Many autistic children have poor motor skills and this makes many things challenging that you wouldn’t necessarily think about unless you were in the situation.
When I was offered the chance to try out the ToddleBike2 for Dylan I was really excited to see what he would make of it. The ToddleBike2 is really like a step before the very popular balance bikes you can get, it has four wheels and teaches the very basics of using a bike before having to worry about keeping the bike upright too.
The ToddleBike2 is aimed at children aged 18-36 months but can really be used by a lot large range of ages, Amellia loves Dylans ToddleBike2 and she is six years old! It has been tested up the weight of 100kg so your older ones can enjoy it too, without having to worry that it will break and it also has a 3 year guarantee just in case something is to happen.
The ToddleBike2 is also extremely light and Dylan really enjoyed carrying it about for the first while and inspecting it. It took a little while of him carrying it about and playing with the wheels before he tried to sit on it.
With it only weighing 0.8kg it is really light to carry and would be perfect for taking out on walks and then when little one has had enough it is easily carrier for a parent!
We are going to keep to using it inside for longer for Dylan to grow his confidence on it but I know that it will be used a lot next summer when Amellia is out on her bike too!
Dylan started of sitting on it sideways and trying to shuffle along on the ToddleBike2 and really wasn’t sure how he was meant to make it move.
After some demonstration from his beloved Elmo and pushing Elmo about he then hoped on board himself and followed suit!
Look at that wonderful smile! Once he had is sussed he absolutely loved it, was on it all day and every time I put it into the kitchen he is bringing it back into the living room.
I really can’t wait to head out when Dylan is a bit more aware of his surroundings and the ToddleBike2 will go on many different surfaces with its lovely smooth wheels.
I totally love this ToddleBike2, when it arrived I was surprised at how small it was but do not let its size put you off. In fact, the size & how light it is really adds to just how brilliant this ToddleBike2 is. Another thing which I cannot believe is the little price tag to go along with how wonderful this bike is! It costs £23.95 and has free shipping to the UK & Ireland. Though if you aren’t lucky enough to win the giveaway I also have a 10% discount code to use here, the code is BLOG17!
Here is your chance to win a ToddleBike2 for your little one or a little one that you may know! You have to be in UK & Ireland to enter and you will have the choice of pink, red or blue. This will run until the 29th of November, Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Unfortunately after the week break for Halloween Dylan wasn’t as cooperative at his 5th DIS as he had grown to be in the previous ones.
He went in great, but he found it very difficult moving from the sand table which is what he always does first. After a little fussing and lashing out he then moved on to the next task which was puzzles and a shape shorter which is something that he really enjoys doing. He completed them all and after a gentle reminder to put them in the done box he did this successfully after every one he completed. He enjoyed doing the tasks at this table so much he tried to get the ones out from underneath for the next child. It was then time for the water tray.
After a very enjoyable time playing in the water tray it was then time to move onto the next table. This time thankfully he moved over great and took the object with him to match with the other object,he sat down nicely as he knew that he got to play in the lentils here and he really enjoys that. First of all she got him to do some letter matching and was very surprised that he could do this, though I had told her from the first one that numbers and letters were his up most favourite thing and he really enjoys. He then got very distressed when having to move on from matching letters but we managed to get him settled again by playing with a balloon and he then completed all the tasks at this table.
It was then over to the carpet to play with the trains before heading home. I then chatted with the lovely lady while he was playing for a short while, we both agreed that the weeks have gone so fast and she said that she agrees with everything that they have said during the CDC clinics. She said we will discuss things further next week and hopes to have her report written up by then which would be great.
Lets hope the last ones goes smoothly and the speech therapist gets a chance to pop along and see how much he has improved with once a week so that she will then hopefully see him more often.
What is DIS?
DIS- Week 1
DIS- Week 2
DIS- Week 3
DIS- Week 4
Dylan’s regression in food has made me want to do a lot of sensory play with him. We do sensory play rather regularly but I want to try to do a little more and hopefully this will aid in helping him get back to at least eating the few things he used too.
Sensory play in our house always has to be with dry items, I’m hoping that if I find something dry that he really enjoys playing with I can then start to cook a few bits of it at a time and he wont notice the change. Then he will accept the change naturally without even noticing it!
Recently we did some sensory play with red split lentils. I chose these because the orange went with it being Halloween and they were bright and colourful. I added in a few objects with simple names so that I could name them to Dylan, I am going to use the same objects in all the sensory play that we do to hopefully help him learn these words.
Repetition is key!
He really enjoyed burying the objects and finding them again, his sister really enjoyed doing his sensory play with him and it really helped them to connect a little and have fun together.
She was burying her hand and he was finding it then she was helping him to bury his hand and finding it again. I love seeing them play together, it’s a rare occurrence but a simply magical once when it happens.
I thought we were getting somewhere with Dylan and his eating.
He had added pancakes and pork mince to his very short list of foods that he would actually eat happily and enjoy, though over the past few weeks slowly but surely foods what he will eat are being eliminated.
Rice Krispies are thankfully still being eaten for his breakfast unfortunately he eats his breakfast slower than a snail, but as long as he is eating something I am more than happy.
For lunch he used to enjoy some lightly buttered toast, but as of recent he just won’t eat it. I can leave it in front of him all day and he just wouldn’t touch it. I try to encourage him by taking a bite myself and making all the positives noises, I show it to him, everything… but he just won’t eat it anymore. Thankfully he will eat just plain dry bread sometimes, so his lunch has now been changed to dry bread when he will eat it.
Dinner, now this is where we are really struggling. He used to eat plain mince every dinner time and would really enjoy it, we then got able to add in pork mince and the occasional chips too! Now though… we are really struggling to get him to eat anything at all for his dinner. He has stopped eating his mince and will only eat a few chips.
For snacks there really isn’t a great deal either. He really enjoys spicy Doritos… odd choice yes but he does really enjoy them, quavers, mini caramel squares, fruit flakes… which we have been told not to give him anymore and to cut out of his diet as they are high in sugar, I thought I was being good giving him them as they are fruit but nope. Though I will not be cutting these out of his diet or making any effort to do so, I feel that at the moment trying to cut anything out of his diet would be a really stupid thing to do seeing as it is so minimal already. The squishy fruit pouches which we have also been told to cut out because of sugar but that also won’t be happening and then his most favourite snack and anyone that knows Dylan is sure to have seen him with one of these tightly held in his hand is a digestive biscuit! He would live off these if he could, we make sure that everywhere we go we have some with us as they really do help him settle sometimes, magic buiscuits!
We are really struggling with food at the moment and many people don’t understand how distressing this is. We often get told that well he isn’t wasting away so he is doing ok, and several things along those lines… I mean obviously he isn’t wasting away and if it ever gets to that stage we would have to seriously consider our options and do what was best for him and it is something that has crossed my mind recently with how quickly he is phasing out foods that he seemed to really enjoy.
To drink he really loves pure orange juice and thankfully doesn’t notice the supplement that we now put in it to make sure that he is getting all the vitamins that he needs, though again the dietician told us to try and water this down and phase it out because it is again high in sugar and we thought we were doing great with him drinking that and getting some fruit… doh!
We have an appointment with the dietician next week, and what I really want to gain from this is a repeat prescription for his supplements as I know that she won’t have any ideas for encouraging him to eat because last time she told us that it was up to the occupational therapist to offer advice as it is a sensory issue with Dylan. I am then hoping that I can then request an appointment just with the Occupational therapist as currently we only see her with the speech therapist so if we can see her more often hopefully we can get on the road to Dylan enjoying food as much as his sister does!
Do you have any tips, ideas or pointers?! Help!
It was Dylan’s first appointment at the optometrist yesterday, and yes when the letter arrived I looked at it a little confused and had to google what an optometrist was. Basically, put it is someone who examines your eyes to make sure they are healthy and well.
It is a hard question to answer whenever we are asked if we think there are any problems with Dylan’s vision. There are several things that Dylan does that makes us concerned about his vision, but it is very difficult to tell if this is due to an eyesight problem or if it is sensory based.
For example, when he is using his iPad sometimes he will hold it up really close, this may be because he is finding it hard to see, or simply because he really enjoys the colours that close and it helps him to zone out. When we are out he will also watch everything that is happening around him on his iPad camera rather than just looking about, this may be because if he has poor eyesight his eyes strain to concentrate on things and this helps, but it may also be that he finds it a little less overwhelming when out when he can focus on the screen rather than the whole thing in front of him. (Does that make sense?)
Also Astigmatism is common in my family, this is basically where the cornea or lens of your eyes isn’t the perfect curved shape it is meant to be, this will then cause your vision to be slightly blurred or distorted. So, we want to check to see if he has this too.
I went in expecting it to turn out to be a horrible appointment considering that I had taken Amellia to get her eyes checked recently and was thinking he would have to get eye drops and someone up very close and personal. (his least favourite thing)
Thankfully though this was just the first part of the test, which is to ensure that his eyes are moving together nicely, to see that he can track something with his vision while it is getting moved around and a few other things like that.
He was able to follow a variety of objects around and the lovely optometrist was pleased with how he did in all in her test, but wants him to go on to get a further examination to find out if the worries are all sensory based or if there is some eye problems that are also causing him to do the things that raised this concern.
This appointment was a really successful one, the lady told us that she had read his information before we got there so she knew what to expect and wouldn’t push boundaries. She was extremely understanding and just wonderful, she ensured that she didn’t annoy Dylan and when she got too close to his pram he quickly alerted her by shouting at her and trying to push her away and she immediately did this when he showed any tiny sign of being distressed. She said that there is no point getting him worked up as this will then just mean that she won’t be able to get any part of the test done and will just put him in a bad mood for the rest of the day so wouldn’t be beneficial for anyone.
The next appointment which unfortunately has an approx. three month waiting list has me worrying already though. This is with a different optometrist but she has told me she will pass on all her notes and with how she dealt with him today so that hopefully she will be well informed and just as understanding too!
What makes me worry about the next appointment is that he has to have eye drops in so that they can inspect his eye the best they can. She offered for us to bring them home so that we could put them in before the appointment or told us that we could get them done at the hospital just before the appointment. I went for the second option… I do not fancy having to battle him to get eye drops in, especially if Adrian is working. Though I think even if Adrian was off it will still be a pretty hard task to get eye drops in.
Fingers crossed Adrian can get the day off work and then it means there will be three of us to hopefully help it go as smoothly as possible.
I will let you know how it goes!
I cannot get over how fantastically DIS is going. We went along expecting to be told that we would need to come back in a few months and to see if he was ready for it then, but we went and she said she was willing to try. I am so happy that she did.
We have now completed week 4 and have two more to go. Ad came along to this one as I was desperate for him to see how much he had progressed rather than me just telling him and he was in for a huge surprise.
Dylan moved from table to table fantastically today and even carried the item for two of the tasks from one table to the next. Which is something that he hasn’t done before.
Another thing that he did wonderfully was at the second table she has been trying to encourage Dylan to put items into the ‘done box’ once he has completed the task and is ready to move onto the next one. She has been encouraging him to do this by aiding him in placing them into the box with a lot of hand over hand encouragement, but today he did it himself straight away after finishing his first task and then clapped himself! He then carried on doing this after every task he finished! It was absolutely amazing.
He also did a picture match, and then went on to match an object to a picture which was incredible, he loves doing the colour matching tasks and posting ones.
Dylan has come on leaps and bounds for her, so I am hoping that this will help when he is in nursery next September. With a very strict routine and 1:1 attention I can just cross my fingers he will settle into nursery ok.
We have the education board coming out soon to assess him(blog post soon about this)and get on the right path to ensure that he gets a spot in the school that will suit him best. We already have our hopes set on one .. so fingers crossed we get it as would be a huge weight lifted once we have his school sorted!
Follow the whole journey here-
What is DIS?
DIS Week 1
DIS Week 2
DIS Week 3
Parking today was a lot easier. One of the two parent spaces outside of the children centre was free, I mean why do they only have two near the place. If they had more hopefully all the adults just going to the doctors or an outpatients clinic wouldn’t park in the children centre car park and it would make easier parking for everyone attending the children’s centre!
As we walked in today she was already waiting for us by the door, fantastic! I am ever so pleased with how accommodating she has been and it makes it a more positive experience for everyone. She gave Dylan the little spade that he uses in the sand and he ran right along to the room.. well past it a little and I had to redirect him but he was trying to find the right one. She opened the door and off he want straight to the sand smiling as she sang the little song and filling up the shapes with the sand.
Great, what a wonderful start, even better than last week. I was trying to contain my excitement as I knew the difficult part was coming up.
She then showed him a piece of jigsaw to make him aware that it was time to go do some work. He went straight over from the sand to the next table without a fuss, he was very happy to change in-fact more than happy to change to the jigsaw and posting activities. I couldn’t believe my eyes and she then aided him in putting them away in the ‘all done’ box, and by his third task at this table he was then putting them in the box himself! How incredible!
Time to move to the water tray and he knew straight away that the fish meant the water tray so he ran straight over and proceeded to soak the lady and himself but all while having fun so that’s all that matters!
He wasn’t so pleased about leaving the water tray but with little encouragement and being shown what he was going to be doing at the next table made him more than happy to cooperate. At this table he did lots of colour matching which he is very good at and he really enjoys trying to say his colours. He also played with lentils at this table and thoroughly enjoys burying his hand.
Next up was the last station before it was time to go home, she showed him the train and off he went straight to the mat to play with the trains and pop up toys. It was then time to go after that.. he found leaving the most distressing today as he was having such a wonderful time!
He was absolutely amazing at DIS today and it seems that week 2 was not just a fluke! It seems like such a strict routine really is key to helping Dylan. I also think that him being able to walk straight in without having to wait in the waiting room with others around his has been a huge help.
I can’t wait to see how the next three weeks go and then what they are going to do for him with this being such a success. I’m hoping it will mean that they will try to do some speech therapy on a lot more regular basis and some occupational therapy too.
Fingers crossed it keeps going so well and we will be offered more regular support after this!
What is DIS?
DIS week 1
DIS week 2