Saturday, September 29, 2012

New - The Cuddle Loop

This is a great new product that we are pleased to have in stock.  Called the Cuddle Loop, this is a swaddle for children which will fit them up to around 8 years of age.

Designed by a therapist, Cuddle Loop provides a tight, snugly, swaddle effect for all kids, but is highly effective for kids with sensory processing challenges.

The swaddle is like wearing a hug all the time.  For children who are anxious or fidgety, the feeling of the warm arms around them can be very comforting.  The soft material gives just the right amount of touch pressure to create a feeling of security.  It is also really useful for children who need to share spaces, such as during mat time at school.  The Cuddle Loop can help protect your child’s sense of space so they don’t feel as though the other children are crowding them.
Each Cuddle Loop is made of a stretchable lycra material so it can be used in seated or lying positions.  It can be knotted and wrapped to meet a particular need or comfort just by placing a knot or fastener (not included) at any point to tighten it.
Loops fit children from 6 months to approximately 8 years of age (8.2kg-20.4kg).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Paralympics

The recently completed 2012 Paralympics not only provided a great spectacle for sport but resulted in a huge leap forward in the public understanding and a new awareness that people with disabilities can be elite athletes.  Furthermore, how the Australian athletes conducted themselves in interviews and how they dealt with their own expectations was also a great credit to them and maybe something our able bodied Olympians could learn from.   

Ryley Batt is a perfect example of this as he is only 23 years old yet this is his third Paralympics in Wheelchair Rugby.  As stated on his profile on the Australian Paralympic Committee website he is considered the “greatest wheelchair rugby player on the planet”.  As a pivotal member of the team he was also the highest goal scorer for the Wheelchair Rugby at the Paralympics.
He only started to use a wheelchair when he was 12 years old and shortly afterwards took up wheelchair rugby.  It was his dedication to succeed combined with his competitive spirit that resulted in him being selected for the Australian Paralympic Team as well as being the youngest ever wheelchair rugby player at 15 years old.

This picture taken from the website of the Paralympic Movement highlights the nature of wheelchair rugby and the extent of the contact that can occur.

While it was the athletes with the obvious disabilities who received most attention, there were athletes of all nationalities such as Mitchell Killduff and Michael Murray who have forms of autism, a disability which is not so obvious.  They should not be overlooked because their achievements are phenomenal.

The Australian Paralympic Committee also runs many programs to support people with disabilities to participate in sports and specifically runs a Paralympic Talent Search program.  Follow the link for more details as well as upcoming dates.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Planning A Party For Children On The Autism Spectrum.

Kate E Reynolds is a nurse, counsellor and trainer of health professionals.  She is also the mother of a son who was diagnosed with severe autism disorder.

She kept a diary of his progress in which she recorded her observations.  She also recorded the things she learnt along the way.  Kate believes in making life as normal as possible for the child and the family.  That means finding ways to help the child fit into the normal social lives of his or her peers.

As you know, one of the hardest things to manage is the party.  It is full of noise, activity, unusual foods and situations that are really hard for your child to interpret.  Kate has written a book called "Party Planning for Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum" which you might find very useful.
She has also recorded a video in which she talks about parties and how to help your child prepare for and cope with the big event.  I think it is worth watching.  She shares some great tips and she has a very practical approach to life.

If you are planning a party for your child or anticipating an invitation to an event, this video will help you prepare.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Are parents placing too much hope on the iPad solution?

You know how much we love the apps that are becoming available on the iPad.  We have often shared our discoveries with you, knowing that the apps have been specifically designed to help children on the autism spectrum.

Recently some autism specialists and researchers have begun to think that we are placing too much hope in these apps.  They seem to think that we expect the apps to perform miracles for our children.  
Do you think that’s true?  I don’t agree.

Over at Autism Plugged In one writer said, "Technology isn't ‘an answer’ but it can sure help and sometimes in quite life changing ways."
He goes on to say, "The special needs Apps on iTunes and Android are interesting, fun, helpful and are usually developed by highly qualified professionals in relevant areas, but they are only ever going to be another tool to add to your kit bag.  It may even be that the App itself does nothing more than provide you with 10 minutes peace, but that in itself is invaluable."
Isn’t that more in line with the way you view your child’s use of the iPad and apps?

I love seeing results like those you’ll see in the video below.  I love seeing a child find the right tool for his needs.  I love the fact that a simple app holds so much promise.  But I don’t believe they are a "cure" for autism.
As parents of children on the spectrum we will always be looking for tools to make our children’s lives easier but we understand that they are only tools.

What is your opinion?  Do you see the iPad as a cure?

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