Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kitty Tails

This is such a clever book that I just have to tell you about it.

It is called Kitty Tails and it's a is a great educational and interactive book for little ones aged from 0+.

Even better - it's fun!

There are lots of activities to keep baby amused with different textures, colourful pictures and those irresistible tails they will have fun pulling and guessing whose tail belongs to who.

Just see if you can resist stroking and pulling all those colouful and textural tails! I can't. Having a story to go with them is really just a bonus!

Buy a copy for your little one and see who gets most fun out of it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coping with Fussy Eaters

For a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder it can be hard to explain why certain foods are ok and others are not. Because their extreme sensitivities go far beyond the difference in flavour between foods, texture can be extremely important and food temperature can also make a difference to how well any food is received.

The taste buds on our tongues tell us if a food is sweet, sour, bitter or salty. You mgiht find that your child will eat only one of these 'tastes' or will avoid one. This is when you need your lateral thinking to kick in.

It’s important that you meet your child’s nutritional and physical needs while being understanding and tolerant of their heightened sensitivity. Always be encouraging, but never force your child or get angry with them, no matter how frustrated you may feel.

Don’t offer too many choices at a time, one or two options on their plate at a time is usually enough.

If they have a preference for sweet foods try adding a sweet topping or marinade to your food. A touch of honey does wonders. Similarly, if they prefer something more salty try a sauce on the food you are giving your child. As long as they eat a variety of foods it doesn't really matter how they eat it, does it?

Try each flavour in different textures and at different temperatures. Record your child’s reactions and reception of the different foods that you offer.

It’s very handy to be able to look back over a comprehensive food diary, not only to work out patterns of what they like to eat, but so a dietician can help you to keep track of how much they are actually eating and where there may be gaps in their overall nutrition.

Introduce new foods gradually, always offering a food that they are comfortable with alongside new food sensations.

Many parents learn to hide nutritious foods in well tolerated foods, by perhaps peeling and grating or mashing and mixing through their favourite foods.

Every child is different and a fussy eater is a fussy eater whether or not the child has ASD. Don't worry too much about what they eat as long as they do!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ASD and repetitive behaviours

Many children with ASD will have repetitive behaviours. They can range from simple rocking in their chair to dramatic flapping and jumping. For some children it can be more serious and lead to them harming themselves.

Over the years there have been lots of theories put up about why they need repetitive behaviour and how to manage it but even now some of them are not fully proven to be effective. The way you manage repetitive behaviour in your child depends on how severe it is, how much it interferes with life and the reason you believe it is happening. Often you are going to have to trust your instincts but remember that you know your child better than anyone else.

When does the repetitive behaviour occur?
Is there a particular time or place in which your child starts this behaviour? If so, try to identify what is going on around him that might be irritating the senses. Is it a normal reaction to being tired or stressed? Many so called ‘normal’ people find themselves rocking on the spot or doodling repetitively in that situation, too.

Is the behaviour severe?
Is your child hurting herself? Is she placing herself in danger with the behaviour? Is it making social contact difficult to manage? Sometimes the behaviour becomes something that the people around the child can become used to because it doesn’t really intrude. Most children can accept odd behaviour in other kids and will let your child work through whatever is bothering her.

Just remember that just because they have a repetitive behaviour it doesn’t have to stop. As a parent, it is up to you to decide when you need to intervene to protect your child’s safety and ability to fit into normal situations

Why is it happening?
You know your child well. What do you think is causing the behaviour? Is the child stressed or upset? Is it possible that they are using the action to calm themselves by blocking out an irritant?

Sometimes the behaviour is known to happen when your child discovers something new that he or she would like to explore. Is there something new around that you could start feeling and exploring together? Is there a toy that you can use to help your child become comfortable with the new experience?

If the behaviour has the potential to be damaging you will need to seek professional help. If not, try to work out what provokes it and develop a strategy to explore it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Liquid Drop Timer

Sometimes when things get to be too much your child will need calming. It's very difficult to find something soothing when you are on the road or out in public. This timer could come in very handy for you.

It is a liguid drop timer and it is only 12 cms in length so you can easily tuck it into your handbag or your childs schoolbag and keep it with you.

A series of blue globules travel down a spiral path at very slow motion speed. It taks between 6 and 8 minutes to make the trip. It is a little like a lava lamp but it doesn't to be plugged in to work. You can't help but watch the drops as they move and it is incredibly soothing. You will find your own mind calming as your child's does.

This is one of our best sellers and I certainly know why. Priced at only $10.95 it is worth its weight in gold.
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