Birthdays and the kid with special needs.

A Facebook friend was asking about ideas for birthdays and the kid with special needs.  Her son is a lot like Parker.  Non-verbal.  NPO. Not really into any specific characters.  Can’t go anywhere for a birthday party because it falls smack dab at the beginning of the ‘sick season.’  Can’t really invite a lot of people over to party, because, you know, it’s the sick season.

What’s a Mama to do?

Parker turns NINE on the 19th of this month.  I started thinking birthday for him this summer.  And here are some ideas I’ve come up with.

birthday sight words

  • We’ll be focusing on the theme of Birthdays this month.  Yes, we’ll throw in a few turkeys and a Pilgrim or two, but mostly we’ll be talking, reading, and building up the anticipation for a certain Brave Hero’s special day.

It's my birthday book.

  • Parker LOVES mylar balloons.  I’ll be sure he has a bunch in his room when he wakes up on his birthday.
  • Parker can’t eat cake, but he can have a few bites of FROSTING! So there will be homemade frosting for the Birthday Boy.

Birthday flannel board story


  • Parker LOVES to have us sing Happy Birthday to him.  Over and over and over.  And we will.
  • Parker totally understands the whole idea of gifts and unwrapping them.

Preschool Birthday Theme

  • Parker doesn’t have a ‘thing’ that he is really in to.  He’s not a Spiderman or any other cartoon or motion picture fan. But neither were his older brothers.  Hodson boys seem to love anything that can swished through a net, kicked into a goal, or thrown for a touchdown.  Parker is into things you can bounce on, spin in, create with, climb on and into.  If it lights up and makes noise, well, all the better.   He loves books and fun iPad apps.
  • Parker ADORES having all of his family here at the same time.  Nothing makes him happier than to be surrounded and thrown into the air and read stories to by the ones he loves the most.

birthday candles

No, it’s not your typical Chuckie Cheese extravaganza, but Parker isn’t exactly a typical kid either.  Not to mention that I have no doubt that 5 minutes at Chuckie’s would throw this Hero over the sensory edge.

What do you do to make birthdays great experiences for your child with special needs?  What kind of unique circumstances do you need to work around?  Do you invite friends other than family?  I’d love to hear your ideas!


  1. Mir Nov 8, 13
  2. Rachel Matlack Nov 11, 13
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