Special needs parenting: Family walks

Rebecca Toal by Rebecca Toal Additional Needs

Rebecca Toal

Rebecca Toal

Blessed, busy mum to four beautiful girls, the youngest with complex special needs due to extreme prematurity. We are always looking for ways to ma...

Special needs parenting: Family walks

I am so thankful that our teenage girls still want to go on walks with us as a family at the weekends.

To be honest, I’m kind of dreading the day when they feel too old or too busy to tag along in our accessible van as a family of 6.

We’ve just always gone on day trips or vacations as a family and I don’t want it to end (though of course it will at some point).

On this particular sunny Saturday, we’d packed everyone up early, along with a picnic, complete with a flask of milky tea and Brielle’s Peg-feed for lunch.

We managed to bribe the girls out of the house before 9am by arranging to stop on the way for a drive-thru McD’s breakfast (sausage McMuffins and hash browns) so made our 45 minute drive along beautiful coastline to the forest we wanted to walk in quite early.

In this picture Brielle is walking handheld with her Daddy, I’m taking the picture of the girls and Ian and pushing the stroller.

It was a gorgeous family walk around the forest park, almost idyllic until Brielle had a meltdown about getting back into her stroller, but she was too exhausted to walk any further.

The special needs stroller we got 2 years ago is a game-changer.

I remember pushing her wheelchair up and around these same dirt path trails (NOT fun at all!).

We took the plunge and bought a pink and black Delta Buggy- a three-wheeled all terrain special needs buggy that should fit Brielle until she’s in late teens at least.

It’s really enabled a lot more off-road trails and walks, and we use it daily for long walks from our house too, especially with all the lockdowns and being at home so much.

We’ve made a point to walk loads and Brielle just loves being out and about!

If you are thinking of purchasing a special needs buggy (I’m American by birth so you’ll see we always call it her “stroller”), you may be entitled to a grant to help purchase one as they are very expensive!

Brielle’s social worker secured a grant for £500 towards it, and we paid for the rest.

SUCH a worthwhile investment though and we are so glad we have it, and thankful for quality time with all our girls.


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