Amidst everything else it has changed, COVID-19 has transformed yet one other fundamental part of our culture: The Birthday.
My son, Knightly, has Down syndrome, apraxia and Epilepsy. And he just turned 8.
Customarily, we’d host a birthday party. He’d be surrounded with laughter, conversation, and energy. And then, he’d be sung, “Happy Birthday” by our loud-voiced karaoke-loving family.
And though he would be surrounded by love, he would spend a good deal of that party closing his ears, tearing up, and intermittently asking for people to leave. Crowds and noise have always been a challenge for him.
We sought a neurodiverse community for inspiration on how people were celebrating their kid’s birthdays during COVID-19. And here’s what we’ve learned.
Because of the Coronavirus, people have learned to celebrate with:
- A reduced guest list of their closest community
- Virtual access that enable loved ones to participate
- Parades that brings neighbors and onlookers smiles as well
- Hygiene and keeping everyone healthy as a top priority
- And a party budget to prioritize what is ultimately the most essential
Now having gotten to celebrate our son’s birthday during COVID-19, I have to say that I am actually grateful for us living in this season of the world. Celebrating Knightly’s birthday during COVID-19 led to a:
- Day of celebrating with just us: mom, dad, and son
- Room filled with $8 worth of balloons that, weeks later, he absolutely loves to play in
- Opening gifts delivered to our home where we could video record and share his reaction with the gift givers
- Connecting with loved ones via video chats
- Pre-recorded video with loved ones singing happy birthday at a pace and volume Knightly so happily enjoyed
And, most of all, because much of it was via video, we now have an easy and memorable record of the day, a record we can replay as a social story to frontload and prepare him to enjoy future birthdays.
Introducing our latest How-To video for all abilities:
How to Celebrate My Birthday During COVID-19
Whether you want to celebrate alone, remotely, or through in person social distancing, here’s a first person step-by-step story of how to celebrate your birthday for toddlers, preschoolers, kids, and people of all abilities.
What creative ways do you recommend celebrating a birthday during this season of the world? Comment and let us know!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO:
– Role Models | Abiding Autumn, Brave Ben, Cheerful Carissa, Convivial Caleb, Charitable Charlotte,
@thejudecameronshow, Knockout Kabi, Red 5 Loyd, Precious Penelope, and our Loving Family
– Service Dog | Cadbury
– Service Dog Organization | @ccicanine
– AAC | The Center for AAC & Autism and @taskca
– Videos | @tea-for-taryn @knot9-indian stock videos @cottonbro @henri-mathieu-saint-laurent @enginakyurt @sh.vets
– Photo | @nietjuh78 from @Pexels
– Music | Happy Birthday Bouncy by E’s Jammy Jams
Disclaimer: This video is not sponsored.
Check out more from our How-To Videos for All Abilities here. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLado2tecKI_5OGene7hgfbAYvGLLKBypb
Why How-To Videos for All Abilities?
No one could run a 4 minute mile. Enter Roger Bannister. Once he did, others did too. Barriers are broken when we watch others defeat them.
That’s why we do this.
Knightly couldn’t handle the daily life stuff: clanging dishes, the dentist, and airplanes. So we started making these videos. And the world has opened up for him.
Our videos are based on the latest research for video-based modeling and applied behavioral analysis, often called social narratives or stories. They are step-by-step of what someone can expect, do, and how to communicate their needs when it’s challenging for them to do so.
We include a neurodiverse community because, together, we inspire people of all abilities to break barriers.
LOVIN’ SOME MIGHTY KNIGHTLY?
1) 🌎SUBSCRIBE for future adventures! 🌎
2) ⭐️CONNECT with MIGHTY KNIGHTLY ⭐
💛 Instagram: @MightyKnightly