Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Product of the Week!

Each week I will be reviewing a product that I love to use with my son and this week, my product of the week is the very versatile
~Wooden Lacing Reels~

These brightly coloured lacing reels come in a set of 20 reels with 2 laces. The size of the reel is 3cm x 3.25cm which make them great for little hands.

Lacing products are fantastic for encouraging Fine Motor Skills.

For those who are unsure what Fine Motor Skills are – they involve the use of the small muscles in the fingers, hand and arm to manipulate, control and use tools and materials. Another important component of Fine Motor Skills development is Hand-eye Coordination - that is where a person uses their vision to control the movements and actions of their small muscles.

My son has poor Fine Motor Skills so I always try to use toys that are fun, keep him engaged and involves his interests. The lacing reels are perfect for this as he loves lining/stacking things up, colours and counting so I can use the reels to teach my son multiple tasks like:

Lacing – using the lace to push through the reel is great for practicing the pincer grasp of the fingers. While he was lacing we were also counting the reels to a song like “one reel, two reels, three reels, four, five reels, six reels, seven reels, more”.
Stacking – we used the reels to stack on top of each other to see how high we could get them until they fell down or the fun part for my son was knocking them down!
Sequencing – we used the reels for my son to match the sequence of colours and while we sung our reel song (see above under lacing).

Matching – we used the reels for my son to match a reel to the coloured spots on the sheet.

Sorting – we used the reels as a sorting tool by asking my son to sort the reels by colour onto the correct coloured sheets and said each colour as he was placing them on the sheet.

Early Math – we used the reels as counters to teach early math with counting and number recognition.

Pretend Play – we used the lacing reels as pretend snakes and we were sliding through the forest while making ‘hissing’ sounds.

I was able to gain my son’s attention for a good 40 minutes and teaching him many different tasks from one toy all whilst having fun. Really the possibilities are endless – all you need is a little creativity and make it heaps of fun with lots of excitement and encouragement.

The Wooden Lacing Reels can be purchased from our online store for $14.95.

Happy Playing,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why hearing the word "Mum" means so much!

With Mother’s Day being today, I thought I would tell the story of why I love hearing the word “Mum”.

As a mother you can’t wait for your baby to say the word “Mum” - I was one of them. But I did not get to hear the word “Mum” until my son was around the age of 4 ½ and I still fills my heart with warmth just thinking about that day. I remember the cute little voice as he said it in; the tears streaming down my face, the joy of him finally acknowledging me as “Mum” and the excitement of ringing family and friends and shouting my son called me “Mum”. I remember thinking it was a miracle as I did not know if, let alone when, I would ever hear that beautiful word. It was a long journey to get to that point with many years of speech, occupational therapy and home therapy. It was hard for me as a mum to have a child who didn’t talk or did not want to be picked up or hugged. As a Mum those are all things you look forward to and some days I would have tears in my eyes when I went to pick my son up from day care as I would see other Mums collecting their children and their child running up to them with open arms and saying “Mummy”. For me most days I would have to go and sit in front of my son for him to realise that Mum was there to take him home.

Now I hear the word “Mum” every day and I love when I pick my son up from school that he now runs up to me saying “Mummy” with a open arms. I am ever so very grateful for this everyday and I never get sick of hearing the word “Mum”. But please spare a thought for all those mums out there that have not heard that gorgeous word yet and who are so longing to hear it. Even though their children may not speak I know that their children love them dearly by the hugs or kisses or just a touch of her hand to let her know they are there and every time I see these gestures it just warms my heart as I have been there.

So from me to every Mum out there I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day and hope you enjoy having a big cuddle or a smile or a touch and if you are one of the fortunate ones - love hearing the word “Mum”!

♥ Jo xo

I found this poem for all the Mums who have children with Autism.

And Then God Created This Mother…

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of 'overtime' when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 180 moveable parts – all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that disappears when she stands up, a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair and six pairs of hands, ears that will hear things she doesn't want to hear, a mouth that can gently kiss away scrapes and bruises and yet tear the hide right off of those who try anything against the best interests of her child.

Yes, this model will have to be able to sit patiently and listen to outlandish reports about her child without flinching. She will have to hear how hopeless it all is and know that it isn't so. She will have to have those kinds of eyes which don't tear when she hears other mothers talk about how well things are going for their children."

The angel shook its head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands, yet? No way." "It's not the hands that are causing the problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes this mother has to have." "That's on the standard model"? asked the angel.

The Lord nodded and said, "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, "What are you kids doing in there?" when she already knows. Another pair here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know and, of course, the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up for the 99th time and say, "I understand and I love you anyway" without so much as uttering a word.

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, "come to bed. Tomorrow…" "I can't, answered the Lord, "I am so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, feeds a family of six on one pound of hamburger and gets her nine-year-old to stand under a shower." The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," it sighed.

"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure." "Can it think?" asked the angel. "Not only can it think," said the Creator, "it can reason and compromise."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran a finger across the cheek. "There is a leak," it pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model." "That's not a leak, said the Lord, "it's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel.

"Tears are for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride… this model will know a lot about all that" answered the Lord, "But you know" He continued, "I don't even remember putting that tear there." "By the way", asked the angel, "what will you call this model?"

"I will call this one simply, the mother of an autistic child."

Author Unknown

It has been a while....

I am so sorry that it has been so long since I posted on my Blog.

To be honest I think the main reason why is that I have been scared to write - that inner voice telling me no one will want to listen to what you write etc but I have had some lovely people lately ask me about writing my story with our Autism Journey and any tips/ideas that have helped us along the way. So I am going to step outside my comfort zone and give it ago and hope I don't bore you all too much.

So until tomorrow when I will write my Mother's Day post - Goodnight and Sweet Dreams!

Cheers Jo :o)
Welcome to The Toy Bug Blog!

Here you will find all sorts of useful information about The Toy Bug including sneak peeks at new products coming into the store, profiles on toys and information and stories about our Autism Journey.

We hope you'll check back often to see whats new :-)
Cheers Jo xo