly proud of the fact that Jacob’s humour has developed given all he has faced. He gives epic one-liners and has us all in absolute hysterics! He’s a total showman and loves to be the centre of attention.

  1. He will never give up.

This can be both a quality and a bit of a stumbling block for him at times, although mostly the former! In his seven years, he has had eight surgeries, been in A&E over 50 times, admitted to hospital more times than we can remember, visited an insane amount of medical professionals etc and he still just gets on with things. Of course, it gets to him, but he doesn’t “stay down” long. He’s amazing.

  1. He has developed in ways they said he never would.

Like I’ve said, he has some controlled movement of his quadriceps, but that’s not all. He was given a diagnosis of epilepsy due to epileptic seizures showing up on consecutive EEG tests. He then had a further diagnosis of “non-epileptic seizures” (NES) which were due to his brain being in absolute overload. He had several of these every single day but thanks to supporting from a special school and a great team, he rarely experiences these anymore. His brain was apparently “unreachable” yet he clawed his way back. We are so proud.

  1. He’s amazingly empathetic.

They say people who go through the hardest times will always understand the pain in a different way. I see this in Jacob. He watches his identical twin brother (who’s “healthy”) and sister with nothing but love. If they fall and get a cut, he will want to help look after them. He worries about the boys and girls in his class who are more vulnerable (in his mind) and he worries about me when my Multiple Sclerosis flares. His struggles have taught him to understand other people’s. He recently said to a family member who’d been through a trauma, “I’m so sorry you’re sad”. What insight for a young child!

  1. He has a vivid imagination.

Jacob is one of those children whose teachers will comment “participates actively” in class. Translated: he never stops talking! Jacob tells stories to the point of creating whole other worlds in his head and we have learnt to just go along with him. It seems to be more than coping for him, he enjoys thinking up characters etc. He did once tell a teacher that I “ate coco pops and drank wine at breakfast” though, which wasn’t quite so good (and certainly wasn’t true. The wine anyway…)

Every year with Jacob has brought fresh challenges and heartache, but also an immense amount of pride and joy. I don’t know what we ever did without him in our lives! Happy birthday our little warrior, we truly couldn’t love you, Ben and Chloe, anymore.

My Boy Is Growing Up And I’m Not Ready

This week I had a fabulous experience visiting the secondary school that Mr V and I are hoping the Dude will attend next academic year. It’s one of the nicest places I’ve visited, there was a lovely happy vibe throughout the school. Staff and students alike were so happy, there was laughter coming from classrooms, and the whole place had a wonderful calm feel.

Sitting in the sports hall with other prospective parents, listening to the Headteacher explaining about the different classes and activities a thought hit me like a steam train. My tiny baby boy is coming to the end of his time at a school that has been central to all of our lives for almost 8 years, and I’m not ready. In a heartbeat I found myself fighting to control my emotions – you see, my boy’s primary school is rather special. More like a family than a school, its small size means that relationships between families are forged quickly.

The staff love the children as their own and celebrate each achievement alongside us with the same level of joy as if our children had won the Nobel Prize! It is in a large part thanks to this school that our son has developed into the happy, confident and lovely young man that he is…they have worked alongside us where his development is concerned, taking on additional therapies to carry on work that we do at home. And they have calmed him on more ambulance rides across the city than I care to think about as he was raced to the hospital due to seizures or respiratory complications.

I am so not ready for him to move on to the next stage. The Dude however most definitely IS. He is 100% ready, excited to keep learning and ready to meet new friends as well as reconnect with old ones. And the School in question feels like a perfect fit for my inquisitive, intelligent but complex little chap.

And then I looked around at the other parents and realised that each and every one of them was going through the same tsunami of emotions. It’s a big step for any parent and when it comes to our additional needs kids that step feels absolutely enormous. The kids may be ready for this, but the parents may need a bit more reassurance and a lot of strong coffee!

Take A Load Off Dinner

Having a household of three growing boys and my husband, it seems that I am always in the kitchen. There is never a shortage of “I’m hungry’’ going around.

Now that life is all about being locked up 24-7, I have been struggling with ways to keep the boys fed and keep the diversity in meals going.

When all you have to do is eat, sit around, eat some more, and binge on Netflix, cooking turns into a chore and you get tired of the same old meals. Thanks to my secret listeners on Facebook, I had an ad pop up on my feed for a meal service called EveryPlate. It was advertising three meals with two servings each for less than $3.99 a plate. That was six meals sent to my house to make, for less than $40 including shipping!

I have always wanted to try a meal service, and with Oliver being so picky yet striving to provide him with the best choices, I opted to try this one out. Three months in with the service, and needless to say I am in love! I have been able to get multiple people sign up for the service (no pyramid scheme here), and they love it too!

Every Tuesday, I get my meals and ingredients sent to my door in a box with adequate packing and ice blocks to keep everything cold and fresh. In the box is the meals you pre-selected along with the recipes on how to prepare them. Every recipe comes with everything you need, starting with the meats, fresh produce, all the way down to the seasonings and herbs. Most of the time you just need to add your own flour or water and oil.

Because I have boys who can eat, we get 4 meals sent to our household each week. With the option to skip or cancel anytime, I am never in fear that I am locked down in some kind of contract. And no, I did not or am not getting paid to write this. Lol.

Just from one family to another, this has saved so much time and stress off of my hands and mind.

The recipes are ever changing and always top notch. Oliver, being my kiddo who has the allergies and pickiness, has enjoyed himself some bacon grilled cheese, chicken sausage tomato soup, and even Honey Chipotle chicken!

With it being such a risk to head out to the stores these days, this is such a great option to have your food delivered right to your door!

**Disclaimer** Other food/meal services available

Stay strong…..

It looks like our lives will be a little different for a while. It’s helpful to implement a schedule/routine if you can. This decreases the angst for children. It sets mini goals for each day, and it also outlines shared responsibilities from family members throughout the day.

If you can, go out for a portion of the day – either on your lawn, porch, backyard, out your window, your roof, or down your street ( P.S- I know one person who ran a mile with her son in his wheelchair, while they were only permitted to move 300 m from their home, in each direction, by their local government!)

You’re probably working harder than ever to keep everyone busy and happy.

So, to make that ‘together time’ as a family- fun, productive and positive, I’m suggesting MOVEMENT.  Active movement promotes endorphin release, improves blood flow, and maintains muscle strength and flexibility.

To exercise with your little ones:

Floor time is the best exercise for your little one who is not yet walking. While your child is on the floor, get comfortable get on the floor it’s a great time to plank, superman exercises, complete straight leg raises, hip lifts or pushups.

Short arc squats-Stand with feet hips width apart. Hold your child, and slowly bend knees, squat, and return to standing while you sing or count.

Hold your child; start in a seated position on a chair. Slowly rise, and then return to sitting. Hold your tummy muscles tight.  You can use words such as UUUPPPP and DOOOOWWWNN, use inflections in your voice and have fun with it!!

Side stepping- Hold your child and take a step to the side, stop. Then take a step in the opposite direction and start from the beginning. Side to side. Put music on and have fun with it!!

Heel lifts- Sit in a comfortable chair; bend knees, feet flat on the floor. Hold your child facing you, on your lap, closer to your knees, and complete heel lifts- Point toes, push down on the floor and lift heels, return to flat feet.

Lay on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Hold your baby on your belly or trunk, march your legs in place.

Bridging- Lay on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Hold your baby on your belly, lower than your belly button.  Squeeze your buttocks and lift your pelvis slowly, and then return your pelvis to the floor.  Include UUUUUPP and DOOOWWWWWN, with inflections in your voice.

If your child is small enough, put them in a carrier and take a walk

Relaxation techniques… deep breathing and visualization (look it up). Lay down in a relaxed position and contracts relax different groups of muscles.

Here’s some relaxation techniques to try –

Start at your toes, squeeze tight, hold for 3-5 seconds and then let go.

Move up towards your ankles, point toes downward, hold for 3-5 seconds and relax.

Bend ankles and lift toes towards your head….

Push knees down and tighten your thigh muscles….

Squeeze your buttocks…..

Take deep breaths in and out… fill your belly with air and blow out …..

Squeeze your hands, make a fist and relax…

Try to squeeze shoulder blades together or push elbows down on surface, hold for 3-5 seconds…..

Squeeze shoulders up and let them fall down and relax…..

Over exaggerate mouthing vowels, open and shut eyes, make an angry face and a surprised face, squeeze lips together and then, relax.

Repeat each movement 3x and move up your body.  Include your facial muscles.

Of course, only move in pain free ranges.  Check with your doctor before you exercise if you have any condition.

Movement breaks are important for everyone! It can be therapeutic, bonding, silly, fun, musical, and most importantly – filled with LOVE!!!

DIY Weighted Sensory Fidget Lap Pad

As a mom to children with sensory processing disorders, I am always looking for new tools to equip my children to help them cope with the world around them.

I have children who are sensory seekers and children who are sensory avoiders.

Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to find affordable products that meet their needs.

Thankfully, I am learning to be creative, and I am finding that many tools can be created from everyday products around us.

Recently, my little girl has been having trouble sitting in church.

She squirms all over the place and takes off running laps when she gets the chance.

She enjoys being held and squeezed tight, but my husband and I aren’t always available to provide her with this input for the entire length of time she needs to sit still.

She enjoys playing with small toys and uses them to stim, but sometimes she throws them without warning.

As I was brainstorming all these issues, I decided she needs something weighted that we can attach to some of her toys with the option of switching them out.

A pillow animal seemed like the perfect thing to make into a weighted lap mat.

It is an ideal size, can be filled with quite a bit of weight, and is still compact enough to not be obnoxious.

Then, I searched for a way to attach her toys to the pillow’s back so she couldn’t throw them; for this, I found coiled keychains that worked perfectly.

Here is how to create your own weighted lap pad to which you can attach small toys/sensory fidgets:

You will need:

  • Pillow Animal
  • Scissors
  • 3-6 coil keychains with a clip on one end
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Dry beans (or other weighted filler)

What to do:

  1. Cut a small slit along a seam in a discreet location on the pillow animal’s main body and remove all the stuffing. Set the stuffing aside.
  2. Remove the rings from the coil keychains
  3. Choose how many keychains you would like to attach. Choose what locations on the top of the pillow animal you would like to attach the coils. Hand sew each keychain onto each chosen location through the last loop (on the opposite end of the clip). Use LOTS of stitches and check frequently to make sure the keychain is being firmly attached.
  4. After you have attached all the keychains you desire, pour dry beans into the hole in the pillow animal until a desired weight (not fullness) is reached. You do not have to use beans—you could also use rice, gravel, beads, etc. Once the pillow animal has reached the weight you desire (our pillow animal is around 9 pounds), place as much of the stuffing back into the pillow animal as you wish. Less stuffing will make for a floppier lap pad that molds to the child’s legs more and may fold easier. More stuffing will offer a stiffer, more cushioned lap pad.
  5. Sew the hole in the pillow animal tightly closed with stitches that are close together. You can do this by hand or with a sewing machine.
  6. Attach desired toys to the keychains on the pillow animal’s back and place the finished lap pad on child’s lap for grounding weight and comfort.

10 Special Needs Books to Curl Up to on a Cold Winter’s Day

Granted, our days are extraordinarily challenging, but sometimes reading a book that makes you reflect or think about a different perspective about special needs parenting is just the soul food you need and have been craving.

Here are ten great special needs books that you can curl up to on a cold winter’s day:

The Life we never expected:  Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs

By Andrew Wilson and Rachel Wilson

A book written from the perspective of parents who have two children who have special needs.  A book that leans to a spiritual awakening and with religious beliefs a guide towards acceptance and grace for the things you cannot change.

The book offers wisdom in parenting two children living with Autism, the unwavering hope, the realistic and raw emotions and challenges, and the faith that tomorrow will be better and stronger.

The book offers as a guide as to what churches in your community should do, while being open and candid about the everyday frustrations and feelings that come along with parenting children who have special needs.

This book is very much rooted in biblical tone, yet candidly offers a genuine and heartfelt experience of both the joy and sadness that is associated with having a child with special needs.

It is heart-warming, emotional and relatable.

The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs by Cara Koscinski

 A great book for parents who are new to therapies for their child with special needs who are looking to learn more about occupational therapy goals and tasks.

Written from the perspective of another parent who has a child with special needs who is also an occupational therapist by profession. The book is a wonderful resource for learning therapist terminology.

The book aims to assist parents with various questions as to how to find a good OT therapist, what home goals should look like, and resources that are available to better assist your child in a therapeutic setting.

The book is also a fantastic reference guide even for the more OT experienced parent.

You Will Dream New Dreams:  Inspiring Stories by Parents of Children with Disabilities by Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D.

This book address some of the more taboo or harder side to decision making when it comes to children with disabilities.

The book contains chapters on a parent’s decision to place their child in a group home, and a parent’s struggle to acceptance and coming to terms with the severe nature of their child’s disability.

A great read for a parent that is struggling with feeling overwhelmed, alone or on emotional overload as a result of their child’s diagnosis and ongoing needs.

It is a book that lets you know that you are not the only parent that is facing or has faced some difficult decisions on the special needs journey.

The Elephant in the Playroom by Denise Brodey

A book of heartfelt stories shared by other parents who have children with special needs.

It gives a raw and honest account of both the joys and the challenges with special needs parenting.  A book that is a bit more light-hearted in its approach.

The stories will leave you feeling like there is hope for the hand you were dealt, and finding commonality with other parents who going through the exact same experiences that you are.

Views from Our Shoes by Donald Joseph Meyer and Cary Pillo

A great book that shares the stories of 45 brothers and sisters to siblings who have special needs.

The book contains a series of essays from an age group of four years old to eighteen years old and their perspective and experiences having a sibling with special needs.

The essays are candid and honest about their feelings from the very good to the very bad – but with a universal theme of love, compassion and ultimate understanding for their sibling with special needs.

If you are struggling with a sibling dynamic this would be an interesting read.

Schuyler’s Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson

This book is written from a father’s perspective about the challenges of raising a non-verbal daughter.

There are not many books that explore a father&#3#39;s perspective in special needs parenting, which I think offers a unique and important aspect to this book.

A father’s love, devotion, and feelings no less important and it is refreshing to have a father discuss feelings related to a child with significant disabilities and special needs.

It touches upon a father’s self-doubt about his potential shortcomings in relation to parenting a child that had no voice of her own and his feelings of being inadequate to fulfil her needs.

Uncommon Beauty: Crisis Parenting from Day One by Margaret Meader

A book written by a mother to a child who has special needs, the book offers tips and guidance on how to navigate the system, be the best and strongest advocate for your child that you can possibly be, dealing with the harsh realities of financial hardships, and juggling endless hospital and therapy appointments.

It is a book that empowers parents to be the very best that they can be given the multitude of challenges that they are facing.

A great “go-get’em” book that will serve as inspiration and fuel to keep marching forward.

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

A book about having a child with the diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfecta, (or more commonly known as brittle bone disease, OI).

Although based as fiction, the author does a relatively decent job describing some of the heart wrenching thoughts and emotions that are associated with a child who has a severe and even in some cases a life-limiting condition.

It touches on the theme of what constitutes a life worth living, the value of a life and what you’ll do as a parent to move heaven and earth to provide the best life possible.

They Say I’m Special:  100 Tips for Raising a Happy and Resilient Child with Special Needs by Frances Vidakovic

This book offers perspective and tips on raising a child with special needs who is resilient along with special needs parenting coping strategies.

The book aims to be a self-help guide on assisting your child with the most independence and best future you can offer them with their own special needs.

The book is written from the perspective of a mother who has a child with special needs and offers the reader something they can relate to.

Refresh:  Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs by Kimberly M. Drew and Jocelyn Green

This book is packed with comfort, hope and faith.  It is a devotional book that aims to encourage parents who have children with special needs.  To let them know they are not alone on the journey.

The book offers spiritual truths, scriptures, stories and testimonies from other parents.

The book also explores the theme of a deeper understanding of all the personal lessons that come as a result of having a child with special needs.

Curl up next to a warm fire with a good read and tell us all about it!

Special Needs Parenting: Happy?

An introvert adolescent and the youngest of three, I spent plenty of time alone growing up. I didn’t mind.

I liked reading. I liked thinking.

I very clearly remember saying to my mum when I was about four ” but what is a human being?”

The philosophical thoughts of a preschooler are enough to make most parents shudder, but I’m not convinced my thoughts have moved along much.

The main problem of having a mind of your own is that you have no one else’s internal workings to compare it to. Your normal is the normal.

When does being a loner, a thinker, a ponderer, tip over into something pathological?

Are all introverts depressive?

In an attempt to resist over thinking this I’ll tell you how it is in the grimy recesses of my brain.

Depression to me is hard to explain and harder to admit to. It colours other people’s perspective of you.

Go to the GP and I believe a little flashing link appears on the case note screen.

”I think I’ve torn a ligament Doctor” “And how long have you been on the antidepressants Mrs. Scott?” (I exaggerate but…)

I have long felt that any bad health I experience, physical or mental is a character failing.

If only I worked harder, ran faster and was an all-round better person, I would not experience this thing.

As my excellent GP really did say “you are extraordinarily driven”

Well duh?! Through sheer force of will I can, I will, be better!

Oh dear, that definitely sounds like the workings of a depressive brain. Couple that with the fact that I think I’m probably putting it all on. A double whammy.

Also, if I’m not depressed I’m happy. I don’t really do in between. I feel things extremely intensely, or I’m depressed when I don’t really feel anything at all.

In the absolute grip of it I long, long, for it to be over.

So what is it?

An absence of feeling. An abundance of desolation. A loss of appetite for food, drink, touch, smell, life.

A deep hole which seems impossible to scale the walls of. A heavy sadness in my very bones.

An utter and total loathing of myself, and a certainty that my family, my friends and indeed the world in general, would be better off without my draining existence.

Where does it come from? I know it comes from a lack of serotonin. I know that. But how, and why, and where has my quotient gone?

Does somebody else have my measure? Is my happiness so happy I spent all my serotonin on a good day? Where does it go?

I lie some mornings in bed, sniffing the air. Is it here? Has it gone? It’s gone! I leap up! Oh. No. Still there.

On days like this I would amputate my own arm with no anaesthetic if someone told me it would make that thing, black dog, cloud, slough of despond, go away.

Sometimes I sense it creeping up on me. If there are too many hospital appointments or LA fights, I keep my wits about me and take action before it settles in.

Occasionally its stealth amazes even me. It quietly whispers into my unconscious brain “you’re worthless” So quietly that it becomes background unquestionable fact.

Most of all it lurks invisibly. People don’t see it in me, I keep it well hidden. Well would you go out in public if you felt like that?

Recently I’ve been naming and shaming. Get it out there in the light, show it up for what it is, in the hope it will burn up and fade.

Mainly at the moment I thank Big Pharma for the little white pills. They contain the right dose of my elusive serontion. I have hated them, I have resisted them, but now I welcome them.

Just now, right at the moment they help. They can’t solve my problems but they can smooth over the rough edges and help me muddle along.

Isn’t that all that any of us can really do?

Fall Fashion for the Child with Special Needs

Firefly scouted the hottest and coolest trends for children with special needs as the weather starts to turn a little chilly with hints of pumpkin spice drifting in the air and leaves falling gently to the ground.

Get our editor’s fashion picks from head to toe! With Fall right around the corner, you may be feeling a little beside yourself wondering how to make traditional sweaters, scarves and boots work for your child with special needs.

Never fear we have some great fashion trends that will add spark and a smile into the Fall season!

Sweedie Kids Infinity Scarfs

These bibs are incredibly stylish and are fantastic for back to school and crisp morning days. They are not only trendy but shy away from the traditional bandana bib style offering the child a more mature look.

Sweedie Kids Infinity Scarfs have the same quality and moisture resistant qualities that their bandana bibs do. The prints are fun and perfect for the growing child.

They retail for $18 per scarf and are a must have for your child’s fall clothing collection. They are guaranteed to keep your child both dry and stylish!

You can check out Sweedie Kids here.


Feejays are sweatpants with sherpa lined feet. They offer children with sensory challenges additional built in comfort while still keeping warm.

Feejays feet can flip up or down depending if you’re hot, need a little bit of breathing or need to be covered to keep those little toes warm.

The super plush fleece makes them an excellent choice to wear night or day and can be paired well with a hoodie, sweatshirt or long sleeved shirt to add that touch of personal style.

They make a great option to throw on quickly for an unexpected doctor’s appointment, or for a comfortable day of therapy or a playful school activity.

Versatile and comfortable you’ll want a few pair of these in your child’s fall collection. Feejays retail for $29.98 each and come in a variety of colors and sizes.

You can check out Feejays here.

Kickee Pants Denim Jacket with Sherpa Lining

Your child will both be stylish and in ultimate sensory heaven in this sherpa lined denim jacket. This is easily a fall favorite and goes well with your child’s favorite shirt and pants.

Comes both in girls and boys styles that even have cute embroidered patterns on the back to add a sweet personal touch.

This will easily become your child’s go to jacket for warmth on cozy cold days.

The denim jackets retail for $60 and are easy to wash and dry for messy days. Sizes range from 0-3 months to 10 years.

You can check out Kickee Pants here.

Target’s Cat & Jack Special Needs Line

Basics are always in. But here’s a fantastic twist.

Target’s new line offers clothing that has a typical feel with special needs elements such as added zippers, heat-transferred labels in place of tags, flat seamed options, and one-dimensional graphic tees with zip-off sleeves and side openings that make dressing easier expected to debut in the near future.

The line is fun and hip with great prints like unicorns and dinosaurs mixed with messages of kindness and strength.

Cat & Jack sensory-friendly pieces come in sizes XS-XL for Big Kids and 2T-5T in Toddler Sizes and the best part is the price point rangers from $4.50 to $7 to be easy on that special needs parent wallet!

You can check out Target’s new sensory-friendly line here.

Whether you are out shopping for back-to-school clothes, around the house lounging or just for some new outfits that your child with special needs will adore, keep these top trends in mind.

Happy shopping!