Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What’s New


We have some great new products that have recently arrived that are sure to please kids of all ages.  Here are some examples from our What’s New section:

·         Fincredibles Goldfish:  These electronic goldfish are great fun and will undoubtedly bring lots of joy to your child.  You can interact with the goldfish by tapping on the lid and they can change colours for night swims.  Suited for ages 3+, this is priced at $44.

·         Chat Back Cat:  This soft, cute and cuddly cat can repeat the words that you say; also available are a Chat Back Dog and Chat Back Monkey.  Ideal for kids of all ages and priced at $29.95, these have been very popular already.

·         Fishing Magnetic Game:  This brightly coloured game comes with two magnetic fishing rods to catch the fish and shells.  This game is fantastic for developing hand eye coordination and motor skills.  Suited for ages 3+, this is great value at just $7.

·         World Globe Foam Ball:  This world globe combines both fun and learning as it is made from bouncy squeezy foam that is firm enough to assist with strengthening the hands. The different countries and regions are shown in bright colours that make it easy to identify.  Suited for ages 3+, this is priced at $1.80.

·         Wooden Rainmaker:  This gorgeous wooden rainmaker makes the gentle sound of rain falling as the tower is turned upside down.  The sound of the rain comes from bright coloured balls rattling against the wood as they cascade down and around the tower.  Ideal for kids aged 18 months +, this is priced at $29.95. 
For a whole range of other toys follow the link to the What’s New section as these toys are sure to bring a lot of fun and help with your child’s development and learning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fussy Eaters And Autism

There’s nothing more annoying than spending time in the kitchen, whipping up a meal, only to have it refused, point blank.  It’s even more frustrating when the child in question hasn’t even bothered giving the food a taste.  They just flat out refuse.

You worry that they’re not eating enough, or enough of the right things.  Besides, it just makes you feel unappreciated, what with the effort you’ve just put in making the meal.

It’s hard not to take it personally, but you can’t, especially when it comes to children with autism.

One of the key characteristics with children with an autism spectrum disorder are the sensory issues, whether this be hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity. Children will need extra sensory stimulation; increased pressure, large movements, or, at the other end, their senses can be heightened.

Therefore, noises can seem too loud, clothing can feel uncomfortable against the skin, tags on shirts can irritate...and food can be an issue.

Food consumption is influenced by the look, smell, taste and feel of the overall meal, and even individual ingredients.

For children with autism, they can be genuinely repelled by certain foods.  Perhaps the smell is too strong for them, or the taste too distinctive or overwhelming. They may even like the taste of the food, but find the feel of it in their mouth disturbing or off-putting.

Some children prefer the crunchy feel of uncooked vegetables, such as carrots, as they provide a greater sensory experience, and the texture of cooked carrots is “too mushy”, for example.

In determining if your child is a “fussy eater”, first and foremost, remember it’s not personal, it is a genuine aversion to certain foods, or food combinations.  Work out what the sensory issue is and it makes life – and meals – much easier to work around.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Advice From Dr Temple Grandin

Dr Temple Grandin recently published an article in Take Part which gave her views on the education of children on the autism spectrum.  I love what she has to say and I encourage you to read it.  I have included an extract here, but you really need to read the whole article.

Her stance - stay positive.

“Special educators need to look at what a child can do instead of what he/she cannot do.
There needs to be more emphasis on building up and expanding the skills a child is good at.  Too often people get locked into a label such as dyslexia, ADHD, or autism, and they cannot see beyond the label.  Kids that get a label often have uneven skills.  They may be talented in one area and have a real deficiency in another.”
She goes on to say “Kids with autism often get fixated on one thing, and it is important to expand their fixations.  If the child loves race cars, then race cars can be used as subject matter for reading and math. If the child only draws pictures of NASCAR race cars, a teacher could start expanding the fixation by having him draw an Indianapolis-type car or draw sports cars that regular people can buy at car dealerships.  The next step of expansion is to draw pictures of places where race tracks are located.”
Her advice is so very logical that it makes me wonder why the education system doesn’t follow it.

Read the rest of the article.  It is practical, sound and full of clear advice.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Great Articles To Read

On a regular basis on the Toy Bug Facebook page we include links to great articles that we have found and which are well worth reading.  These are some very useful resources and provide clear insights and ideas so we decided to list some of them here so you can easily find them again.
Here are a few of the recent ones:

·       This link by Dr. Tony Attwood explains the difference between Aspergers and High Functioning Autism.  

·       This details a great recipe for Gluten-free Cloud Dough. 

·       This article relates to research that showed that focusing on the strengths of adolescents with autism spectrum disorders improves their social skills. 

·       This article is great idea for when your child is bored and looking for something to do.  

·       This link includes a set of slides that provides some great information and well explained examples to assist people to accept their diagnosis.    

·       This article titled Eight Fun Oral Sensory Activities to Improve Your Child’s Regulation provides activities for your child and as detailed in the article when you need a “quick fix”.

·       This article discusses a simple, inexpensive yet very effective way to make some sensory and discovery bottles for your child. 

·       This is an article on pillow caves and squish boxes that make ideal sensory retreats. 

These are just some of the resources on the Toy Bug Facebook page so when you get the chance, grab a coffee and spend a bit of time having a look. I know you will find some useful information.
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