I’ve written about Christmas at residential facilities.  Birthdays are different there, too. Subdued in comparison to the family birthdays celebrated at home. Staff approval is required for all gifts; my daughter’s name has to be on every item.

If my daughter is eligible to go out, my son and I will take her to lunch before she opens her gifts from our family.

If she isn’t eligible to go out, we’ll bring in lunch, including celebratory cupcakes, and watch her open her gifts. NO CANDLES!

What determines eligibility? It’s simple – yet so hard for her: no violent outbursts, safe behavior toward her peers, staff and self.

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