Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Say What? What about "Prom Season" and your special needs child?

What do you do when your child with special needs wants to go to the Prom?
You take them, of course!

Michelle Diament notes in her article, Salons Pitch in to Make Prom Memorable for Girls with Special Needs, May, 2010 issue of “Disability Scoop”, “In the process these girls (and boys, I might add) with special needs also get to be included in the annual right of passage alongside their typically developing peers”.

For girls; going to a salon for a new hairdo, getting a manicure and/or pedicure, and putting on make-up for the special occasion are treats they will undoubtedly enjoy. Your child may, or may not, be able to perform these tasks on their own and may require your assistance. If budget doesn’t permit going to a salon, how about doing a “spa” day at home with your child and maybe even an invited friend? It is easy enough to do a mini-facial, manicure and hair style yourself. Or, if necessary, use the resources of friends and family.  In any case make it fun and make it special.

Why shouldn’t these kids have the experience, and pleasure, of wearing a tuxedo, buying a prom dress (and the accessories to go with it) and the joy of experiencing their own prom night?  If there’s no official "date" perhaps a parent or relative can step in and be an escort.

When my granddaughter, Aimee, a tween, comes to visit we always plan “spa” time, or what she likes to call the “royal treatment”. This time includes all the special grooming tasks that don’t routinely get done on a day-to-day basis but that are, nevertheless, necessary to maintain good hygiene. For us, this might include treatments for skin, hair, nails and teeth and maybe even a little make-up. By making it fun and special, it will encourage grooming that your child might not otherwise enjoy and you will be amazed at how cooperative your child can.

The prom is important…..but please don’t wait for prom night to make your child feel special….do it routinely and do it often.  Looking the best we can builds confidence and makes us all proud of who we are. Children with special needs are no exception; let's all help to make them be the best they can be!


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