Tiny Salutations

Tiny Salutations


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween night: Teal Pumpkin Project

This is the time of year that everyone is getting ready for trick-or-treaters by stocking up on candy.  I'd like to ask you to take a moment to think of all of the children that may come to your house trick-or-treating this year.  There are children that have dairy, peanut, gluten, or other allergies that may not be able to eat most or any of the candy or could get sick just from their candy being near that of those they can't eat.  Then there are children that are tube fed, have limited diets due to anatomical malformations, or have strict diets from illness aside from allergies.  These children cannot eat either most or all of the candy you might give out at your front door. 

Many parents of these children take the candy away and replace it with a toy or some other gift.  Parents are always accommodating for their children with medical needs.  It is not that parents can't do this.  It is that the willingness for another, especially a stranger, to recognize and accommodate a person with disabilities is something a bit more special.  It is often something that is remembered and touches the heart of the parents and the child.  Do I think that every need must be accommodated in every situation? No, but I think this one is simple enough and is likely to impact enough trick-or-treating children that it is worth it.These children deserve to enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating that other children get to enjoy. 

The solution is simple.  Instead of giving out candy, give out a small toy instead.  You may end up spending less than you would have on candy.... and you won't gain five pounds eating half of your candy stash.  An easy way is to go to the dollar store and buy a small pack of toys.  There may be a Halloween section with toys.  If not, the party aisle or children's toy aisle are good for packages of small toys.  This year, I purchased some glow in the dark spiders, centipedes, and snakes and some stickers for those little ones a little suspect of the creepy crawlies. 

For those that can't chuck out the candy all together for nostalgia sake, you can always offer toys to just the children with medical needs.  And there is something that can help you with that......

The Teal Pumpkin Project is helping families work together to include children with special needs in Halloween.  The idea is to have some sort of non-food item to give out to trick-or-treating children with special needs, and they have a way to let families know you are doing this: a teal pumpkin.  You can either paint a pumpkin teal to place on your porch or you can print out a small flier to put on your door, or both.  The teal pumpkin is intended to act as a signal to families that you have something available to include children that can't eat candy.

It's a small gesture that, I think, is very simple to do and can mean a lot to a few costume clad children that may come to your door that would otherwise have to give up their loot.

Happy Halloween!
This is last year's costume.  We have found ourselves at Children's Hospital for every Halloween.  This year Halloween is on Saturday so we happen to find ourselves at Children's the day before!  I have a feeling he will have a lot of fun this year!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Goodness it has been much too long!  I have been having trouble dealing with some medication issues.  I have been dealing with no pain medication (due to an insurance issue, but finally got more today) and trying to get off of steroids (a critical medication in some autoimmune disease, but with bad side effects and very difficult to manage withdrawal). 

I am always thinking of this place though- this blog where I share my thoughts with those I love and those that may be in a similar situation- and all of the things I want to share with you all!

Yesterday we had a great surprise- L received a cape from TinySuperheroes!

TinySuperheroes makes superhero capes for children with special needs. When someone buys a cape for their child (or one they know), one is also donated to a child with special needs.  It is a great program.  Children with special needs must be reminded that although their lives are full of difficulty, they are rife with joy, courage, and beauty.  These capes are one such reminder- one that is tangible to little ones.

He absolutely LOVES it!  He has worn it at all times, except bedtime and in the car seat (although he would if we allowed him!), since receiving it yesterday.  It was more amazing than I expected.  Given his intense sensory sensitivity, I thought he would not like the cape touching him, and he would not like to wear it.  Boy was I wrong. 

There are several ways you can get involved with TinySuperheroes. You can purchase a cape for a child in your life (typical or special needs) and when you do, a cape will be donated to a child with special needs.  You can also simply sponsor a cape for a special needs child.  If you know an awesome child with special needs that deserves a cape, you can nominate them.

There is another way to get involved for those that don't have the ability to sponsor a cape- a way that is also perfect for getting your children involved in giving and service!  TinySuperheroes Missions are small ways to remind children with special needs that people are thinking of them and cheering them on.  TinySuperheroes mails you a kit to complete, you send it back, and they send it to a child with special needs.  They are simple to complete, but can mean a lot to the child receiving it.  For example, I was involved in this last mission.  I was sent a kit that included a description of my mission and a photo and description of the children (sisters with a genetic muscular atrophy condition) that would receive my completed mission.  The mission was to make a card for them and send them some stickers. Their missions can be done for free or nearly free, so I encourage you to take a look.  I think it is an absolutely wonderful project for children to get involved in and learn about acceptance, empathy, and service.  I love the fact that you get a photo of the recipients too!

Here are the stickers I collected- mostly from labs for my lab work.  I thought these Super Girl ones were just fate!

A big thank you to TinySuperheroes for the smile they've put on my son's face and on the faces of countless other children!