Practical Tip #39- Interacting with Non-Verbal Church Attendees

stained glasses
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Over the past six months, we have seen growth and development in our non-verbal son, Tristan. We have always taken him to church. This is a pattern and routine that is part of his world.

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Practical Tip#37- Magical Nighttime Fun!

Brian and I decided to tackle a new activity with Tristan. I found an activity on-line called a “Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt.” I thought what a fun idea! This would be a good night-time sensory activity.10934.jpeg


I know doing any activity requires pre-planning. I gathered all the supplies and was ready for Tristan’s home weekend visit!
We waited for it to get dark…. Then I quickly prepared the eggs in another room while Brian entertained Tristan. The eggs were ready to go in a paper bag.
Brian sneaked out the front door with the paper bag. He returned a few minutes later.
I looked out the window.
24 Eggs scattered in the front yard.
I handed Tristan a basket and said, “We are going to the front yard to pick up eggs!”
He put on his coat, and we walked out the front door.
It looked magical!
We explained to him what the game was. (finding eggs and putting them into the basket) He enjoyed the activity searching for the eggs.
It took about 20 minutes for him to pick them all up. (I had high hopes of this being a color sorting activity for him to enjoy, but honestly when they glow they are all yellow.)
Back inside we went…
When we came into the house, he opened each egg.  When he turned off the battery tea light, then he could see what color the egg was. He seemed to enjoy this color guessing activity!
This was a win-win activity!
Since he functions at a toddler/pre-school level, we will enjoy this for several more weekends.

This idea came from the website

Practical Tip #35 – Hands-On Museums

Our Tristan is very curious and loves to touch everything. It is just where he is at developmentally.

We have found that hands-on museums are a Tristan family-friendly activity.
We took a trip to the Curious Kids’ Museum in St. Joesph, Michigan.

When we entered the museum, I said to Tristan, “At this place, you can touch everything.”

At the physical disability awareness station, Tristan thought it was a fun game to sit in the wheelchair and circle the ramps.

The giant Lite-Brite station was a huge hit because he was gifted with one this past Christmas. He understood the activity. Tristan loves when items are larger or smaller than the usual size.



We played hard for about 90 minutes and then it was time to exit.

It was a great family day!

Practical Tip#33 Car Safety- Do you have this?

This Indiana winter has been dangerous!  It seems like every few days there has been ice or freezing rain.  Soon…spring will arrive.

The other weekend I offered to take Tristan back to his school. It’s a long haul from our home to his residential school.  The previous day was sunny.  I thought I would enjoy a long drive.  We had a break in the weather and it wasn’t too snowy or icy when I offered.

Then 20 minutes before I left the snow started to fall.  Since I would be driving south away from the lake effect, I thought it would be no big deal.  Wrong!!!   The first 30 minutes of the drive were slow going.  The snow was coming down!  This went on for another 90 minutes of the drive.  I saw several cars in ditches and accidents.  As I continued driving I counted more and more cars in ditches.  I stopped counting at 20.   I prayed that we would make it safe.  Then the thoughts of worry washed over my mind.  What if we got into a car accident and I was unconscious?  Tristan would be helpless.

We arrived to his group home safe.

I arrived back home safe.

But I couldn’t shake the thought of the what if’s.  I knew I needed to do something,

I was very excited to find these seat belt covers.  After reviewing and researching on this topic this is what I discovered.  It is the most helpful for EMT’s to know the name, date of birth, and illness.

There are many different kinds on the internet to order.  I liked this on by HenryDarling,  because it looks like Tristan won’t be able to take it apart.  Also it displays his name.  I think it would be helpful in an emergency for someone to be able to say his name and get his attention.  For the diagnosis being displayed, there will be no guessing what disability Tristan has.

I was thinking…with his name being displayed, we will be able to train him to always sit in the back seat with his name tag!  He will probably think this is some kind of new game.

I ordered mine today and I will have peace of mind during an emergency that Tristan will be taken care of.  If you know of anyone with a special needs child consider gifting them with one.