Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In-Car Entertainment

Heading off on a road trip with kids in tow can be a bit daunting unless you are well prepared.

Sitting in the back of the car for long periods of time is a bit boring for anyone, but for children who require consistent levels of stimulation it can be a real challenge.

For those who require sensory stimulation it’s a good idea to provide some new sensory toys for the journey, as experiencing and experimenting with new sensations can be a positive way to keep them occupied for quite a while.

We have some great toy options for back seat travellers, including our recent addition, the Sensory Easter Pack. Having a couple of sensory books like Diggory Dog Dress Up Book and Pet Tails Book also provides a different avenue of entertainment.

There are many different game options designed for travel like the Zingo! Travel Game that make it easy to keep all of the pieces together. String my ABC's is also great for journeys so little ones can practice their beading and fine motor skills while learning the alphabet! And for the older kids try Word Spin - a fun filled, easy to play, go anywhere word game suitable for the whole family.

If you travel regularly, try to take some different toys on each journey, as doing the same things every time can make them lose their charm.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Computers and Autism

Studies have shown that using the computer can help pacify kids with Autism Spectrum and encourage the development of their communication abilities. Because of their very limited and focused attention, autistic children may feel threatened with face-to-face interaction, so much so that they retreat into their own world and can be very hard to communicate with.

However, it has been found that this trait could be improved by the use of computers. This is because it helps the user to combine different focuses effectively. It also provides a comfortable environment where individuals on the Autism Spectrum can experience beneficial transactions involving communication, social interaction, and imaginative play instinctively. And because they can actively control computers, they feel less threatened, which prevents them from withdrawing into their own world.

Another benefit of using the computer is that it creates a safe environment where they can explore, play, and be creative without the pressure of verbal communications.

Computers are also seen to be therapeutic to those with:

• Virtual tracking and scanning issues
• Learning or memory problems
• Eye-hand coordination difficulties
• Planning and organisation concerns
• Spatial analysis and synthesis issues
• Problem-solving difficulties

While computers can be beneficial tool for those affected by Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, excessive use can lead to obsession and problems arising from inappropriate materials being viewed. It is always a good measure to limit use, as well as set some rules to protect children from Internet scams and bad materials.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Overcoming Bath Time Fears

For most children diagnosed with Autism, bath time is something that's hard to go through. This is because some of them are hypersensitive to touch and every action that's associated with bath time, like soaping the body and hair or drying with the towel becomes a torture. Their sensory receptors are overloaded.

As with many children at bath time, the best thing you can do is to distract them with some games or activities.

If it is waterproof, allow them to take their favourite toy with them so they can play with it in the water. That will give them a whole new experience with that item. There are lots of games designed for bath play. Bath squirts are always fun and a little water mess is a sure sign of fun!

Toys like tea sets and dolls are great for bath time, too. Children mimic the adult world by learning to wash and dry plates and cups or washing dolly’s hair. Sometimes, by being able to wash the doll as you are washing them, the child learns to understand the routine and becomes less stressed. A clever doll to use in the bath is Wayne Needs a Bath (or Julia needs a bath for the girls). Dirt marks printed on the doll are treated with heat sensitive ink. When put in warm water of 32-35, the marks will go away.

Another handy toy is the Farm Friends set with soft foam animals that stick to the tiles when wet.

Pet Fashion in the Tub is very clever. It is a set containing a foam dog and cat and 32 different accessories that they can be dressed up in.

Each of these sets packs away neatly for use next time.

Toys are great tools to help children learn to cope with life. If bath time is a problem, bring out your favourite toy to help.
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