Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spikko Carer Record Folder

I recently came across this product at Spikko and think it is fabulous. It's a Carer Record Folder that is designed for carers and is especially useful if managing a child with a disability or additional needs.

The Carer Record folder's purpose is to simplify the process of attending various appointments by filing all important paperwork and information in one easily accessible folder. Categories include: Personal, Medical, Assessments, Therapies, Correspondence, Education, Centrelink, Funding/Concessions, Receipts/Statements, Information/Notes. Containing a variety of forms to record all types of information such as medicare information, contacts, medications, hospital visits and more.

The folder contains a business card holder that fits ten cards and a gusseted sheet protector with flap so that you can keep allyour contacts safely in the one place.

The beauty of this product is that you have all the information that you need at your fingertips. Just pick up the folder and take it to your appointments. You will have everything you might need in the folder.

You can also purchase the forms on CD so that you can print off extra copies as you need them.

If you are managing the needs of a child with some form of disability this product will simplify your life.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kimochis – helping kids get in touch with their feelings

One of the greatest challenges for people with autism can be to understand the feelings of others and to adequately communicate or demonstrate their own feelings. This is often one of the first things that can alert parents and caregivers to the possibility of a child having autism or any of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Using visual aids has been shown to help teach children with autism about how to read the various expressions of others and how they might be feeling, as well as teaching them how to successfully express how they feel themselves.

Kimochi (Key-mo-chee) means “feeling” in Japanese and the Kimochis Bug is a specially developed educational toy with various “feelings cushions” that the child can place in a pocket on his belly, showing how the Kimochis Bug feels inside.

The Komochis Bug is a safe friend who, like many children with autism, is scared of change because change is a big process for a caterpillar. Kimochis Bug’s secret ambition to fly means that changes are things that he must be prepared for and find the courage to deal with.

Bug is highly intelligent, fairly wary of new things and new people, but really good at carrying on a conversation when he feels comfortable. He is brightly coloured, soft and promotes tactile stimulation.

Because new things can be terrifying, Bug has become very clever at talking his way out of just about anything, but he is smart enough to know that he needs to be brave and find new ways of learning to participate if he wants to achieve his goals.

Kimochis Bug comes with a 'How to Feel Guide' plus Happy, Brave and Left-out child-safe “feeling cushions”, packed in its own peek-a-boo box.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Zac Web Browser – Helping kids with autism to focus.

Children who live with any of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are often highly intelligent, but usually have specific learning environment requirements.

Zac Browser is the first Internet browser developed specifically for children living with various autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and it helps to take the guess work and trial and error out of finding the most appropriate sites and activities for your child to use. Best of all it is totally free to download and use.

Zac (Zone for Autistic Children) Browser is a completely free and safe software package that directs your child to activities that are specially developed and aimed to assist in learning for children with ASD. The entire selection of activities is suitable for all children of varied learning levels, so they are great for your child to share with friends and family.

Your child will find the diverse range of activities and games engaging and rewarding, and with Zac Browser they will be directed quickly and easily to their choices. You may find it hard to resist joining in with your child to sing along to Creature Karaoke!

The chosen videos encourage your child to interact and all of the games are educational and fun to play, from a simple drawing board to fun with Dora, Clifford or even the lovely Caillou, your child is sure to find lots of new favourites.

The latest version of Zac Browser contains a link to Autism News and Discussion Boards where you can source a wealth of information on ASD behaviours, tools and advice and is also compatible with the Wii Remote (property of Nintendo) for balance and hand and arm movement activities.

Why not download your child’s free copy of Zac Browser today?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What is a Fidget Toy?

Have you heard of fidget toys? They are great tools for those children who just cant seem to sit still.

Children with forms of autism, ADHD and sensory processing dysfunction often fidget especially during times when they are required to concentrate. They wiggle, kick around, chew their fingers and become totally distracted from the topic they are supposed to be working on.

A fidget toy is something small, like a pliable ball, that the child can fiddle with to satisfy their needs without distracting others. Doodling while you are on the telephone or chewing a pen while you are thinking both work in the same manner. The brain is focused and the hands are occupied.

Research has shown that fidget toys seem to distract that part of the brain that makes kids squirm and fiddle. Once the brain is occupied the child can start to contentrate on their work. For adults, stress balls and executive desk toys have the same function.

Children with ADHD and forms of autism sometimes seem slow to react to their surroundings. Some researchers think that they are are "overreactive to high stimulation and under-react to low levels of stimulation." A fidget toy is designed to be enough to increase the childs awareness of the environment but not so exciting that it causes an overreaction.

For children who have trouble focusing, a fidget toy can calm them so much that there is a marked increase in their ability to learn and absorb information. It might be that this is what your child needs to help them through the long school days.

Finding the right fidget toy will be trial and error for every child is different. Look for something that is small enough to be portable and pliable enough to be squeezed and reshaped. Something like our Squishy Farm Critters would be perfect.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Busy Day - Magnetic Activity Chart

We know that children with autism can be very easily distracted from what they should be doing and that can be distressing for both of you. Our world relies on systems to keep it moving and one foot out of step upsets routines.

People who are organised seem to cope better with life, particularly during their school years so one of your challenges is to teach your child to become and to stay organised. A great way to begin is with a simple, visual chart.

Our fantastic Magnetic Moves "My Busy Day" activity chart is a colourful and fun chart designed to help your little one have input into their day. Little ones can work with mum and dad to select the tiles which outline the key activities in their day. This way there are no surprises, no false expectations and no disappointment. The little one feels empowered and that their opinion and input is valued.

The chart has a morning and afternoon routine section as well as a reward section. What I love most about this chart is that it is fun and easy to use and the ‘Done’ section allows little ones to keep track of their daily achievements by moving the magnets when tasks are completed. It is simple to see what happens next in the day because it is shown right there in the next image.

The chart is also very visual which is often the best way for children with autism to communicate. The tiles are images and the morning and afternoon charts have different coloured backgrounds.

What you are doing is training your child to use an organising tool to keep him or her on track. As the child grows the tool will become more complicated but the approach will remain the same. Don’t underestimate the value of this little tool.
This activity chart is suitable for any child aged 3-5 years because it requires no reading.

My Busy Day features:
* Full colour A4 magnetic chart (to put on your fridge or any metallic surface)
* 50 Magnetic tiles including fun, colourful illustrations and colour coded to keep your little one organised throughout the day as well as 2 blank tiles for you to customise to your needs.
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