Birthday parties are a big deal for any child, but it’s never straightforward when you’re the parent of a child with special needs.

Of course, every child is different. That big special needs spectrum is wide and diverse, different conditions will create different obstacles, so we would never try to devise a one-size-fits-all party plan.

But what we did do is ask some experienced parents of children with disabilities for their best advice when planning the big event.

Here's what they had for you:

“Birthdays can be complicated for children with special needs – especially with children who have sensory issues. I say keep it small, simple, quiet and calm. And even if it’s just immediate family – fill the day with special memories, not tons of people.” Stacy Warden, Noah’s Miracle

“Head off sensory meltdowns by discussing the party ahead of time with your child and being aware of his preferences. Once my son had a serious meltdown when people sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him and after that, I learned to ask him in advance whether or not he wanted that.” Ellen SeidmanLove That Max

“Do what your child loves. Our kids love swimming so we always have a pool party.” Hayley Young, Henry’s mum

“Keep it small and do exactly what they are comfortable with.” Hayley GoleniowskaDowns Side Up

What are your best tips?

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