7 tips for choosing gifts for children with special needs

If you are looking for the right present for a child with special needs this holiday season, consider these ideas from therapists at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.  Above all, keep in mind the particular personality, preferences and ability levels of the child you are shopping for. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated by parents and caretakers—and if the gift doesn’t work out well, the receipt usually will!

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7 ways to simplify the holiday crush when you’re coping with cancer

One Christmas while Ben Graham was going through treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma — a type of soft-tissue cancer — his entire third grade class at North Branch Elementary School sent him gifts. To Ben, then 8, it was awesome. But after he’d ripped open the packages, he told his mom, Brenda, that even though he really appreciated his friends generosity, he’d give it all back if it meant he didn’t have to have cancer anymore.

“You really realize what’s important, and the holidays become more special,” Brenda Graham said. “Having Ben here, sitting down to dinner with him and spending time with him: That’s what’s important.”

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, the holiday scramble can be daunting under even the best circumstances. But people coping with cancer face different stresses. We’ve assembled tips from patients, parents, survivors and social workers about how to make the best of the season.

Visit the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Living with Cancer site to read seven tips.