Autism

All posts tagged Autism

#Autism – Leapfrog LeapReader Review

Published April 4, 2014 by mandzmagee

A child doesn’t have to be on the Autistic Spectrum to be difficult to buy for, however when they’re not able to verbalise what they’d like to have as a new present, or often not willing to accept new things into their lives or a change of activity into their routine without it turning into a melt down it makes it a massive challenge for everyone at times like Christmas and Birthdays.

As we seemed to hit gold with Theo this birthday I thought I’d share a review of his new found favourite educational toy and all the benefit’s we’ve found to go along with it!

Here I introduce to you the LeapReader made by LeapFrog,

LeapReader

LeapReader

LeapFrog http://www.leapfrog.com/en_gb/landingpages/leapreader.html

IMPORTANT

  • Access to the internet is required!

The LeapReader is an audio pen that allows the child to interact with books, maps and activity sets to aid in developing skills such as listening, reading and writing.  Discovering through stories and games with favourite characters such as Disney, Cbeebies, Nickelodeon to name a few in area’s such as Mathematics, Social Studies, Science in a fun and hidden way!

To get started you charge the pen, you are provided with a USB connection lead, connect to an internet accessible computer, and follow the instructions to install LeapFrog Connect.  This tool gives you easy access to the application store where you can find the download resources for the books that you buy.  Connect also gives you a link to the Learning Path which gives you a history of your child’s usage of the LeapReader, details which books are most commonly read, activities most commonly used and suggest new material that your child may be interested in!

World Map

Theo's Collection

Learning Pack

Once you’ve downloaded the audio software for the products that you’ve purchased it’s all go!  Jump from book to book, page to page, map back to book, if it’s installed it’ll automatically recognise the item and take you on that learning adventure.  So the child can just pick it up and play!

The positives that we’ve found with Theo

  • Bigger interest in books
  • More word repetition (maybe doesn’t know how to use the word in sense but has increased his vocabulary!)
  • Improved fine motor skills
  • Improved concentration time on specific subjects
  • Introduced new topics of interest
  • Improved social sharing to include others to read with him

I admit that the books and accessories to go with the LeapReader can be quite expensive however I’ve found that on www.amazon.co.uk you can buy lots cheaper!  You just have to be very careful that you’re buying for the LeapReader and NOT the LeapTag system.

#PersonalLife – “Karaoke Family”

Published December 4, 2013 by mandzmagee

For months since meeting a (newish) best friend after randomly on the walkway at silly o’clock in the morning I’ve started going to Irene’s Karaoke at the club on a Tuesday night for a little bit of me time.  My one night a week respite from all the things that are boiling my brain at home (or away) where I get to have a few drinks and have time with new found friends whilst murdering … sorry … “singing” away with a few tunes and letting my hair down!!  (murdering can sometimes be a more apt description haha!!)

I hadn’t gone to any of her nights last week as I’d been bedridden with the flu the majority of the week, tonight Irene stood and told me how much I was missed and how she and all of her regulars (and there’s a fair few of them!) were now classing me as part of their “Karaoke Family”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not moved down here and not made any friends but …  I genuinely miss the friends and family that were in my life day in day out though, week in week out and so on, that were up the road that I never see or hear from unless I’m either in Dumfries or have a reason for them or myself to get in touch for special events or what have you these days.  I’ve never really had that with anyone down here tho, all of my mates have been made through Stuart or from working in the bar where they knew me from pulling their pints (not that that’s a bad thing in any which way… only I found this friend myself 🙂 !) … I’ve friends that I could turn too about anything at any time … but they’re not as involved as the one that were up the road if you get what I mean?!

Well Irene, Karlos and Amie (Irene’s partner and daughter) have completely turned that around.  They’re in touch with me as much as I am them, we’re catching up on a regular basis.  If it wasn’t for the Karaoke night’s they’d be in touch or meeting up anyway, we invite each other on nights out (or nights in!), they’ve the same nonjudgmental attitude as I have where absolutely nothing has to be said diplomatically (thank goodness!) …. it’s just said as it is, advice and support is there 24/7/365.

Absolute breath of fresh air!  When she told me (under no pretense) tonight that I was part of the “Karaoke Family” and was missed by everyone when I wasn’t turning up it meant so much to me, really hit home that our friendship was unconditional and that the regulars that came in that I was classing as friends were absolutely there too!  Nice to know that my friendship to her meant as much to her as hers does to me!!

As you’ll be able to tell … I’ve had a brilliant night … the ones with brilliant friends always are!!

#Autism – Strange choice of film!

Published November 23, 2013 by mandzmagee

While Stuart watched the football and Theo was watching Garfield in his bedroom this afternoon, I decided that I’d make use of the TV and watch Les Miserables. About 15 minutes after the film started I had Theo come cuddle up with me on the sofa humming along with the music! Where he knows it from I have no idea! This is the first time I have had the chance to watch it!

I’m tickled I have to say. Normally he has to watch every thing on rewind if he’s going to concentrate on it. I may have to try him with more musicals if this is the outcome! 🙂

#Autism – #Halloween, #GuyFawkes and the problems they bring!

Published November 22, 2013 by mandzmagee

Oh the issues in our house around this time of the year!!

Theo doesn’t like dressing up, doesn’t like the door being knocked on making the dog’s bark, doesn’t like seeing other people dressed up so that he doesn’t know who they are so Halloween certainly is a challenging time for the poor little soul.  It’s even worse when less than a week later we celebrate Guy Fawkes and his escapades by lighting fireworks that light up the sky and make noises when it’s supposed to be Theo’s down time.

I’m absolutely at my wick’s end around bonfire night (Guy Fawkes) because Theo’s anxiety levels are so high they’re lunar and he’s absolutely terrified.  The only way he can settle is by going to bed listening to the radio on his ear defenders and closing his eyes so tightly it’s uncomfortable to settle.  The sensory overload of visual and audible unpredictability for hours and hours of the night makes him so scared within his own safe space.

The curtain’s have to be closed that he can’t see any little piece of window pane, he has to be under a blanket incase he needs to hide his face if there’s too many flashes at once, his ear defenders have to play the radio … just incase they don’t block out all the noise!  I can’t be too far away from him, infact he almost insists on constant body contact with me, this year he cried every and I mean EVERY time Dad left the house.  Unfortunately when he’s had an upset like this it can take weeks … And I mean weeks … All this began 5th November and he’s still having troubles from the night …  He still doesn’t feel safe in his home 😦

It’s absolutely heart wrenching to watch him so upset knowing that there’s absolutely nothing that we’re able to do to make it all better.  I genuinely wish that organised events away from our house were all that was available to the people celebrating and that they were as far away from Theo’s safe space so that he was oblivious to what was going on.

Here’s a little look at him trying to get settled for the night …

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/qs7vfvaii6w8lxj/0HqCQ-vp5h

#AutismAwareness – A Very Inspiring Find

Published November 8, 2013 by mandzmagee

Having a scroll down my Facebook friend updates I found myself absolutely inspired by a post that a fantastic UK based Autism Awareness group shared.  Personally I think the author is brilliant in wording her Autism life experience into a comparison that anyone would be able to understand wholeheartedly! I simply had to share with you’s all!! If you’re on Facebook like the group … Their posts are always inspiring!!  Links given at the bottom of the post.

The post went as follows …

Before You Complain

Before you complain about your child waking up too early….
Imagine if your child didn’t sleep at all because their brain and body couldn’t connect correctly…or if they woke up for 3 hours in the middle of the night just because

Before you complain that your child is ignoring you or not listening…
Imagine if your child didn’t acknowledge your presence, didn’t even realize you were there, didn’t respond to their own name or even a loud BANG

Before you complain that your child constantly wants you to play and won’t play by themselves…
Imagine if your child NEVER wanted to play with you or freaked out if you attempted to play with them

Before you complain that your child won’t stop talking….
Imagine if your child couldn’t talk or if your 3+ year old couldn’t even call you mama

Before you complain that your child’s insurance has a deductible or high copay…
Imagine if your child’s insurance had a high deductible and high copays…AND doesn’t even cover what your child needs, even after paying the deductibles and copays

Before you complain about your child throwing a tantrum because they can’t get their way….
Imagine if that tantrum was so extreme that the child was screaming(like they were being tortured) for hours, punching the walls, hitting themselves or you, banging their head on the floor, etc….and even if you give them what they wanted, they are so deep in that meltdown, that it doesn’t help. Or worse, if there’s no apparent reason for the meltdown.

Before you complain that your child had a potty accident….
Imagine if your 10+ year old was still in diapers (that you have to change) because their body doesn’t work right or their body is so undersensitive that they can’t feel when they have to go.

Before you complain that the schools don’t give your child all they need….
Imagine if your child needed special schooling and 20+ hours of therapy per week and wasn’t able to get any of it

Before you complain that your child won’t eat their peas…
Imagine if there were only 4 specific foods that your child would eat(not necessarily because they’re picky) and nothing else.

Before you complain that your child is whining….
Imagine if you couldn’t understand what they were whining about.

Before you complain that your child is too emotional….
Imagine if your child didn’t show any emotion…not even happiness

Before you complain that your child is always catching colds….
Imagine if your child has been to the ER so many times you can even guesstimate how many…you’re on a first name basis with the nurses…you have no clue how many times you’ve answered the exact same questions, sometimes to the same person

Before you complain that you don’t get enough alone time or enough breaks…..
Imagine all of the above….and even less alone time and less breaks because there are only a couple people that can handle your child or know enough about your child to make you feel confident leaving them

Before you complain….
Imagine what other some parents deal with on a daily basis…and never complain or ask for anything for themselves. All they do is pray that their child will get the help they need…and that others might be a little more sensitive.

Wrote by Nikki Hazzard Bumgardner

Links – Will open in another page (if it behaves!)

Autism Storms and Rainbows UK – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Autism-Storms-and-Rainbows/152663228214371

Direct link to the post – http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=260237034123656&id=152663228214371

Hello my friends … It’s been a while!!

Published November 7, 2013 by mandzmagee

After a lonnnnnnnng time away I figured that I wanted to blog again … so I’m back friends!  (Also of course … Friends to be!)

As it’s been literally months since I last blogged here’s an update on our life!!  I won’t go into detail here however as I’ll probably blog about most of it along the way!!  

  • Ali’s into his final year at school … College next year!!
  • Theo’s started his Secondary School at a school just as amazing as his primary school!!
  • Faith’s 6th birthday and anniversary has just passed
  • Stu and I are beginning to plan our wedding!!  (Nervous muchly!!)
  • We’ve just passed an incredibly anxiety heightening and petrifying Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes for Theo
  • Alex is beginning to prove that he has actually walked this earth before with how phenomenally good he’s doing at his English Literature!
  • I’m nearly finished my Xmas shopping!!  (Getting earlier and earlier each year yay!) 

So as you can see there’s been high’s n lows along the way however as I said I’ll go into detail soon 😀  

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