Sensory

All posts tagged Sensory

#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.

#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

In Celebration of #AutismParents and #AutismCarers

Published December 22, 2012 by mandzmagee

A little something I found via a group on Facebook I simply had to share!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-through-my-eyes/159306720822434

In Honor Of Autism Parents ♥

Congratulations! You’ve been awarded a new title. You’re super qualified. I know, you’re just a parent. You’re not an SLP, an OT, a PT, or an MD, a Psych or a BCBA.

You’re the person who got up at 4 am because your child only needed 3 hours of sleep last night.

You smiled as you watched him play out his favorite movie script, word for word.

You felt despair as you did everything in your power to convince him to put down his Game Boy and get ready for school.

You revelled in his endless delight with the soap bubbles when he washed his face.

You thought you were going to tear out your hair as you reminded him 40 times to put on his shirt.

You happily made his regular breakfast and cut his waffles into perfect squares with one dot of syrup in the middle, just the way he likes it.

You rejoiced when you watched him and his brother playing and laughing together.

You felt like you were on the verge of insanity when you listened yet again to the baseball statistics and answered the same question 23 times in a row.

You laughed heartily when he told you the weather was going to be poor and he was excited to see lots of Nimbostratus clouds and very few cirrus clouds.

You felt frustration and admiration when you asked him where his lunch bag was and he replied by naming 30 carnivorous dinosaurs, in size order and explained which period they lived in.

You felt pride when you watched him independently organize his school bag and gather his belongings.

You patiently waited 8 minutes for him to tie his shoelaces even though you grew increasingly anxious about the time passing by.

Your heart sang when he looked up at you as he was done, so proud of himself that he had done it alone.

Your eyes brimmed with tears when just before he stepped on the school bus, he turned back and without a word and without any eye contact, he gave you a big hug, letting you know in his own special way how much he loves and appreciates you for everything that you do.

This is the profile of an Absolutely Exceptional Parent. (AEP) So from now when you sign your name, make sure to include your new title…AEP.

– By Jene Aviram, AEP 🙂

This article is property of and copyright © 2003-2007 Jene Aviram of Natural Learning Concepts. http://www.nlconcepts.com/

#MerryChristmas! – #Autism

Published December 13, 2012 by mandzmagee

Christmas and Autism means a whole mixed bag of emotions and feelings for our family that most others take for granted.

While most readers of this blog are busy spending December decorating their houses with beautiful decorations, we have to keep them minimal as this causes Theo to get anxious and highly strung. Where most people are taking their children to see Santa, we’re trying to teach Theo that this jolly happy person isn’t someone that is supposed to terrify him. While other people are taking their children to deliver presents and cards to friends and family we’re trying to get Theo to accept a change to his normal routine to be able to do this. While other people are taking their children to Christmas parties we’re trying to get him settled because he’s came into contact with too many people that have given him a sensory overload. While other people are putting Christmas presents below the tree and watching their children getting really excited to see them grow in piles and guessing what’s underneath the wrapping we’re locking the presents away because anything with wrapping paper around it makes Theo nervous because he doesn’t understand that it’s something that’s to be saved for a specific day and he can’t have it til then!

Theo absolutely loves Christmas Day however, Christmas day to us is like most other families, getting up at silly o’clock to see the kids opening their presents however that’s probably where the similarities end to most families,

Theo tears through his paper, carefully making sure that every scrap goes into the rubbish bag, neatly organising his new things into their specific piles, clothes in one pile, toys into a box, books in a colour specific order, money into the money jar and so on … If one of his brothers are making a mess he’ll stop opening his presents to make sure that their mess is tidied up then return to his when he’s satisfied.

At dinner time we’re at his Grandma Julies, with many other members of the family, which in hand makes him anxious and will melt down until he can start eating dinner, he’ll do things that he knows that he’s not allowed to do, keep pulling at either his Dad’s face or my face to get our attention focused onto him again. When dinner is served he’ll settle again and we’re sorted out, as long as there is nothing green on his plate! After dinner we’re back to the Mum and Dad attention seeking until the buffet is put out for when the rest of the family arrive. When he’s eating again he’s all happy, however Theo has no understanding of what feeling full or being hungry is, so he’d pretty much eat until he is sick.

When we return home he wants straight to bed, the day has been far too much for him and he just wants to be in a dark room with his familiar surroundings.

On Boxing Day he takes a bit more interest in his new things, he’ll take them into his room and self adapt to them being there, if there’s anything that he doesn’t like he will not accept it being in his room until he’s gotten used to the item. We spend the day encouraging him to interact with his new toys, sometimes he’ll cooperate! Mostly he wont however because they’re a change in his routine.

Autism makes our Christmas a very interesting time! I wouldn’t change it for the world tho!!

#Autism – Guy Fawkes

Published November 8, 2012 by mandzmagee

Each and every year this time of year is a challenging one for our Theo.  He goes through such a mix of feelings and emotions that he absolutely doesn’t understand.  Part of Theo’s Autism is that he doesn’t understand feelings, his own or other peoples so when I can clearly see that he’s terrified at the loud bangs and frightening colours in the sky he can’t seem to comprehend how they’re making his heart race, they’re making him shake uncontrollably, why his bedtime means nothing to the people outside, why the gentle rocking back and forwards that normally calms him isn’t working because he’s still able to hear and see the frightening things.  Thank goodness it only happens normally only once a year!!

This year we thought we’d covered everything.  Unfortunately the blackout blinds in his room weren’t as blackout as we’d hoped and the ear defenders (that were new to him at home) weren’t keeping out all the sounds so it took until the silly o’clock hours to settle him down.  Again Theo being against the norm the later that he settles in bed the earlier that he gets up in the morning!  Joy!

Having a very narky little boy for about 5 days until all the fireworkers stopped playing with their toys Theo finally got a full(ish) nights sleep last night.

On the other side of things we’ve another problem when it comes to Guy Fawkes – Ali and Alex absolutely love the displays of beautiful colours, the bangs that give you that fright of your life even with knowing that they’re coming.

It’s a challenging time of the year however we hope that we’ll find something that will work with Theo that means that it’ll be a more tolerable time for him instead!  Any suggestions are greatly welcome as we’ll no doubt have more fireworks at New Year!

Thanks for reading!  Comments and suggestions are greatly welcome!

#PECS and how they’ve helped Theo – #Autism

Published October 19, 2012 by mandzmagee

From an early age we’ve had to incorporate PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) into his life which on a day to day basis he’s still using now – At home he doesn’t really need them unless his routine is changing however at school they’ve a picture for everything!

In the beginning when we started using PECS with Speech and Language support, we kept it simple to introduce the cards to him, if we were going to the park we’d show him the park card, if he was going for a bath we’d show him the bath card so on n so forth.  Trying to get him to focus on the cards to start with was a bit of a nightmare but he clicked that if he showed me the card of what he wanted to do he was rewarded with the task that the card showed (the park card was deffo his favourite!).

Once we’d got to grips with using cards for EVERYTHING we started using it to schedule his time.  We got a laminated card and stuck velcro down the middle, Laminated all the PECS cards and stuck velcro to the back of them also.  This way the reward for Theo was taking each picture card off with the completion of the task and it showed that he was finished with that part of the day!

In this picture we’ve got “Bath”, Pajamas” and “Bed”, this was organising his bedtime routine!  He knew that he wasn’t getting TV before bed, so he wasn’t expecting it!

When Theo had gotten used to using the cards as a routine guide we started giving him the option of two cards for a task that he’d like to do.  He’d get the option of “Toys” or “Books” or “TV”.  Theo loved this because he knew when he’d done something that we wanted him to do he was getting rewarded with a task he’d chose!

The only problem that we came across with the cards was that when he was going through his colour obsession if the card didn’t match the colour of the object he’d refuse to take part or it’d cause a meltdown!  Say the packet of crisps for snack time on the card was green and I was handing him a red packet – he’d refuse, scream, throw them away etc.  However I found the way to get round that was to print the picture out in either an outline or a grey scale picture!  Problem solved – Thankfully!

I’ve found a couple of sites online that do free cards/samples which I’ve listed below, before spending a fortune on software that you can print out speak to your Speech and Language Therapist they’ve always supplied ours so we’ve never had to go to the expense! Also its always worth a google search!

 

http://visualaidsforlearning.com/

http://www.practicalautismresources.com/printables

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