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Growing my Knowledge

Soon I am going to sign-up to do some online-training and I’m rather excited for it!
I have been hunting online for a course that will help to extend my knowledge and understanding on Autism, and I have finally found one that sounds fantastic!
What I really like about this course is that is has been made and written by people who are on the autism spectrum.  This too me means that it will have an even better insight into autism than the courses written by someone who isn’t on the autistic spectrum.

The course is complied of nine modules which are;

  • Understanding autism
  • Autism and communication
  • Autism and sensory experience
  • Autism, stress and anxiety
  • Autism: supporting families
  • Autism, sport and physical activity
  • Autism and the police service
  • Safeguarding children on the autism spectrum
  • Managing money

I’m hoping to learn many things from this course that will enable me to understand Dylan a lot more and ensure that I provide him with the best opportunities that I can.

Once I have completed this course I will receive a Continued Professional Development certificate which will be a great addition to my qualifications!
I can’t wait to share with you how I get on with this course and to help broaden your knowledge about autism while I broaden my own!

This course was founded by The National Autistic Society! It is also a great website to pop along too to find out lots of information out about Autism!

7

Dietician Disappointment.

Last week we had our first appointment with the dietician. I was very excited for this appointment and couldn’t wait for some new ideas on how to encourage Dylan to eat or at least even try more things!
At the moment his diet is extremely limited  and we have tried everything that we can think of possible ways to encourage him to try other things also to drink things such as milk to ensure he is getting all the goodness he needs to grow up strong and healthy!
We haven’t had much luck at all, and he is now starting to go off things that he used to eat.

We had to weigh out and write down what he had eaten in the past three days and when it was all wrote down it hit me with how little he really did eat. Every day breakfast, lunch and dinner is exactly the same with a variation on snacks and what he has after.. but by variation I mean three different things.
We are lucky because he does drink pure orange juice and apple juice, though he wont drink anything apart from them.

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Going in with high hopes and expectations for ideas of how to encourage him to eat more, drink more and live a little healthier and coming out with no new ideas at all on anything was rather disappointing.

She told us that his diet was extremely limited and that we had to try to encourage him to eat other things. (What did she think we had been doing!?) When I asked her how we could encourage him to eat new foods she just said to keep trying what we were already trying. This was without even asking what we were trying.

Something that she did do though was prescribe him a multi-vitamin powder type idea that has all the essential vitamins and goodness in! Though she did say in her next breath that she doesn’t think he will take it, so yeah. I have my fingers crossed that he will, but her lack of confidence wasn’t the greatest.

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We learnt something that we weren’t aware of too, bread has calcium in it! Well, the Hovis best of both contains calcium! If your little one isn’t calcium this is a great way to up the intake in their diet! =]

Fingers crossed we can come up with some new ideas ourselves to try to encourage him to widen his diet a bit!
If you have any tips please let me know!! =D

-WeeOhana

 

9

Learning to ride a bike!

We have been trying to teach Amellia how to ride her bike for the past few days, at the start I thought it was never going to happen! She couldn’t stop nervous laughing, singing and just messing about!
img_8790-1We started off with the being really nice, patience, singing along and joining in with all her jokes. Keeping on the flat and slow pushing to start with.. until we realised this was getting us no where apart from a little girl who just couldn’t stop laughing!
We told her that she had to take it seriously if she wanted to learn and we were a little tougher, though reassuring, giving her all the compliments and the encouragement. This seemed to be the best way forward! By the end of the first day she had so nearly got it, but she had got tired and was asking if she could go and play in the park so we decided to call it a day and try again tomorrow!

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The next day she more or less had it! But it was very apparent that her bike was pretty tiny for her and was making it more difficult to pedal! We told her if she would like, we could get her a bigger bike as an early birthday! She was ecstatic and just couldn’t wait to get the cycling down really well so she could head out to find a new bike!

img_8899This is the bike she picked and as you can tell by her rather excited face that she really loved it! We went round all of the local shops and typically she had her heart set on this one from the very first shop. It is based on one of her much-loved Disney movie The Descendants, we even managed to get her a matching helmet and bell, she couldn’t wait to pick it up the next day! Lucky for her though, the lovely man called me when she had just gone to bed to tell me he had already built it and if I wanted to pop over and get it I could, she was completely over joyed when I produced it the next day without having to go to the shop to pick it up!

img_8904She couldn’t wait to take it out for a spin, and we couldn’t wait to see what difference it made being on a bike that wasn’t for tiny little ones!
Off she went, with daddy by her side and the bike that was the right size made all the difference!!

 

Super proud mummy & daddy right now! =]
Look at her go!

So my advice for teaching your little ones how to ride the bike;
-Be Firm
-Encouraging
– Let go when they think you are still holding on!!

Hope you are enjoying your summer, I’m loving having both my kiddywinks together! =]

-WeeOhana

JakiJellz
3

A Voice! <3

Super Proud, emotional, over-joyed, amazed, the list goes on!
Today I have heard my little mans voice for the first time! He is starting to learn his colours and loves the alphabet. He knows the sounds of nearly all of the letters in the alphabet, but today he started to say some colours! Its the first glimpse we have heard of his voice forming words.

This sort of thing really makes the hard times seem a little less tough. This isn’t easy, infact; this is the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.

 I don’t know how I am doing it and keeping a smile on my face. Often people say to me “I don’t know how you are doing this?” I’m never quite sure how to reply to that.. because I’m not sure how I’m doing it. Honestly, I’m going with the flow, doing my best I can for him to help him and encourage him, I try to enter his world rather than forcing him to join ours. I do it, because I am his mum and if I didn’t, then who else would, I do it because I love him, because he is my son, because he deserves a happy life as much as you and I do, because he is clever, funny, handsome, adorable and perfect in every way to me.

-WeeOhana x

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! 😛
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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

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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! 😀

  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