Thursday, December 29, 2011

Learning the Cheap Way

This is a great idea and so cheap for a seasonal activity, one of Lucas DI' s (Development Interventionist) brought this and it was so cute. Dollar Store tags buy couple of each and laminate them I have a laminator it was a good investment that I got a long time ago to laminate some pictures. She just laminated the tags in a blank paper than the tags by themselves.Voila you have a matching game.
He is doing excellent now with matching I can see that he develop this skill really well now, in the beginning it was not so easy now it's beautiful to see how he scans the paper and find matches. The same with wood puzzles.
Matching is good for the brain, develop pre requisite for reading and math. Also we work with speech in this game as we can work with any game.
Say the name of characters if the kid is older like Lucas and have speech problems it's important to try to make the child say before giving the tag, if the child is younger you just model saying the name.

I hope you have a great 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ipad Apps for Education and Special Needs

So we decided to get Lucas a iPad well ok not just for him for me too ;) but the primary goal is to help him, I think everyone know there is a lot of talk about iPad helping kids to learn better. We have seen how he does well with the iPhone which I'm also going to talk about of the apps we have for him for both  just the ones that worked for us. The bottom line is you have to know your child, for Lucas he likes interaction where he has to do something, has to be animated because he is very visual, if the app has a free version even better. The iPhone helped me to know things he attracted to .
I will start today talking about 2 of his favorite apps they are so well made they have for iphone and ipad right now we just have on the iphone it was one of the first ones and I don't want him to get tired so I dont repeat the iphone and ipad apps. This company makes excellent well made apps. Duck Duck Moose

I like that the made him learn the song, they beautifully sang almost like classical music style. there is a lot of interaction, so two things my son loves music and cause and effect type of interactions. Here you can see a video of a child using it .

Wheels on the bus is another good one Lucas got a little tired of it , he has his phases but it's beautiful done. You can't beat for the price. Here's a video that shows the app.

But now his favorite all time crazy about is Fish School which is so beautiful.I'm thinking to get for the iPad because on the big screen must be even better.

You can see the video and screen shots at Duck Duck Moose site HERE.
Lucas loves the aBC song and all the fish forming the letters, also has numbers and shapes. It's beautiful. And sometimes he attempts to sing with it which I'm all excited for something that makes him wanting to speak.

So on a regular bases I will come back with more app reviews of the ones I'm using.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Pretend Ideas

I think to see the real potential of pretend toys is hard, specially if you're dealing with kids that struggle with pretending, but that has been a constant thing on my mind. Lucas struggles a lot with pretending it's something hard to grasp with Autism, but it's a very important skill to any kid. Here is a good article pointing out the importance of pretend play. HERE.
But I think some parents take for granted that some kids know how to pretend play or play by themselves and just think have a room full of toys and let the kids play alone will benefit them and they don't need to pretend play. It's important for them to play alone? Yes I believe  that the real benefits of pretend play and the lessons you want them to learn will come through of you or any one sitting down and playing with them.

So a recently  a former therapist brought this toy and Lucas did so well that I thought would be a good addition to his food play which he loves although he get's repetitive with the corn and the knife but that it's typical distraction.

But he loves this tea pot.

What I love about this set, even though I don't like noise toys this is the right noise in the right time. It makes this noise when you tilt the pot that the water is flowing in the cup. Which it made total sense to Lucas and It makes me so happy that we say : Can you put more tea? and he grabs the tea pot and tilt in the cup. Yes he gets distracted wanting to hear noise all the time or open the tea pot. But that is part of it, what matters is he knowing and learning we are together drinking tea, he has to serve tea for the baby toy, to me and the therapist.

Target words

Tea, pour, more tea, cakes, give me cake, yummy, please , thank you


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Music and the Brain Therapy Podcast

I found this great podcast about the music and the brain. I'm a firm believer that music has a great impact with our kids and the brain.
I will do another post about benefits with music for Lucas. But for now I wanted to share this.

HERE at iTunes

Because when you know better You DO better - Maya Angelou

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breaking The Ice

So we just had black Friday and although my wish list is huge for therapy ideas for Lucas it's hard to see any of this toys in Target black Friday deals, but browsing around there late that afternoon I found one that indeed was on my list. Simple toy again but it's fun that requires 2 people to play together.

The big thing here is cause and effect because he knocks the ice and he knows at some point the whole thing will come apart. And also required from him some coordination with his hand, in the beginning he got a little frustrated not being able to know how to put the ice together before we start hamming it. But for now I figure I do the whole thing and ask him to come and play. He really than started to enjoy.

Words you can teach : Ice , hammer, break, down, fall. I usually repeat a lot like hammer hammer, the ice ice ice. Asking if he wants to do it again and more.

It's a cheap and fun toy.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

More Sensory Boxes

So if you do a search on sensory boxes on Pinterest you get lots of great ideas. I decided to revamp Lucas 's sensory activities because he was getting tired of the past and dry beans boxes and he is pretty good about touching them.

So I had this Thai rice and it's more more sushi a friend gave me but I didn't use, so the texture would be challenge for him because of different colors and shapes so to do more interesting I decided to put some fun elements and on this ones all about frogs
I found this great tubes on Amazon

Still a lot of left so I will do another box with lentils  mixing this frogs and the insect tube

Sensory boxes are  great for kids having special needs or not, not just work their senses but also you can do pretend and teach words.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Not so fun boots

We went today to pick up his Lmafos boots, or something like that is a very complicated name for  a cast. He will have to use those at night to help with the distention in the muscle of his feet. Because his tip toe walking. The PT want us to use at night after he falls asleep but after I saw the guy putting on him I not really sure he won't wake up with  so many straps to attach, but I'm glad that he said he thinks Lucas will use this for just a year or less because he saw worse conditions of this particular problem, let's hope. My DH said we should first give it a try at night and then see what happens. I guess I will let this for him to try :)


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flour Box - Sensory

Well textures that is something Lucas struggles with, everything that has to do with touching and putting his hands and fingers. We started with a dry curly pasta box, also we have a  bean box and now flour, at first he gagged a lot, cried didn't want to touch it. But that's why it's good to have a OT to show you how to introduce this kind of freighting activity for him.
So to take the pressure out of him we say: Mama is going to play with it. So I started to transfer the fruits from the flour to a empty container and saying the name of the fruits and vegetables. He started to pay attention and got closer, so I asked for help to put the fruits and vegetables back in the flour.
And we kept asking him back and forth well he was very disgusted about it. But the important thing is he did it and I think what counts is to take the pressure out of him.

Tip: Sensory boxes are good for any level, if your child doesn't have any sensory issues it's a great activity for speech and develop even more the sensory of your child.



After a long time I decided to start document things I'm doing with my son, but I'm not a writer but I do like to talk about things I'm doing with him and toys and things that helps with his therapy and overall with children education. I think there is a lack of information of parents how play really helps the children in any stage of development.
So Im going to review things I'm doing with him, books I'm reading to help him, tips, diet, games, play anything that related to our daily work on our Journey.
I don't want to fix my son or cure him, because in my opinion Autism is not a decease nor he is broke. But we want to help his brain to organize in way that help him to be independent in the future as a grown person. That's my goal for Lucas. He will always be different and think different and that's ok as long as he is Happy.
So I hope you participate with me sharing what you discover.