Making a quick trip to the supermarket is a pain sometimes. For parents of disabled children, it’s a near impossible task pretty much all the time. There’s so much more planning required.

Most visits will shred your nerves and strain your patience in huge, glaringly obvious ways as well as tiny taken-for-granted ways.

Let’s go shopping…

Parking spots are a necessity, not a luxury

It’s great that so many stores have disabled parking bays these days. They’re really helpful and thoughtful (definitely more thoughtful than the people who use them when they don’t need them, but that’s another story).

The only problem is that the car park is where the thoughtfulness seems to end. Let’s go inside…

Not every trolley is suitable for every child

You can’t always put a special needs kids in a standard trolley. If they have muscle tone issues, you you’ll struggle to get them in.

If they have postural problems, they might not be able to support themselves once they are in. In the rare cases that disabled trollies are available, they are designed for adults not kids.

So there are a hundred additional risks of the child hurting themselves. It means most trollies are out and the child has to go back in their wheelchair. But…

Not every purchase can be hung on the back of a wheelchair

Try dangling a week’s worth of groceries on the handles of a child’s wheelchair and you’ve got a problem.

You have a similar problem if you try to pack them into gaps around the child, like a weird game of food-based Tetris. So you need the trolley as well as the wheelchair. Which causes the next nerve-shredding test…

Steering a trolley with one hand is practically impossible

Trying to steer a shopping trolley one-handed is like trying to steer a bull through a china shop. Except the bull is drunk. And he hates shelving.

Steering a trolley and a wheelchair at the same time is completely impossible

Two bulls. See above.

These are just some of the weekly joys of supermarket shopping when you’re the parent of a disabled child. Yes, of course, we could order stuff online and hide at home, these days that’s really easy. But as Jo Cousins points out, being the parent of differently-abled child can be isolating enough. For both parent and child.

Why shouldn’t everyone be able to experience the sights, sounds and social aspects of shopping if they want? Why shouldn’t it be accessible to everyone?

What stresses you out on shopping trips?

Things you might like

Other articles you might enjoy...

Survey icon

Public Opinion…

Have you received a grant to purchase equipment for your child?