Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Photos With Santa

Are you interested in your child having their photo taken with Santa?  Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne as part of their Sensitive Santa initiative has implemented special arrangements for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

You can book a time so you, your family and Santa can have a photograph taken that is in a gentle and safe environment.  There are plenty of times available as this initiative runs from 3 to 12 December so call (03) 9318 1699 to make a booking at Highpoint Shopping Centre or follow this Santa Photo link to our Facebook page for more details.

Highpoint Shopping Centre is to be congratulated for this initiative and hopefully other shopping centres around the country also implement this program.  To try and continue to raise the awareness in the community Amaze (Autism Victoria) have an information pack that they can send out to you so you can take to your local shopping centre.  Therefore, whether you are a parent, carer, friend or a supporter follow the link so you can receive the information pack.

Having the special picture taken with Santa can have lasting memories and as our kids seem to grow up so fast these days, having photos are always great to have when reminiscing about their younger years.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Film About Autism


To help with raising the awareness, acceptance and understanding of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Autism Awareness Australia has created a short film titled “What are you doing?”.

This purpose of this film is to teach school age children about ASD and help them to better understand and accept their peers who may have ASD at their school or in the community.  The film is narrated by Tom Gleisner and Michael Whelan is the author who has also written “The Other Country”.
The film includes interviews with family and friends of children with ASD and features a strong message on inclusion and understanding of ASD.  Animations are also used to help explain the message as well as the use of some beautiful imagery.
Over 10,000 copies of this film have been distributed to every school across Australia including teaching materials to assist the school and the teachers as they educate their students.
You can also purchase you own copy of the DVD for $20 plus postage by clicking on the “What are you doing?” link.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas Is Just Around The Corner

Christmas is now only about 6 weeks away - are you prepared?  Have you done all of your shopping?

To help you stock up with some gorgeous gifts for your family and friends we are offering lay-by which will make it a bit easier to shop and pay off in time for Christmas.

Plus we have a huge range of great gift ideas in our What’s New section that are worth looking at as you are likely to find some unique ideas.  A great example of this is the Rory’s Story Cubes that will really get the imagination going.  Story Cubes are made from nine dice that have a different icon on each side.  When you roll the cubes you can use the images to make up a story.

Also worth looking at is our On Sale section as we have a wide range of products that are for sale at a reduced price.  The Sound Machine can add some fun to any conversation as it has a range of sounds such as applause, canned laughter, drum roll, whistle and many other sounds.

If you are still not too sure what gifts to buy for your family or friends then consider purchasing a Gift Voucher.  In addition, if you prefer we can email the Gift Voucher directly to the person so they can start using it the moment they receive it.

Hopefully these suggestions are helpful and make it a bit easier to get your shopping done in time.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Savant Syndrome


Recently I came across a very informative article on savant syndrome that I thought was worth bringing to your attention.  The article is titled Savant Syndrome: An Extraordinary Condition – A Synopsis: Past, Present, Future.  It provides a thorough discussion on the savant syndrome and some key points have been summarised below.

Savant syndrome has a long history and some of the earliest reports go back to around the 1780’s when a fellow named Thomas Fuller was able to accurately state how many seconds a man had lived who was 70 years old, 17 days and 12 hours old.  He was able to provide the answer in 90 seconds even allowing for the 17 leaps years that were included.

In recent times the syndrome gained more prominence as a result of the film Rain Man in which Dustin Hoffman played a character with savant syndrome.  The savant syndrome condition is rare and it is estimated that one in ten autistic children show some savant skills although others believe this to be much lower such as maybe one or two in 200.  In addition, males outnumber females with the condition which is also reflected in some of the other autism spectrum disorders.

Of interest is that skills associated with the savant syndrome are usually in a very narrow range of skills.  They will often fall into the music, the artistic field, numbers or being able to memorise a lot of information or complex details.  With music it mainly relates to the ability to play the piano and with art it often relates to drawing, painting or sculpturing.  In relation to numbers, people with savant syndrome can calculate times, dates and days when events have occurred, whether it is in the past, the future or how long it may take.  Furthermore, the ability to calculate numbers at lightening speeds is another example as well as great accuracy with measuring distances.  Being able to memorise complex details such as in road maps, the contents of books or being able to accurately recall in extensive detail after only a brief look are other examples of skills associated with savant syndrome.

Research continues to take place on savant syndrome and more progress has been made in the last 15 years than in the previous 100 years.  As further studies and research continues it provides the opportunity to discover the reasons for these hidden abilities and to provide a better understanding as to why they occur that may open up other possibilities about human development and potential.
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