Tips for Parents and Caregivers of Disabled Children during the Holidays

With the holidays quickly approaching, parents are already in a frenzy trying to get holiday plans together, purchase gifts, schedule family gatherings, and prepare for school to be out of session. Parents with children who have special needs may find this time even more hectic. There are, however, several easy things that you can do that can make this time of year more natural and more enjoyable for you and your family. 

Create A Routine 

Many children with special needs feel lost without a routine. Being away from school and all of the commotions of holiday preparations throws off their routine and can lead to frustration and the feeling of insecurity. Creating a holiday time routine can help reduce the stress in the house for everyone. 

Find A Holiday Project for Your Child 

Giving your child a task for the holiday can help them feel a part of the preparations and celebration. Make it an important job, yet suited for their needs. Stuffing holiday cards into envelopes, wrapping presents, stringing popcorn, folding napkins, creating a holiday playlist are all important yet easy tasks that your child can do and help contribute to the holiday fun. 

Plan Ahead for Visitors 

Children with special needs, especially those who have sensory disabilities, may find having guests over for the holidays overwhelming. When you are preparing for your holiday party, make sure that your child has a "safe" place where they can go and enjoy some quiet time for themselves. During the party make sure that your child does not become overwhelmed by the guests who may stop and talk to them too frequently for their comfort. 


Plan Some Downtime 

The holidays can become very time consuming, and this can lead to exhaustion for you and your child. Make sure that you plan one or two downtime days where you and your child can relax and enjoy yourselves with other things that are not holiday-related. Being relaxed and well-rested is beneficial to everyone. 

Don't Forget to Bake 

This may sound like a very unusual tip, but baking for the holidays can be very therapeutic. Making biscuits or cakes from scratch is a great way to bond with your child and have them help contribute to the holiday preparations. When the cooking is completed, the treats are a reward for your efforts. This can give your child a sense of satisfaction of making something, a chance to be with their parents while doing a fun project, and a way to start a family tradition that makes everyone feel good. 


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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).