School is out! While that can mean some more zzzz's in the morning or special travel plans, it can also mean a more stressful time for families with special needs children. Without the routine and support of school, it can be a looooong break. Check out our list of ways to help so you can put a little sparkle in the life of a family you know!
Things YOU can do to help out someone with special needs!
1. Smile and say hello.
2. Take them for a walk. Pushing a wheelchair can be fun!
3. Visit with your pet. Oh the joy a wiggly, warm ball of love can bring to someone who is confined to their wheelchair.
4. Make something for them. A drawing, a paper flower, a pretty button to wear. Show your friendship with a special homemade item.
5. Offer to read books, help with a craft, help the parents.
6. Dance! Visit with your favorite music and have fun “dancing!” Even if you can just hold their hand and move to the beat! Bring a few fun scarves with you!
7. Invite a family with a special needs child to a church function. Offer to help with the child so the parents can talk and enjoy their time. Many families do not get out much because it can be very difficult to manage all by themselves.
8. Have a picnic! You will have to know what special diets the person is on and learn how to make some of the special foods. But an afternoon with a few families at a park is a wonderful time to be together.
9. Bring your special friend to a school event or game! Having kids their own age meet them at an event really helps.
10. Blow bubbles. This is a fun outdoor activity, especially with our Rett girls!
11. Find a park with a handicapped swing. Meet up at the park and push her on the swing.
12. Help a family out. Offer to help with yard work, cleaning out the garage, etc.
13. Be a grocery shopping buddy! If you are too young to babysit, you can still go with the family and help in the store. The extra pair of hands to push a cart or entertain a baby sibling is a big help. You can imagine it would be hard for a mom to push a cart and a wheelchair at the same time!
14. Help out at a doctor’s appointment. Go with the family to the appointment. You can stay in the waiting room with your special friend so the parents can speak with the doctor without distractions.
15. Car wash! (For those of you in warm weather!) This is a fun activity you can do right in the driveway on a warm sunny day. Help your friend squirt the water, dip her hands in bucket of suds, sing some songs!
16. Beauty time! Get together with your friend and brush her hair. Put in all kinds of bows. Do your hair too! Sit in front of a mirror and pose and make faces. Take a picture of the two of you that you both will cherish forever!
17. Offer to babysit. Even if it is just so the parents can go for a walk.
18. Make flash cards and other helpful items. Talk with the family about what kinds of things they use to communicate with their daughter. Many use flash cards and other homemade items that are time
consuming to make. You could be a very big help with this!
19. Make dinner for a family with a special needs child.
20. Play an instrument? Visit with your guitar and let her strum. Or just bring your voice and sing!
Have more ideas to share? Share them below in the comments section!