0

Jumping Fun!

Recently I have been teaching my lovely girly to jump with the help of a lovely friend! She seems to be really enjoying it and doing really well at it!

img_4304-1We started off slowly doing lots of trotting poles and raised trotting peoples and here are some pictures of the first day we jumped! =D

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Credit to her sister for catching these shots for me! IPhone cameras always impress me! Coupled with a good camera person too! πŸ˜›
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Hope you enjoyed the pictures, because I surely enjoyed getting her this far and can’t wait to be jumping more! =D
Have a lovely day!
WeeOhana xx

1

Learning Curve to friendship <3

Amellia has been working really hard on building up her relationship with Dylan. She understands that he is a little different to others and that he doesn’t enjoy touching, close contact or really playing with her. Though I’m sure you can see how this is very difficult for a five year old to have to understand, and to follow through with. This is especially hard for her as she is basically the polar opposite of Dylan!

She wants to shower him with love and care. She wants to play with him 24/7, kiss and cuddle him and have in-depth conversations about what they are building with the Duplo blocks.. but she has slowly learnt that this isn’t going to get her very high up in Dylans popularity list. When he was building she used to go over and try and help and he would get frustrated at her and hit out, I always found this very hard to watch and explain to her over and over again. She wasn’t doing it out of badness, she just wanted to play and engage with her brother like she would other children. Whenever she then came anywhere near him he would hit out, try to bite her, scream etc at her.. and he still does now but not to anywhere near the same extent. They are both learning how each other work. She knows that if she goes and does something he can’t explain to her he is happy by himself so he will shout or do something else to show her, he has also learnt that not every time she walks past him or sits near that she is going to interrupt what he is doing.

I have seen huge progress between them recently, like all of a sudden they have clicked. They understand each other that little better and she understands why he is a little different and has accepted that she needs to treat him a little differently. Friday, was a huge moment for them. We came down in the morning when they had both awoken and Dylan was pottering about and Amellia was waking up and doing some drawing on her ipad.. when Dylan tottered over to her and sat up beside her all of his own accord. She then handed him her Ipad by choice and showed him what she was doing. She knows he really enjoys drawing so straight away he started to draw, he then took his little hand and placed it on hers. The squeal of delight out of Amellia was just magical. She didn’t want to move and declared this day to me as “The best day in her whole life” This is something that she has been waiting for, for a very long time!
img_4845They then sat like this for the next ten-fifteen minutes swapping whoevers hand was on top, while I melted with happiness for my little girl. This is the connection that she has been dying to get from her little brother since he was born and finally her dreams were coming true ❀
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I had seen that the friendship was growing rather steadily recently, like something had just clicked. She seemed to know when he didn’t want fussed over but was very quick to jump in when he was in a playful mood or was doing something she could do along side him! She did a lot of running about the house beside him before he would even acknowledge that she was there, but now he is looking for her when he starts running about, its magical.

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The other day they had lots of fun out on the trampoline together and Dylan got very upset when she got off, so she then got back on and bounced with him again! Then before she left she handed him a bit of chalk to draw with a zipped the trampoline up so he couldn’t get off by himself! This showed to me that she understood his cry was for her to come back, she then found something to distract him before she left and she also made sure her little brother was safe and couldn’t get hurt.

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This was on Thursday, she had gotten into the car beside him, and as you can see by her face, she is being careful not to touch him too much with her arm! He stayed a minute or two longer then was ready to depart and go back to the trampoline. His most favorite thing in the garden!

They are slowly working each other out, but today has been a big step in the right direction. I couldn’t be more proud of them both. When you have your sibling who understands you and supports you, it can really help you along.  ❀

WeeOhana xx

0

How To Make Your Own PECS!

The other night I made my own PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) for Dylan!
There are several stages of PECS, for the moment Dylan is on stage one as he has just started using them! PECS is a form of communication that is used with lots of children on the autistic spectrum but can be used with other children too.It is where they learn to relate pictures to the items that they want.

I have seen lots of people who make these online and charge a fee for doing it then send them to you, I was very tempted to do this until I thought about how often I would need to order new ones as he got new interests, foods he likes etc. So I decided to have a crack at making my own and it really wasn’t that difficult! Took a little time to get all the things together and work it all out, but I did and I must say I’m pretty proud of myself with how they turned out =D So I am going to show you how I did it and what I used so you can make your own too! If you need any extra help/advice etc drop me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help! =D

I already had a printer, which is the Epson Expression Home 322. I have had it for a while though so you may be better sourcing your own printer! Mine isn’t a very fancy printer but does all that I need and was a very friendly price! I then sourced a Laminator (Amazon.. my favorite place for finding everything I need/ want ;]) it wasn’t a fancy all dancing one, just one with good reviews and could do exactly what I wanted! (Click here to view it) Along with this I also ordered 100 Laminator pouches.. I’m not entirely sure why I ordered 100.. but when I see a good deal I can’t resist! ;] (Find them here) I then needed a paper-cutter as I wanted all the edges to be straight and nice! (This one!) and the last thing I ordered online was some Velcro! (Here) You will also need some paper and few bits of thicker paper too! =]

Now, I am going to try to do this in a step by step stages so it is easy and clear to follow! =] I’ll try and not waffle as we know I do get carried away sometimes! πŸ˜€

  1. To start I made lists of what I wanted to make PECS on. I started off by just doing two, Snacks and TV Programs then thought of nine of each that Dylan liked and wrote them down!
  2. Next I searched online for clear and simple versions of these images! I found when I searched to put the words “White Background” after whatever I was searching as it means they won’t get distracted by looking at the whole picture
  3. I then made a folder on my laptop for each PECS board and save the nine images of each topic into the correct folders
  4. After finding the nine images I then went into the folder and selected them all. You do this by left clicking once on the first image then holding shift and left clicking again on the last picture
  5. When they were all selected I then right clicked on the images and selected the option print, which opened a pop up.
  6. When in the pop up I scrolled down the side of it which gives you the options of how to print the pictures until I got to one called Wallet. This meant that all the pictures could be printed off on one sheet of paper and would all be the same size!
  7. Then I used the paper-cutter to cut them all out. This took a while for me as I liked to make sure they were all exactly the same size! Very simple to do though with the paper cutter recommended above as it has a built-in ruler! =D
  8. I then put them into a laminating sheet with a good distance between them so that they would all seal correctly and wouldn’t peel once laminated.
  9. Once the PECS images were done I left them to cool while I laminated the thicker paper that I would be using for the background!
  10. I then cut out the images again, making sure I didn’t go to close to the image as I didn’t want the laminate to peel off them!
  11. Next I stuck 6 of the Velcro dots onto the piece of thick paper all evenly spaced of course ;]
  12. In the middle of each of the PECS images I then stuck the other side of the velcro dots on. (I know I said nine but have only put six on the page, this is so that you can change them about, or remove some and put the other ones on when things aren’t available!)
  13. Admire your work and feel very pleased with yourself! You have just made some PECS for your child which will greatly improve communication and hopefully make meltdowns less often as your child has a way of telling you what they want when they get used to the PECS =D

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These are the ones that I did,and I would love to see the ones you have done! Especially if this step by step has helped you! =D
I wish you all the luck on your PECS journey! =]
Also remember if you have any questions on how to do this etc, Just ask! I’m more than happy to help!

WeeOhana xx

0

Rice Sensory play!

Here is another simple, sensory fun idea for you to do with your little ones!
I bought a bag of rice from the supermarket poured it into our tub from IKEA that we use for our sensory play and dug out some stacking cups that we already had in the house!

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We had lots of fun pouring the rice out of the cups, it made lots of different noises when you changed the speed of the pouring and he had great fun using the other cups to fill up the big one to pour it out!
img_3783He wasn’t so fond of touching the rice even after playing with it for a while. Though he did let me pour it over his hands and he really enjoyed that! He did sit in the other sensory play that we did,but not the rice; I’m not quite sure what was different about the rice to the others that he wasn’t quite so keen on it! IΒ  must try to work it out and then I can try and do a few more like the rice to try and get him used to it more!

So to end this post here is a lovely little video that makes me smile every-time I see it! What a handsome little man I have ❀
WeeOhana xx

 

2

The Ark Open Farm

We are very lucky to have a wonderful little farm just up the road from us, our flaw ithough is that we really don’t take advantage of it all too much.. and with Dylan I am always nervous of going there in-case as soon as he gets there he loses it, but our recent trip there proved to us, that we really have to go more! Especially seeing as this trip had to be cut short when he fell into a puddle and wasn’t too keen on his trousers being all wet and sticking to him! Before this happened though we were having a wonderful fun, so I thought I would share it with you =]

When we woke up it was a rather nice day, well it was cold but not windy or raining so that is always a big bonus here! My hubby was also off work, so he took little miss into school and came home and I told him of the plans for the day. We got our little monkey man all ready and headed off, I was slightly worried that as soon as we got there he wouldn’t be too happy as the smells etc are all different and I was holding my breath with my fingers crossed too that it wouldn’t be busy. It wasn’t busy and as soon as we got there we were greeted by a lovely and friendly dog. Dylan loves dogs so he was settled straight away, though he did want to just stay with the dog but with a little persuasion we got him to go off exploring everything else!

A lovely young lad came up to us when we were looking at the cows and asked us if he would like to see a baby chick.. I was a little apprehensive as we all know how rough kids can be, and just how delicate chicks are! The young lad held the chick for Dylan too see, and he loved stroking the chick and just staring at it! We were made to feel in no rush and the lad chatted away to us about the chicks while Dylan happily was stoking and staring at the chick! When he started to get a little grabby he put him back in with the other chicks and went on his way. I think Dylan would have stayed there all day just watching them walk about, he sat on my knee and was so happy just watching them all walking about, eating and having a little drink!
We then moved on to see the goats, there was some tiny little baby pygmy goats who were very young. They were so cute and kept escaping from there pen for a little walk about! They were just adorable, though my little man didn’t have much interest in them I would have happily have taken one home.. though I’m pretty sure the hubby wouldn’t have been too impressed! πŸ˜›

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We then went into the barn where they have a range of animals! Some more goats, sheep, lambs, alpacas (I think!), reindeer and some bunnies! The young lad from earlier was there and happily got out a rabbit for him to see, and he loved stroking the rabbit.. though quickly found its ears and like most, thought these looked great to pull.. so the bunny went back in, away from his grabby hands!
Dylan then proceeded to run up and down the barn (he loves big spaces to run and walk about!) until he spotted a sheep! It was love at first site! He stood by the lamb stoking it, smiling and laughing, it was simply wonderful to see him to happy and engaging with something!

After playing with the sheep he then spotted a cow in the barn! (Plastic) He swiftly took a seat on the little stool and started to try and milk the cow, it was wonderful as he was very hands on, didn’t mind the water on his hands and was having so much fun! With Dylan we have a real problem with water and bath times so it was simply wonderful for him to be having some fun with water and not having a care in the world when it got on his hands or wellies!

We then headed off outside to have a play in the park and too see the other animals outside.. completely unlike how his sister would have been Dylan walked straight through the park without even a second look and was straight down to look at the ducks and swans in the little lake they have there! It has a lovely little wooden and very safe walkway out to it and you can stand on this and watch the birds, after doing this for a while we headed back out to continue on our travels!

He found a puddle, a muddy puddle and he wanted to jump in it! There wasn’t a chance I was going to stop him from doing this because as said before water is one of his least favorite things! He splashed about in it for a while and then we carried on to see the owls, peacocks and the other birds they have outside!

 
We also headed into a wonderful little wooden Noahs Ark they have which had a giant connect four in! He played with this for a long time with his daddy, getting picked up to slot one in (working on his depth perception & engaging by going to daddy to get lifted to put the token in!). They had lots of fun doing this, everyone was all smiles and laughing! =]

We headed onward to the forest walk.. or we attempted too. Dylan found another muddy puddle and was jumping in this, but then stopped to have a look about and his welly got stuck resulting in him falling backwards and landing bum first in this lovely muddy puddle! I knew it was going to happen but just wasn’t quick enough to stop it happening! Bad mummy >.<

We then had to head home as he wasn’t a happy bunny having a wet and muddy bum, though I’m thinking he secretly planned it so we have to go back another day to see the animals again ;]

All in all it was a fantastic day out! Dylan felt lots of new textures, had fun with water, met new animals, got lots of fresh air and had a lovely time with mummy and daddy! I’m now convinced Dylan should be a farmer and I need to try and get out to lots of places with animals, as he really came out of his shell, was making vocal noises, engaging with us and the animals, accepted a person he hadn’t ever met before, smelling lots of new smells and feeling things he hadn’t felt before!

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We will be back soon and I look forward to our next trip to The Ark Open Farm!
If you are in the area I really do recommenced a visit!

WeeOhana x

10

Our First Speech Therapy

Last week we went to Dylan’s first speech therapy, though it was a different lady who had seen him at the CDC clinic so it was a review for her to decide what she thought was the best plan of action! She has decided that he would really benefit from some joint therapy with the occupational therapist as well as the speech therapist at the same time. She hopes that this will start before Easter but can’t be too sure, so I have my fingers crossed that we hear sooner rather than later about it starting so that we can get cracking! She was a lovely lady and gave me some tips and things to try with him along with lots of advice which I am going to share with you all! =]

When we first went in she asked a few questions then played with him, tried to encourage him to do certain tasks and to see how he got on with all the things she had prepared for the day. She did a game with him which was putting some bean bags in a post box type thing, which he really loved. When this task was over and she put it away Dylan couldn’t handle it and went into full meltdown mode.. luckily enough my hubby had came along too so took him back to the car while I chatted with her about the best actions to take to encourage speech.

The first thing she told me shocked me, she said that she isn’t going to work on his speech for now.. it is all about his concentration, engagement, interacting and eye contact. To me I was a little taken back by this, but they have to be able to do these things before speech will come or speech therapy will really work for them! So I have lots of ways of trying to do this and have a long list of toys that I will need to purchase to help!

She also said that his depth perception is very bad, so to try and do lots of things that encourage climbing, pulling out chairs to sit on, and grabbing items off the floor. Lots of that sort of thing to help him, I wasn’t aware but apparently it is very common in autistic children!

The toys which she has advised me to get are lots of simple, easy toys. She said that it is better if he can very easily do the toy and it to have lots of parts. For example today I got him a ring stack. So I then sit, or even better lay on the floor with him while he is doing this he is doing this, and give him one ring at a time to put on, he then has to engage with me to get the next ring. Even if it is just him coming over and me giving him the ring, he is starting to learn that to get the things he wants/needs he has to engage with people! Another thing to do with the ring stack is that I put the part they go onto on top of the sofa and then bring him to the other side of the room with me and give him the first ring, he then has to climb on the sofa which is working on his depth perception and then come back to me get the next one etc!

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I got told as well when I am playing with him to spend a lot of the time laying on the floor behind what he is playing with, she said then that they will catch a glimps of your eyes and make very short eye contact now and then and hopefully will build up to longer periods of times! Unfortunately we have just had laminate flooring put down so it isn’t the comfiest, but needs must!

We also have been advised to buy a lot of different cause and effect toys, so that he learns when he does something it will have a reaction, and that when he wants something he has to do something to get it! I have got him a pop up toy for this, the kind where you turn the handle and a cow pops up, turn the other handle and a dog pops up etc!

To encourage him to interact with us we have been advised to only put a little bit of juice in his juice cup and get him to learn that he has to bring it to us to get more, so that way he will be engaging with us and getting what he wants back. If we only put a little bit of juice in it is then encouraging him to have to do it more often and get him used to it! Another way to encourage this is to teach him that the remote controller turns on the tv, so that when he wants the tv on he can bring us the remote and other things like that!

There are many other toys and things that she has told me to get for him, but I think he will be able to make do with what i bought until next pay day! Dam toys are expensive! >.<
Her main thing was that we keep the toys all easy and simple so that he can do them himself, doesn’t get frustrated at them and really enjoys them! Dylan is like a lot of other autistic children and likes lots of repetitive play, so if its something he can do easily over and over again without getting frustrated it is great! Especially if its working on his depth perception and even more so if he is having to engage too! =]

Here is what I ended up with today for Dylan! =]
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What cause and effect toys do your little ones enjoy?
WeeOhana xx

5

Porridge Play!

Today I decided to do another different and fun sensory play for Dylan! This time again using something that was safe to be eaten, just in case he decided to taste it or my dog got some of it! I had thought about putting sparkles in it or dying the porridge oats but then again I thought I would rather leave it safe to eat!

I made this really simply/quickly and very cheaply! We actually had all the things I used in the house already, but if you don’t it can be bought for very cheap or you can use whatever you have in the house!

I started off with a container the same one that I used for the pasta play, got out some porridge oats and filled the container so that the bottom of it had a nice layer on it, then added some diggers and it suddenly looked very cool!
img_2999At the start he wasn’t too sure about the feeling of the porridge oats though he was happy to drive his JCBs through it if it didn’t touch his hand.. though in time as he got more and more used to it slightly touching his hands he then dug in! He absolutely loved it! He was picking it up and burying his cars under the porridge oats, scooping the oats up with the diggers and then he started to used the diggers to scoop up the porridge oats and put them in his mouth! He was using the diggers like little spoons, it was wonderful he was happy chewing on it and feeling it in his mouth! He then proceeded toΒ  sit in the container with the oats and sprinkle it over his legs and his feet, it was simply wonderful to see. He was having so much fun.. Though he then decided to empty the whole lot onto the floor which I wasn’t too pleased about but thankfully with our new wooden floor down it is easy to clean so I left him too it! He was than laying in it, running through it and having the time of his life. It was simply wonderful, I am really enjoying doing all these different sensory play ideas with him! I think I will do a few more dry ones before moving onto squisy/mushy/wet/sticky kinds of things as they are the things he really doesn’t cope well it. I want to keep it as fun and enjoyable as possible!

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Do you have any ideas of different things I could try or that you have tried? =]

I have also just made a facebook page and and an instagram account where I put things on daily that we do or that have tried out and enjoyed! If you have enjoyed my blog I think you would enjoy them too, please check them out and give me a like and a follow if you want, I would really appreciate it! =] @WeeOhana << Facebook Link! =] @WeeOhana << Instagram Link!

WeeOhana xx