Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Autism products on the cheap part #1

There are many different varieties of Autism. Some are high functioning ( where you can hardly notice they are Autistic) to low functioning ( where you notice they don't talk, dont interact, and sometimes have other issues).

Well I am going to share some links and helpful hints for various aspects of delay that some/most Autistic children/adults might find helpful.

In this part of the series I am going to cover some fun mouth instruments that help blow, suck, and use the tongue for motor control.. Here's the best part: They wont cost an arm and a leg!!!

Bubble blowers: I find the best ones come from the dollar store, and you can let the child/person pick it out themselves!

Water whistles: you put water in them up to a certain level and they sing/tweet. I found them:

Blowing things up is a good trick. Be it a beachball, a balloon, pinwheel or other inflatable/wind powered toy item, they strengthen lips, lungs and other facial muscles while blowing into the object.

Then there are your whistle varieties: These help them strengthen their lips, flex their tongues and also allows them to work on their diaphragm by blowing or even inhaling.
Link 1: the kind you can blow in and out of that goes in your mouth

Link 2: the kind that goes in your mouth, but works mainly by blowing out.

Link 3: The kind that you can blow in and out but does not have to be inserted in mouth, but just pressed to the lips.

Link 4: The train whistle: This is a good one because it uses lip control to be able to blow in the small 4 holes that differ in pitch.

Link 5: straws. Cups with see through sides that bend, curl and make designs are a pleaser. These novelty items show a child that when they suck on it, they get a drink of their favorite drink/food ( milkshakes for the advanced or milk for the beginner).

Whistles that work on more than just oral control are ones like the Flute slider. A flute slider has the child blow into the item ( its an insert into your mouth usually) that also has an insert that the child can pull at the end to change the pitch of the whistle. So it's a co-ordination kind of toy as well as oral exercise.
A kazoo is another example of a more complex oral toy that is cheap. The child has to make a noise and blow into the kazoo at the same time.

Fart whistle: Definately a silly toy indeed. Yet, because of the way it is made it makes small vibrations usually too the lips as the child blows into it. This for a child with a sensation integration problem is hard to do, but a toy that could help them slowly adjust to it.

Blow out whistles: These have a curled paper bit that when you blow out will straighten in a line, but usually make noise. Tho you can find the kind that does not make noise if the child has audible sensory issues and avoids loud or sudden noises.

Then you have the toys that don't make noise.
One of the options is for a child to use a toy to strengthen their jaw muscles. They give you all kinds of ideas for this, but i find that a bath toy that squeaks usually is a good option. But you put it in water instead of just letting it take in air. you put the toy in a shallow pool, have the child place part of it in their mouth and just using their mouth take water into the toy and squirt it back out.

Fun blow an item up kind items that are cool are ball blowers. They are inserted into the childs mouth, and then as the child blows harder the small balls will float, spin and often fall down. You can even make it a game if you have more than one. Who can blow the ball highest, longest or make it do the funniest tricks.

Some children find that chewing on something is soothing and will sometimes chew on anything and everything when they are feeling out of sorts. Here is a set of tubes that are also good for different textures.

Sometimes you just need to let them make their own noise and let them hear what it sounds like. An echo microphone is the best example!

I realize most of these links supply more than one of any given item, but as a parent I have learned that having multiple is very advantageous. Mainly if one gets lost or broken, you have a back up. Or if a sibling wants one too, you have enough to share. Even a visiting friend or family member might want one to play with and to prevent meltdowns I have tried to keep multiple of many things on hand.

What products have you found on the cheap that you think others should know about, feel free to share by commenting or even email me with a link and a review.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dr blunder!

I found out today that Dr. L has a waiting list of crazy lengths for new patients, but once i researched her background I was actually glad my son is not going to her. She has no genetics backgrounds, no Developmental Behavioral Pediatric fellowships or exp to speak of, not even any history of behavioral pediatrics at all!! What makes her good? Well, when it comes to neonatology ( newborn or birth defects) she is covered!
Man, I think I dodged a bullet there!

When I think of someone working with special needs I think of someone educated in that department. Yet, the idea of this woman working with Autistic children scares me! Why? Well hmm: Her fellowship was in Neonatology, which is the study of disorders and development of NEWBORN children! So, hey if your kid was premature, or has issues from birth, she is your gal like i said! But past the age of 2, she should really not be treating children who might have more complex issues in the autism spectrum because she just is not educated or experienced in that field! When I think of someone who is dealing with children on the spectrum I am thinking of people who have done their fellowships ( at the least) in developmental, behavioral, psychotherapy,neurodevelopmental, and even a combo of the above. Someone who can help conduct neurodevelopmental/psychological evaluations of children birth to ( insert age here), and who has experience and education to do diagnosing and developing treatment plans for complex developmental disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, language deficits, sensory-integration issues, sensory impairments, social/emotional concerns, and learning difficulties. I am so glad i am taking Michael down to Riley's in Indianapolis! Sure Dr. L has her medical degree and internship with one of the best in the country, but that doesn't make her an autism specialist! At best she is an early preschool aged child's doctor who has developmental defects from BIRTH. Ok, rant over!
Yes, I am aware that this might seem slanderous but I am truly outraged by this!
Do you agree with my assesment?
If so feel free to email with the button on the side of this page! Or if you have a story related to this that you wish to share, I am all ears!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Night Owl Prowl.

Why is it that it isnt until the wee hours of the morning, when the house is quiet and the sun nearly ready to rise, that I seem to be able to draw inspiration?

Illogically though it might be that I am finally relaxed enough to feel the creative juices rise up, here I sit writing. Though, I suppose it could be the shows I watch after everyone else seems to be resting and I am alone.

Being Erica, Crossing Jordan, The Gilmore Girls, NCIS, or one of many CSI shows. They all draw me in. Each as different from the other, but always seem to have one thing in common.
The first episode I watch. They have to have a compelling cast, each one with a story, living personality and some kind of struggle I can grasp with a hungry mind. A mind that allows me to take in what is going on in the show, but also what is going on behind the scene. The past drama within the scripted lines of the current episode. Can I identify it?Can I put the clues together and predict what might happen next? Is there a double meaning to any of the lines being spoken by the characters? Is there a deeper story than what first meets the eye?
Strange how I can change the show, but the same questions resound within my mind.
Yet, as I sit here, writing I know that it is most likely not as strange as I think.
Every day, all day, I am constantly analyzing, finding paths, living off cues of people around me. Why should a show be any different?
I find myself looking forward to the promise of a new show this Sunday. Yet, I also am dreading it. Is it going to be just another 24? Where I watch the first season, lose interest but come back the last season and feel like I missed very little in terms of storyline and plot?
I guess that is to be determined. Tho I do know that I think they could of done a better job of promoting the show, doing the character profiles on tape and drawing in the viewers.
Seeing " Rosey's Room" is ok, but you can't actually get up close and personal. You cant open all the drawers of her dressing table. Cant check under the mattress. Yes, you can check her Vlog on her laptop, but can you read the books and papers on the desk? Why do they say you can play detective in her room, as a selling point, but limit what you can click on? Unless they plan on adding content as the show progresses? Make it interactive? Because I have to say, if they dangle this in front of me and then don't develop it later, I will likely be very negative on the matter. Also showing a collage of characters who are possible suspects, but not allowing you to click on them and get a bio on them and how they relate to the story is annoying.
Then the whole " Cast share their theories" part is a bit of a sour lemon. I wanted to hear the actual theories. Not " the killer could be amongst us" or " I stopped making theories because it could be me". I am not saying give up everything. But, why not put things to theory. A mother talking directly to the camera and audience at home, addressing HER theory as to who might of done it within the community. Or " This is my relationship with my daughter, do you think I could be behind all of this?" Create a mystery as to the motives of daily living for each character. A 30 second clip on a personal level tells us nothing about the characters.
Well, only time will tell if the show is a flop or a must watch. Telling me TV magazines and news papers give it a rave review is like telling me if I pick up the remote I turn on the television. But the question is: Will I like what is on when I do?
Good night readers. If you get the chance watch AMC's The Killing on Sunday at 9pm.
Let me know what you think.