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A very special Easter

Katrina Dorrian by Katrina Dorrian Additional Needs

Katrina Dorrian

Katrina Dorrian

Hi! I'm Katrina, I have 8yr old triplets; one who has spina bifida, hydrocephalus and epilepsy. I also have MS, so we've a busy (but happy) house!

A very special Easter

There’s no denying this year or more has been incredibly difficult.

Covid-19 has reaped absolute havoc with all of our lives and freedoms.

To me, the people who have suffered the most are children.

What’s been asked of them is just beyond anything “normal” or fair.

Being taken from their schools, asked to engage with homeschooling, not being able to play with their friends, being told they are no longer allowed to hug or kiss relatives, missing contact with their much loved grown ups etc.

It's something that is just so sad.

I often imagine how children with complex needs feel.

Our son has spina bifida, hydrocephalus, epilepsy and learning disabilities meaning he has a whole team of amazing professionals who help him be as strong as he possibly can.

These people became his friends and suddenly they were all gone.

He couldn’t have face to face appointments and had to try and “make do” with zoom calls etc.

Again, it’s just so hard on all our little people and my heart genuinely feels for them.

We’ve just had our second Easter in lockdown.

This year especially we made a bigger effort than we usually do simply because the kids have missed too much already.

With his complex needs, we had to consider how to include Jacob so he didn’t feel left out.

What did this look like then?!

1. A colour co-ordinated egg hunt

Since we have triplets, we need to consider the fact that Ben and Chloe are faster and more agile than Jacob would be.

I’ve learnt in the past that the distribution of eggs can be unfair, which puts a cloud over what should be a fun morning together.

SO...this year I had a word in the Easter bunny’s large ear and asked that he used those little plastic coloured eggs to hide their treats.

Jacob’s eggs were also hidden at eye level so he could easily spot them from his wheelchair.

It was such great fun working together to find yummy treats.

2. Preparation

Jacob doesn’t really like surprises and can become distressed if he is unsure of what’s going on.

So we were giving him little snippets of information about Easter for a few weeks and explaining that he can’t eat TOO much chocolate in one day.

We also explained who he was likely to see on the day and who he wasn’t. A very simple but effective change for us.

3. Protecting against sensory overload

We have all felt like we can’t cope with noises or busy environments at one time or another, but Jacob feels this way a lot.

He will now come and say “too much” to us so we know it’s time for a quiet break.

We reduced the risk of this happening by informally breaking up the day into more manageable “slots” for him while still having lots of fun!

Yes, our Easter doesn’t always look like other people’s...but that doesn’t matter at all.

It worked for our family and we had a fantastic time together!

I really hope that you had a brilliant one too, no matter what adaptations you may have made for your little one(s).


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