Tag Archives: green

Help a child with Autism communicate with the world they live in

3 Jun

So, I was on twitter recently (nothing new there I know) when I came across a very interesting tweet from one of my new followers.

The tweet in question contained a link to a very interesting website and article focused around a campaign that is aiming to help children with autism by providing them with a way to communicate with the world they live in! Here’s how.

With your help a child with autism can be given the tools needed to better communicate their needs, making the world a much easier place for them to live in.

The charity making this happen is “Hearts & Minds Challenge

They don’t need you to give funds, they don’t want your money, all they need is your old mobile phones, even those that are no longer working!

Here’s what the charity had to say!

Once upon a time, a mobile phone was a status symbol, a way to tell the world that you were so important that people had to be able to reach you all the time. Nowadays a mobile is a necessity, but we still like to have the latest model with features that can improve our daily life.

Now; when you want to trade up your old phone, you could be helping someone with Autism to communicate their basic needs and for the first time, truly express what they want. And the phone doesn’t even have to be working to help….

Autism is a developmental disability which typically affects social interaction, imagination and the ability to communicate. Half of all people diagnosed will have severely delayed speech and as a result, can become frustrated, leading to behavioral challenges and social exclusion.

In the past, these individuals could be taught to use picture exchange communication or “pecs” a system of handing over a picture to request an item. Thus replacing that negative behaviour with a vocabulary of different pictures, all of which have a huge value to the individual. They are prompted to try to say each word and can slowly learn to speak independently with the picture system as support.

However, at least a 1/4 of all people diagnosed with Autism will have to use an alternative communication system for life, which can become very unwieldy as their vocabulary grows.
They must also rely on carers and therapists to update and maintain the system, so they never have independent control of what they want to say.

There are electronic picture devices, but the vocabulary is static, the devices bulky and expensive and the individual cannot express exactly what they want.

However, thanks to the development of a simple App, which recreates the picture system in a digital format, so called ‘non-verbal’ people can communicate exactly what they want on an Apple iPod or iPad. The Grace App, named after the little girl who inspired it is a basic picture vocabulary in a digital format which the user selects then shares to communicate what they want. Most importantly, they can actually add to their pictures themselves using the device camera, or google and save an image if they cannot find and photograph what they need.

Lisa, who created the Grace App says:
“Just because someone is not yet talking, it doesn’t mean they have nothing to say”

Lisa said the App has allowed Grace to express herself clearly and her frustration and tantrums, which could last for hours are now vastly reduced.
“Grace is also interacting with us a lot more, and I’m delighted to hear her using her own voice, as her speech continues to improve”

There are a lot of families that could benefit from trying out Grace or one of the many Apps developed to support the needs of people with autism – but they need the device to use it. This is a big commitment for a family who may have limited means, and a lot of demands on their income due to the pressures of raising a child with Autism.

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Hearts and Minds are a charity with a mission to raise the quality of life of individuals with autism have come up with a scheme to turn old mobiles into new technology like the Apple iPad, while raising funds towards opening an Education Centre For Autism in Greater Manchester.

To help: Go through your drawers and cupboards and clear out all those old mobiles that are taking up space, contact the school and donate those devices in the envelopes provided. Not only will you be giving a child with autism the chance to communicate, but you will go into a draw to get your mortgage paid for a year – who wouldn’t like that?

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Once I read the above I just had to write this post and share this great campaign with my readers.

I also found a great video on the Hearts and Minds website that really does share a strong message with the world on what a difference we can make by donating our old mobile phones. The video shows a selected number of children with autism using their iPad at home or in school. Attached is a message from the families of these children who state what a remarkable difference the iPad has made to their child’s life.

Warning… The video is a real tear jerker! I sobbed all over my iPhone!

I was actually about to write a sponsored post for a company that specialises in recycling mobile phones, saving the environment and making us a bit of extra cash in the process. Then I read about ‘Hearts and Minds’ who are not only saving the planet but helping a child with autism to communicate. Of course it’s Ok to recycle your mobile for cash, especially if you have little… We all need some extra pennies sometimes. But remember this charity are happy to take any mobile phone, regardless of the state it’s in… Broken, old, “a brick” it really doesn’t matter!

Thankfully my son is verbal and actually speaks very well! However he does have an array of communication difficulties and even for him such technology is a godsend. Little man attends a special school and as part of an OT programme he is now learning to touch type, his fine motor skills are very poor and his handwriting hardly legible. An iPad is on the Birthday list and it’s something I’d purchase with the knowledge of knowing that for little man it’s so much more than a fancy handheld tablet.

I hope that others will read this and next time they open a draw to discover an old dusty mobile they remember this post and therefore remember that for a child with autism that dusty mobile is a door that opens into a world of communication!

Remember families and schools wanting to register for the programme can do so over on the hearts and minds website

For more information on the programme visit Grace App or Hearts and Minds to see if you can help give a child with autism a way to communicate.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or guest post. I have not been asked to write this and have not received anything for sharing this information. I have done so as a way to help a charity on their mission to help others.

Win a bundle of ‘Natural and Clean’ goodies

6 Feb

As many may know, I love hosting a competition, its great to be able to give away a few prizes to my readers! Really it’s a great feeling being able to alert your reader and make their day! I almost love it as much as when I receive that special notification alerting me to a competition I’ve ran (yes, comping is getting a bit addictive but that’s another post altogether)!

So, as you may have guessed already, this is one of them awesome competition post, bringing you the chance to get your paws on some freebies.

Today’s competition is brought to you by “Natural and Clean” a fantastic brand selling ecological innovative household, travel and pet cleaning essentials. We did a review for the brand back in 2011 (Click Here to read) in-which we were bowled over by the magical Whoops a daisy! This stuff is amazing, a powder consisting of super absorbent crystals that when sprinkled directly onto spillage’s, the crystals expand & magically absorb the liquid converting it into a jelly like substance so it can then be easily removed along with any traces of odour with the use of a dust pan and brush. Not only does this save your carpets and upholstery’s from staining but is great for them difficult clean up jobs like urine caused by the little potty training tots or in my case a naughty little kitten. There were loads more great products in the range however, this is one I swear by.

Well, those lovely lot at Natural and Clean, have donated a great selection of there products, including my favourite “Whoops a daisy” as a competition prize.

This isn’t just one or two products we’re talking about… “Oh no”! Natural and Clean are giving you lovely lot, the chance to bag yourselves a huge bundle of goodies, consisting of 9 Natural and Clean products, worth the tidy sum of £45.99

Here’s what you can win, along with a few images of some of these earth friendly products.

Whoops-a-daisy (for every day spills) £4.99

The essential travel kit (handy to have in the car or under the buggy) £10.99

Nappy and standard bin deodoriser (for fresh smelling bins) £3.39

Spot remover spray £3.43

Spot remover wipes (useful for spills on carpets and soft furnishings) £3.43

Carpet and fabric deodoriser £3.43

Baby clean-up kit (a handy travel kit) £10.99

Dry Carpet Cleaner (500g) £5.19

Foaming Carpet Cleaner £3.58
For more information on all items Click Here to be directed to the Natural and Clean Website

One winner will bag themselves this huge bundle of essentials

Here’s how to enter

Compulsory action
This entry must be completed before any of the below extra entries will be accepted!

Leave a comment telling me a great cleaning tip (email address or twitter contact left with all comments please)

Extra Entries
You can do however many you like, though for each action taken a separate comment must be left (those that are not, sadly won’t be valid)!

+1: Follow Clean and Natural on Twitter


+1: Tweet, “I want to win a cleaning bundle from @naturalandclean via @clairelouise82 & ensuring you add the URL for this post!


+1: You, will receive one extra entry for using any of the share buttons within this post (separate comment for each please)!


+1 Subscribe via “Feedburner” to my blog


+2 visit and subscribe to my sister blog “Mummy of many talents” you may just love it (no obligation to remain once competition closed, though I hope you might) 🙂


+1 Follow me on twitter @clairelouise82

Myself and Natural and Clean would love you to pop over and check out the Natural and Clean Facebook page. You don’t have to and it is not an entry into the competition but it would be lovely of you guys to check them out! (Plus you will never miss a fab comp or great promotion) and we wouldn’t want that would we.

Competition will close on the 6th March 2012
Winner will be randomly drawn and announced soon after.

T&C

UK residents only please, competition will close on the 6th March at 5 pm, prize will be sent directly from prize provider “Natural and Clean” (Note: there is no cash alternative to this prize) All rules must be followed, those entries that have not abided by this rules will not be counted into the draw, regardless if the comment was approved or otherwise. Winners will be given 72 hours following the winning notification to contact me via the email located in the sidebar or that of the about page. Postal address will need to be forwarded to the brands PR and winners name will be published here on the blog. Those who do not leave an efficient contact (email, twitter , etc.. Please no Facebook contacts) may lose the prize which will be randomly redrawn.

Green living with Cravendale & the Muppets

16 Jan

Now, I consider the family to be relatively “green” though like most things there is always room for improvement! I think it’s a great idea to get your children thinking “green” and as Cravendale have shown, it just takes a little creative imagination.

Cravendale are celebrating the release of Disney’s “The Muppets Movie” due to be released throughout the UK on the 10th February 2012, while helping families to be green.

Kermit The Frog

Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer via Flickr

Cravendale are giving away free limited edition sticker sets (4 to collect in total) featuring your favourite characters from the Muppets movie. The stickers can be used to transform empty bottles of Cravendale into something much more fun and entertaining.

The stickers fit onto the bottles perfectly and with a few simple steps Cravendale milk bottles are transformed into a truly awesome Muppets character.

My children loved it, especially the toddler who is crazy about frogs so, seeing the milk bottle transform from its usual boring self, into Kermit the Frog really brighten his morning.

Harley sat and played with his milk bottle Kermit for an hour or more, allowing me a little “Me time” So… Not only did we do something great for our planet, it also allowed me a little peace and quite 🙂 The benefits to being green were truly fabulous.

To get your free stickers to create your own Muppet friends, as well as other exclusive Muppet downloads just visit milkmatters.co.uk

What’s more, there are also VIP tickets for the screening of The Muppets movie to be won by fans who share a picture of their Muppet Cravendale bottles on the Cravendale Facebook page.

So… why not have a go and transform your empty Cravendale milk bottle’s into a delightful new friend.

Thanks to Britmums for supplying us with the stickers.

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