This is a huge day for your family and if you are one of our families celebrating this day with your child with additional needs we congratulate you in reaching a huge milestone. I am going to tell you a few things in the hope that it helps you to have a wonderful day.

I know what worked really well for me was meeting with David’s teacher two-weeks before and discuss the key issues so the teacher didn’t have to deal with them on the day.

For the day to run smoothly for David we had to put in the place the following:

–    David sitting next to boys who were familiar with his ways and wouldn’t take any notice of him.

–    David had to see the priest from where he was sitting otherwise he would start shouting that someone was in his way. He is loud!

–    We had an allocated place for myself and my family so I could keep an eye on him.

–    I also attended one of the pre-communion rehearsal in the church, I stayed at the back and out of the way but just observed how David was getting on.

–    I also figured out the latest time to attend the church so we didn’t have to go to the bathroom during the mass.

–    I had a family member drop us to the church as getting David into his wheelchair and trying to get parking would have been too much.

–    I also brought lots of tissues as David is prone to sneezing when he gets bored!

A few tips for you.

–    Listen to your child and ask them what they would really like to do for the day.

–    Explain to your child all that is going to happen, make it into a story but try and keep it in sequence.

–    If you are having a photographer ask that they arrive at the house before you leave for the church.

–    Double check your bookings for any hotel/caterers.

–    Delegate. If you are having the party in your house, make sure any family member have their designated jobs.

–    “Put your own oxygen mask on first” as in get yourself ready first. This is so important because if you start running behind in time then the tension runs through the whole family.

When I now look back on that day I remember feeling so grateful that David reached these milestones as when he was born I thought he would never see this day. It is such a big day for all the family and things can go wrong. Try your best to focus on the positives and making the day one to remember for your child.

Wishing you the very best on such a joyful occasion.