One of the things we always wonder and worry about is how much of the World does Owen understand. Over his 5 years of life he has taught us despite his severe disabilities he understands the world so much more than he is able to express, because of this we never assume that he will not understand something and try our best to make sure he is included in everything we do. With Owen we are very much the experts of thinking outside the box, planning and researching and adapting things that we do.
Owen loves Christmas, he really does. The word Christmas makes him cackle with delight. Owen loves the sensory experiences Christmas can bring. Christmas Lights are of course a huge hit. a room full of lights is his happy place so Christmas means lots and lots of happy places. Another thing Owen loves about Christmas is the get together’s and the attention he will get, Owen is a real sociable little boy and of course a flirt.
Owen took part in his Christmas play (I remember being concerned when I knew Owen was going to have to go to a special needs school that he was going to miss out on all things like A Nativity Play and Easter Parades, how I was so wrong) Owen was a carol singer, he danced along to the music and then his part came up during his now favourite Jingle Bells. Owen was to push his switch to activate it to say “hey”. Unfortunately he was so excited about the song his arms were in full extension so his timing was off when he eventually found his switch button. Though when he found it he made great use of it, constantly pressing it from the sidelines throughout th e rest of the play. He thought he was very funny.
Recently in the run up to Christmas we had snow. Owen did enjoy coming out and watching his sisters build a Snowman for a limited time, before he got too cold But what Owen enjoyed the most was the ride in his chair after picking his sisters up from school. (Owen had another snow day) It was really icy. This led to some very tricky and tiresome driving from mum but a very bumpy ride for Owen who squealed and full belly laughed all the way home.
One thing Owen can not do is eat Christmas dinner due to being fully tube fed. We make sure he does not miss out and always has a place at the table, like I said he is very sociable so wants to join in with that side of it. Owen has toys to occupy himself with while we are eating. Sometimes guest feel a little awkward eating in front of Owen, but I really don’t think he is worried about that side of things, he would most definitely feel more left out away from the table, Crackers though are a work in progress, Last year we had to do all our crackers at the same time while we put Owens ear defenders on.
This year we braved it and took all the children to meet santa. After many days trying to find somewhere Wheelchair accessible, Where Owen would get some enjoyment from and not over the top expensive we settled on booking Aldenham Country Park,This was a fab (all be it rainy and cold) day. Santa was fantastic with his great big beaming voice who took take pleasure in teasing my teenage daughter who only came in to shelter from the rain. Owen was a little worried as he was so loud and his bottom lip did come out a bit when Santa made us all hold hands to detect if we had been naughty and nice followed by him shouting bang as a joke, A joke Owen didn’t find very funny, but he soon settled down. Owen really enjoyed looking around the farm afterwards, Owen simply loves animals. I really think we will go back again next year. Hopefully santa will remember not to make a sudden loud noise.
So far the build up to Christmas has been great. I really hope Owen and my whole family have a truly magical Christmas. I may have gone a little mad present wise n the Children, mainly because they have had a tough year and some things they have had to experience this year are just to harsh for their little minds. I wanted to creat a point in te year where everyone can just relax and enjoy themselves. So I have better get on with the Christmas Preparations as I am cooking for 10 tomorrow.
So we all at Flourishing Warriors wish you A Very Merry Inclusive Christmas.