Hello! I need some creative ideas or other advice. I have a beautiful 2.5yo autistic stepdaughter. (Will be 3 when we get married in Oct). She is non verbal and does not stay in one activity more than a minute or two. Being so young on top of her condition, she does not focus on other people at all. That’s the quick version of her special needs. All that being said, she is very important to us and of course would love to incorporate her in the wedding ceremony, but we are unsure how best to do this or whether it’s something we should try to do at all. I don’t want to ask her to do anything she can’t handle. Any help or suggestions??
Does she have a caregiver, teacher, etc who you can hire to be with her that day? So that if/when she gets over stimulated (which is bound to happen on a busy day with lots of people, even for neurotypical kids that age to be honest). The caregiver can be on hand and you can do a unity ceremony with sand or something. Practice it before hand, that sort of thing.
If she is happy around food: the cutting of the cake, or other sweet treat, and feeding each other a bite, symbolizes nurturing and love, that as a new family, husband and wife, you will always love and take care of one another. If she does not mind people watching from a distance, once you have cut a piece into little pieces, each of you can feed each other a piece, then you feed daughter, she feeds you, etc. Cake is the usual US thing, but it could be pieces of a sugared date, or other food treat.
Hi Megan! My little sister is autistic, non verbal, and has other conditions. In a nutshell, she is mentally a one year old child. She is very important to us and I feel the same way wanting to include her ❤️ She was in the bridal party and had matching outfit (jumpsuit to match girls dresses in case she fell to the floor with a tantrum, which sometimes happens and that’s ok!). My brother/Man of Honor walked her down the aisle in her wheelchair. She had a caregiver off to the side, who discretely took her off to play during the ceremony. Her caregiver also attended our rehearsal dinner and wedding so my parents could mingle and do their thing. My brother also was introduced with her at the reception and again discretely her caregiver was ready at their table. We had a hotel room in case she needed it to decompress (rest, play, or watch tv). Worked out great and my sister had a wonderful time ❤️ Hope this helps and love you are including her so thoughtfully!
I should add she caught my bouquet (with the help of my siblings) which may be an idea 🌸 Fidget toys are great (National Autism site has soothing toys she could have on hand with a caregiver). I also let my photographer, officiant and DJ know about her conditions. I let them know it’s unpredictable if she’ll pose or be ok coming out at reception and we’re just gonna work with whatever happens. My vendors were great with her and very flexible and kept things moving along! Here are photos of her just for fun ❤️❤️❤️
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Thank you!!! A cousin of mine (sweet yet real tough guy type) said he got choked up when he saw her come down the aisle ❤️ She just lights up and the wedding moments with her just make me smile 😊❤️❤️❤️