Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sensory Halloween Bags

With Halloween not too far away it is worth having a look at our Sensory Halloween Bags.  These bags have 12 sensory type toys that are great fun and are sure to provide hours of entertainment.  They come in either an orange or green bag that makes it easy to carry and are ideal when travelling or visiting family and friends.

The mix of sensory toys included in the Halloween Bags are suitable to squeeze, stretch, bend, turn, squash while also being fun to look at with all the great designs and colours.

These are a clever way to encourage your child to participate in the Halloween experience without overloading on the noise and strange costumes that might otherwise cause problems.

The set includes:
  • Orange or Green Halloween Bag (approx 36cm x 38cm - excluding handles)
  • Soft Spider Squish Ball or Puffer Spider Ball
  • Pumpkin SLIME
  • Wind Up Ghost or Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Touch Bubbles or Test Tube Touch Bubbles
  • Wooden Spin Top
  • Bendy Skeleton Keyring (black or white)
  • Sticky Halloween Toy
  • Hand Clapper
  • Mouth Whistle
  • Spikey Ball Keyring
  • 2 "Happy Halloween" Balloons
These Sensory Halloween Bags are great value as they include $20 worth of goodies for only $14.95.  Ideal for age 3+ these are a great gift idea for Halloween and are sure to be popular.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whatever Happened To Sleep

Sometimes children on the autism spectrum can have difficulty sleeping.  Every child is different – some can’t get to sleep, some can’t stay asleep and others can’t sleep at the normally accepted times of day and night.

Not every child is awake and yelling the house down.  Sometimes their sleep is restless; sometimes the child will toss and turn.  Sometimes it’s just hard to tell whether the sleep issue is associated with autism or just part of the night terrors that some children experience in their early years.
The problem affects everyone in the house, doesn’t it?  You feel like a zombie on autopilot most days.  This is what some parents have told me.
My child didn’t sleep through the night for years.  I couldn’t work out what was wrong and he couldn’t tell me.  Finally I realised that his time clock was running differently to ours.  His body told him to sleep in the afternoons and stay awake until the early morning hours.  I gradually shortened his nap time which was difficult – he wasn’t always cooperative - but the payoff was that he went to sleep at a reasonable hour.  Even today he is what people would call a night owl but he has learnt to match his sleep pattern with the need to go to school and so on.  It is hard at the time but it does eventually work out.”
I remember my brother driving me crazy at night.  His room was next to mine so we shared a common wall.  Every night for years and years I would hear the bed squeaking and creaking.  When I went in to see what was happening, there he was down on all fours on his bed, rocking himself backwards and forwards.  It seemed to be something he had to do before he could relax enough to sleep.  Now my son is doing exactly the same thing.”
Recent studies have suggested that melatonin supplements can solve some of the sleep problems.  It is possible that children on the autism spectrum are not able to produce enough melatonin in their bodies.  Melatonin is the hormone which regulates our sleep patterns. 

Other things that help are sticking to a regular night routine, making sure that your child has his special sleep toy or blanket with him and having quiet time for an hour before bed.
Does your child have sleep problems?  What tips can you share with other parents struggling with this issue?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Defining Moment

It is hard enough being a teenage girl even if you have all the social skills and social savvy needed to make you part of the ‘in crowd’.  Luckily for most girls they have a bestie that they can chat with and work out the complicated issues of the day.

When you are autistic you may not have the friends to chat with or even the ability to talk at all.  That makes the world a very frustrating place to inhabit.

Carly Fleischmann is a teenage girl who was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking.

“Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child.  Although she made some progress after years of intensive behavioural and communication therapy, Carly remained largely unreachable.  Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.

While working with her devoted therapists Howie and Barb, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed in "HELP TEETH HURT," much to everyone's astonishment.  This was the beginning of Carly's journey toward self-realization.”

The quote comes from the blurb on Carly’s book Breaking Through Autism.

The video is by Carly and it shows life from her perspective and it also shows how she has found and used an alternative form of communication – social media.

Who would have thought that social media would be the saviour of an autistic teenager?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What’s New In Store

With school holidays upon us, your children might be looking for things to keep them occupied.  Here are some great ideas that we have in our What’s New section.
The Mancala Wooden Game originated in Africa and is believed to be the oldest game in the world.  This game requires a combination of strategy and a sense of fun as you try to collect the bright colourful stones from your opponent. 
An ideal educational toy is the ShapeSorter Cube where you need to push the brightly coloured shapes through the holes.  Great fun as it combines coordination with shape and colour recognition.

The Near and Far – Safari is a fantastic educational game of size and perspective where you build 3D scenes.  Being a 3D game, it also teaches dimensional and spatial concepts as each scene is constructed.  Also, can be used as a special needs learning aid as well as for use with speech pathology exercises.   

The Pin Art – Coloured is loads of fun as you create 3D impressions by simply pushing an object into the pins.  Let the imagination run wild as your child creates unique sculptures from the impressions made by different objects. 

There are plenty of other great toys and gift ideas in the What’s New section that are great fun as well as educational.  Have a look and hopefully you can find something suitable.
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