Give Your Child a Fruit Juice Boost

As with all children, I'm keen that Natty gets a good balanced diet. A weakened immunity and frequent constipation, however, mean that I have to pay particular attention to keeping her hydrated and supplying her with her recommended daily dose of vitamins and between 5 (and more ideally 10) portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

There are many benefits to a daily #FruitJuiceBoost

Encouraging a child to eat more fruit and veg can sometimes be tricky and requires some sneakiness on your part. Try blending veggies into pizza sauce or packing them finely-chopped into soups, as well as making artistic creations with fruit. You might also consider playing counting or sorting games with fruit and veg.

Super Gifts for the Senses

You'd be surprised how often people ask for my advice about what kind of present they should buy for a child with special needs. 

Birthdays and Christmas only come around but once a year and it's important to make your gift one that will light up a child's eyes and be used frequently, whilst aiding their development in a fun and gentle way. 

Find a present that will delight, educate and develop the senses

Let's Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 2017

Let's Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 2017!

Mia and Natty celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 
with funky socks to represent chromosomes

The 21st day of the 3rd month sees World Down Syndrome Day - the date 21/3 representing 3 copies of chromosome 21 which leads to the common condition.

Our 6 Savvy Travel Spending Tips

The moment we were told that Natalia has Down's syndrome has been well documented on this blog, but one of the very first muddled thoughts that I remember running through my head was that we would never travel again... 

I can't tell you what my confused reasoning was, but what surprises me is that so many other parents of children with SEND say exactly the same.

The world is your oyster!

Go Henry Pocket Money App Teaches Independence

Like many children with a learning disability, Natty has very little concept of the value of money. She knows she can buy cake, a piece of fruit of a new dress with money, but so often it is me that buys it for her or gives her the change to hand over. She loves shopping mind you, even if it still means trying to hitch a ride in the trolley.

Go Henry is a new way to learn about money

In terms of saving pocket money or doing chores, we could do a lot more to encourage her understanding of money and develop her independence.

Fellow blogger and Mum of a young man with Down's syndrome Alice Hassell first told me about Go Henry, an online banking system with an app that helps children budget, save and spend. Go Henry have even won an award for Best Online Pocket Money system, so I decided to give it a try.

Hairdressing Tips for Kids with Special Needs

Does your child with special needs do all they can to avoid having their hair cut or brushed? Here are our top tips for hairdressing without the tears.

Let your child choose hair brushes, braids and bobbles

Mia has always loved having her hair brushed, cut, twirled, plaited, twizzled and filled with as many hairslides and bobbles as she can muster. Her need for girliness has always outweighed my hairdressing skills by far. I still couldn't do a French Plait if my life depended on it!

Tears, Tantrums and Tiaras: Avoiding Hairdressing

Natty couldn't be more different. With her it's always been full on war to get a brush anywhere near her head. From washing to combing and cutting and every stage in between, we've been met with a full on tantrum or tears or running and hiding in a corner. 

Bless Her Heart: Heart Surgery and Beyond

Reposted from 2013

This morning Natty had the first check-up with her cardiac consultant in an incredible 2 years.

That she felt confident enough to leave a gap of 2 years since last covering Natty's chest in jelly and staring silently and seriously at her heart's image beating on a screen whilst Natty initially wriggled then slowly settled to watch CBeebies on a TV on the ceiling, whilst I stroke her forehead as she lay on my chest, speaks volumes. 

But why did I feel so nervous last night? Why couldn't I sleep?