Living with Cerebral Palsy 🍋🍋

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Passport to freedom!

Ever wondered how to get passport photo's done for a severely disabled child? No, nor me! Until I had to of course (Disneyland Paris next Easter yaaaaaayyyyyy) which is when I realised things might be a bit tricky. Have you ever read the guidelines for a passport photo? Ridiculous! Why aren't you allowed to smile?? Not even a tiny weeny 'Im going on my holidays' sort of smug half-smile! Leaves everybody looking like they just escaped from an institution for the criminally insane on their passport, which can hardly be reassuring for border control. "Oh go on through Mrs Drake, I see you bear an uncanny resemblance to Myra Hindley. Have a nice holiday!!" Anyway this is not the only rule. There are about ten of them. Including things like you have to be looking square onto the camera, have your eyes open and your mouth shut. I went on a few forums online to get some tips from other Mum's about how to achieve this when your child cannot sit/stand/support themselves, has no head control, rarely shuts their mouth, cannot focus their eyes and laughs like a band each time they see a camera flash. I was relieved to discover that you can include a covering letter explaining your child's condition which is usually accepted, though they do like you to achieve as many of the guidelines as possible.
I tried a few times at home, you can get a computer programme which makes sure they are the right size etc. I just couldn't do it. So the next time I was in town I popped into Max Speilman and spoke to a very helpful girl who explained she had done it many times for disabled kids and she would wedge the white disc thingy (technical term) between Elin and her chair. She was lovely and reassured me it would be fine. I made a mental note that the next time Elin was tolerating her chair, passport pics would be first on our to-do list.  Yes, I know it's not until next Easter- take it up with Theresa May! Anyway today was that day.
The girl in Max Spielman was so, so patient and understanding. She must've nearly run down her camera battery trying to get a good one. We tried Elin's chair all ways, but struggled with the fact that she kept turning her head from side to side (she can't stay in midline unaided particularly well). In the end we settled for a sort of semi-reclined position and we got one. Super hard also because Elin kept smiling! She needed to be in a good enough mood to sit nicely but not good enough to laugh each time she heard the camera shutter!! So it was tricky. But I must praise the girl in the shop, she really was amazing so were the people waiting patiently for her to finish with us. The end result is not going to get Kate Moss quaking in her boots but the girl is confident it fits the spec enough not to be rejected, so fingers crossed. Im just glad mine doesn't run out for another year so Im still 23 on my photo and fairly passable, I don't think I'll bother getting a new one until they get rid of photo's altogether and scan your eye instead or something (does my eye look fat/old/wrinkly in this????!!!)  :-) Hope you're enjoying your weekend folks I'll keep you updated on the Passport saga as it unfolds. Lots of love xx

What the......? Mum???? I was promised a glamour shoot!!! 

The end product



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