Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where To Go When You Need Help

Raising children can be difficult even in the best situation, as the regular passage of childhood often contains special stressors and other challenges. As parents who have children along the autism spectrum well know, childhood is a time of great change and development, which can be especially trying for their children and the family.

There are a number of community and government resources available throughout the country to help parents and caregivers receive the support that they need to help care for a child who has been diagnosed with a significant health issue or condition.
Whether you have a child on the autism spectrum or who has a learning disability, it is important that you know that there are several types of assistance available to you. Assistance is wide ranging and diverse and can include financial support to those with economic difficulties and social support from others who are going through a similar challenge.
The following are just a few of the many types of programs that are available.
My Time: has groups all across Australia that connect parents, grandparents and other carers so that they can support one another in their efforts to care for their children that suffer from a disease, disability or other serious health condition. Groups meet locally on a regular basis, and include a designated carer that will facilitate the children playing constructively while the parents and other primary carers have a chance to meet in person and share their stories, tips and advice for how to cope with the challenges that they face. This community resource is especially helpful to families with children along the autism spectrum.
Australian Government Support for Disability and Carers: the Australian government has several programs and resources for the parents and primary carers of children with serious diseases, disorders and disabilities. Support is wide ranging and includes anything from providing assistance with coping financially and mentally with the special challenges that carers face as they provide care and assistance to children with specific needs and challenges.
Specific Australian Government Support for Children Along the Autism Spectrum: is a great place to start your research if you are seeking help with caring for a child who is along the autism spectrum. This resource provides information and links to assistance that is available to families and other carers of children with autism spectrum disorders.
The Carer Adjustment Payment: provides information to parents and other carers that need financial assistance to care for their child who is under the age of 7 and also has a serious disease, disorder or disability.
State and Territory Carers Associations: provides information about resources available to carers throughout Australia, with links to contact information so that carers can receive local assistance and support.
If you are struggling with the care of your child, consider looking into these resources to ensure that you have all the help and assistance that you need.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Starry, Starry Night

Look what we’ve got!

I love this little egg-shaped object.  It’s actually a star projector and sound machine and I think it’s pretty cool.

Imagine lying in bed watching a galaxy of stars twinkling down at you.  It’s colourful to look at, too, but not so busy that your child won’t go to sleep.  In fact, the sounds that are inbuilt into the projector are soft and soothing.

Choose from 6 sounds of nature:
  • Babbling brook
  • Ocean surf
  • Falling rain
  • Birds singing by a creek
  • Summer night
  • Birds at dawn

If your child has a sound or music that he or she finds soothing you can plug in your MP3 using the cable that comes with it.  The projector serves as a speaker.

After half an hour the sound switches off but the stars keep twinkling.  What a peaceful way to go to sleep.

See it in action in the video below.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Food Glorious Food

Some days it seems our lives revolve around food.  If we are not cooking, we are planning the weekly menus or doing the meal prep.  For this reason we thought we would highlight a selection of our food related posts regarding diet and fussy eaters to help you out.
For those with kids, meal times can be hard.  For those with kids with autism it can be even more difficult to deal with their fussy diets and particular habits.  As parents we worry about whether or not our children are eating a healthy balanced diet and it can be stressful.  We need to learn to take some of the pressure off ourselves and know that on some days as long as they eat something - anything - then we are dong the best we can.
There have been numerous studies undertaken into whether a particular diet can cause autism and what foods to avoid once they have been diagnosed.  Studies have even demonstrated that children with autism on a gluten free diet have shown positive behavioural improvement.  These studies are relatively new and more information is being released every day so it does pay to do a bit of research and see what works for you and your child in particular.

The winter months can bring about other food related issues of its own but if you try to get your child involved in the food prep they may show willingness to try something new.  At least you hope so!

If you have any tips or recipes that your fussy eater particularly enjoys, we would love to hear about them.  Feel free to leave a comment on our blog or directly on our Facebook page.

Bon app├ętit!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Animal Transformers

These cute little Animal Transformers will occupy little ones (and adults) for hours! They have flexible arms, legs and head so you can get them to sit, stand, balance on one leg and many other positions.

I could tell you how good they are for improving finger manipulation skills or for learning about body parts. I could tell you they are great for modelling body positions. I could even tell you how good they are as a fidget toy. But what I really want to tell you is that they are fun.

They feel good in the hand. The surface is smooth and cool and the shapes are great to hold. The arms, legs and heads are jointed so they can be made to pose in many different ways. Just slide the limb into a different slot and it will point a different direction.

The figures are painted in bright non-toxic colours and each has a bright, happy smile.

There are four animals to choose from: lion, bear, frog or elephant. We also have a range of Robot Transformers, too.

I think my favourite is the elephant.  How could you not love the trunk and those big, droopy ears? Each little creature is around 11cm tall and suitable for children from the age of 3 and up.
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