Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Preparing Your Teacher

A new school year can be challenging for kids and parents/carers alike, regardless of the individual's abilities or diagnosis. Throw a little something extra into the mix and it can be downright scary, for the teacher as well.

In a perfect world, you will have already met with your child's new teacher, identified areas of concern and developed a management or Individual Education Plan (IEP). Even then however, not all aspects of your child’s needs may have been discussed.

So how do you make the world a little more perfect, your child’s transition a lot smoother and ease your own anxiety and worry in the process? Preparation, and communication is the key to success.

No one knows your child like you do so don’t be afraid to share your expertise.
The information you share will depend on the age of the child and their prior education experiences but some details remain the same regardless of such things.

Sadly, diagnosis and health concerns are first and foremost. Whilst labels can be harsh, confronting and sometimes limiting, with a diagnosis often comes extra support and funding, which can only help your child to excel.

You will no doubt have identified strengths and weaknesses and sharing these is extremely helpful. Allowing your child to shine and develop confidence in a particular area will assist them in getting comfortable in their surroundings and developing a sense of fitting in, so let the teacher know how they might facilitate an opportunity for your special person to shine. The same with weaknesses, if you can prevent a meltdown, difficult situation or embarrassing event just by sharing one simple trigger or challenging area, then do everyone a favour and speak up.

Does your child have a special talent or area of expertise? If they are on the autism spectrum this is not uncommon and can be a useful tool in engaging the child in learning they might otherwise avoid or struggle with. Hates numbers but loves trains? Maybe counting trains could be a useful strategy. A creative and enthusiastic teacher will be happy to hear your suggestions and will benefit from knowing what traits they might use to bring out the best in your child.

You know your child best. And you know how to share the information about your child in the best way possible, so work out a format or checklist that suits your needs. 

Don’t be afraid to write a letter to the teacher, sharing the tips, tricks, triggers and talents of your special little one. Like you, your child’s teacher wants them to do their very best and get the most out of their learning experience in the classroom. 

Give your child’s teacher a helping hand and tell them everything you know so they get a leg up and don’t learn the hard way. You did that already.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Get Organised

Life can be stressful, particularly when you have children with ASD. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the things you don’t know or don’t understand or because you simply feel like you have little control over your child. Their behaviour can be challenging and this in itself can be frustrating.

One way to overcome much of the stress we face (unfortunately some levels of stress will always be present) is to get organised.

Organisation can be a very effective tool when it comes to maintaining or decreasing stress in your life. 

Creating routines are a big help, as is using a resource such as The Carer Record Folder.

Especially designed for carers and particularly helpful for those managing a child with a disability or additional needs, the Carer Record Folder was created to simplify the process of attending various appointments by filing all important paperwork and information in one easily accessible folder. No more frantic searching for paperwork - just pick up the folder and go.

The folder is broken down into specific categories for ease:  Personal, Medical, Assessments, Therapies, Correspondence, Education, Centrelink, Funding/Concessions, Receipts/Statements and Information/Notes. It also contains a variety of forms to record all types of information such as Medicare information, contacts, medications, hospital visits and more and comes with a CD of the forms to enable you to complete forms electronically and print extra copies off as and when you need them.

For the price of $50, the Carer Record Folder will bring great peace of mind when it comes to managing your appointments and paperwork.  Preparing for situations that can cause stress can definitely be a big help when it comes to managing your stress.

There will always be ups and downs when you live with a child with ASD, you just have to identify ways to ensure that certain aspects of your life are still within your control.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Toy Bug Is Having A Huge Sale!

We are having a sale!

Celebrating summer and the holidays, we’ve decided to bring you some super special offers.

We have taken 20% - 50% off selected items!

Here are some of the items available at hugely discounted prices:

Janod Rabbit Tractor – This is a super sweet bunny tractor that can be used as a shape sorter, puzzle or pull along toy. Was $58.95, now $30.95.

Pound A Ball Tower – This is a great toy for little ones to develop motor and eye tracking skills. Pound the balls from the top and enjoy watching the colourful balls rolling through the rainbow track! Was $45.95, now $35.95.

Domino Rally Game – The 247 piece domino set is a great educational toy for developing fine motor skills, logical thought processing as well as being great for concentration and patience! Was $54.95, now $38.95.

Doodle Roll - This all-in-one kit contains a roll of paper and crayons in a compact package, perfect for creative fun on the go anytime, anywhere!  Was $10.95, now $7.95.

Be sure to check out our On Sale category for more great specials!

Get in QUICK as some items have only 1 or 2 left in stock!

Sale ends Friday January 31st 2014!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Outdoor Fun In The Holidays

Not everyone is able to get away over the holidays but you and your children can still have fun together in the great outdoors.  Yes, even in your backyard.

If you haven’t tried out the Scooter Board, now is the time.  This is a great toy that helps children learn to balance and co-ordinate their limbs for movement.  The child sits or kneels on the board and holds onto the handles at either side.  Then using the movement of their bodies, they make the scooter move.  It’s fun and it’s safe.

Find a smooth surface and play Animal Croquet.  This is a favourite with many children.  The set contains 4 wooden animal shaped free standing hoops, a pair of wooden mallets with four wooden balls and a tree for the finishing post.  How good are you at croquet?  You might need some practice in secret, first!

Catch and Stick Monster Mitts help your child develop hand-eye coordination while they play.  The mitts are over-sized and have an adjustable strap on the back so they are easy to do up.  The mitts also have a Velcro front surface so the tennis ball sticks to them.  It’s great for building confidence and for removing the fear of the ball.

Finally, see who can throw the right bean bag and land it in the basket. The Shape Bean Bag set can be used just to practice throwing into a target but because it has different shapes and colours you can add an extra dimension to the game. 

Once the children have mastered the art of tossing the bean bag into the basket or hoop (whatever your chosen target) you can try level two and introduce colours, e.g. “throw the red bean bag.”  The third level involves shape, e.g. “throw the square bean bag.”

There are many games you can play outside with your children.  Take the time to do it because you will remember the fun you had forever.
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