Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shopping By Theme Makes Buying A Breeze

Shopping for kid's toys online is an easy and convenient option for sure. But it can become an arduous task trawling through pages and pages of toys, especially when you are not sure what you are looking for.

Have you ever sat at the computer, randomly scrolling pages up and down but just not landing on anything that grabs your attention? I call it stale searching, because without a specific idea of what you're looking for you can get stuck in a never ending circle of online shopping boredom.

If you have some idea of the toys your child loves you can break your shopping down into bite sized chunks…much easier to digest!

We want to make shopping easy for you so we offer the fantastic option to shop based on a theme. This makes it so easy to find the kind of toys you are looking for. You can shop for everything from dinosaurs, fairies and pirates to transport, space and sea life.

So if your little one is fascinated by insects, you can click the tab titled “insects/gardens” and it will bring up all the toys in this category. Here you can find ladybug jigsaws or the cutest wiggly worm grasping toy, great for building up bub's coordination.

Perhaps your daughter is obsessed with fairies. Check out the fairy themed category to find a special little wooden fairy bookmark. These make the cutest gift too.

What little girl doesn’t love horses? Just search by animal theme to find a creative horse stamp set. Or for the tiny space crusader in your house, try clicking on the space/robots theme for all things outer space.

So, once you have an idea of what a child is interested in, simply find the theme that relates and begin your journey to browsing the wonderful world of toys. You're sure to find what you need by shopping this way.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Support The Autism Awareness Campaign!

Whether or not you and your family have been touched by autism we ask you to consider supporting the Autism Awareness Campaign which is hoping to be noticed by the politicians during this year’s election campaign.

Back in March 2013, autism expert Dr Tony Attwood said ''A child diagnosed with apparently mild autism may have challenges that are profound to them.  If they are offered little or no support, there potentially could be tragic consequences.''

In May 2013, DSM-5 was introduced and the definitions of autism, aspergers and many other mental disorder conditions changed.  Now the number of people who will qualify as having ASD, and therefore qualifying for funding, has changed, too.  Some estimates suggest only 60% of people currently diagnosed with autism would meet the DSM-5 definition.

This election, speak up for all Australians with autism.  In all of the promises and spin over the next few weeks, it is crucial for them to make their voice heard.  We need to remind our politicians that 1 in 100 needs to be funded and it needs to be now!  Find out about their new campaign and how you can get involved.

Let's help them make their message heard by visiting the Autism Awareness website and spreading the word.  Anything you can do to bring this issue to the attention of our politicians and the policy-formulating advisors would be a great help.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SPD – It’s All In The Brain

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is an often misunderstood disorder of the brain. With this condition, individuals have trouble receiving and/or processing the information that comes to their brain through their senses. This can lead to a variety of symptoms and delayed development in children, as this neuro-processing disorder affects their ability to focus as well as to experience and learn.

SPD is often untreated and unrecognised, or confused with other disorders such as autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While children with SPD may have autism and/or ADHD as well, many health professionals have suspected that it is a separate disorder, even though it does not have a separate diagnosis code or treatment guidelines in issues of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Due to the issues caused by the disorder and the lack of a clear diagnosis or treatment plan, many parents as well as health care professionals have been at a loss at how to diagnose or help children with this disorder. Often children with this disorder “fall through the cracks,” and suffer difficulties in school or other social settings due to this lack of understanding or treatment.

This may change after new research conducted by UC San Francisco in the United States, and published in NeuroImage:Clinical, an online journal. The research results have been widely reported in several blogs and publications, including the Sensory Spectrum Blog.

Basically the findings of this research seem to provide evidence that SPD is a separate and distinct condition from autism or ADHD with a biological basis stemming from anatomical irregularities in portions of the brain.
While more research is needed to further isolate the causes that lead to the development of this neurological disorder as well as to develop criteria for diagnosis and consistent standards for treatment, the study shows that in those that are afflicted, there are anatomical differences in the white matter areas of the brain. The white matter of the brain plays a critical role in learning, perception and thought.

Using a specialised form of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) known as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), the brains of children afflicted with this disorder had white matter that appeared to be affected on a microstructural and bundled fibre level, with the central involvement of these tissue types occurring in the rear area of the brain. This is the area where the connections for the visual, tactile and auditory systems for sensory processing are located, as well as the connections for the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This is in stark contrast to either autism or ADHD, which typically involve areas of the brain in the frontal area.

Hopefully this research will encourage scientists and other healthcare professionals to conduct more research into this little understood disorder so that both parents and children can receive quicker diagnosis and clear treatment plans for an improved outlook.

Tell us, do you think there needs to be additional research and funding for this condition? 
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