Tag Archives: visual

Money Makes Little Man’s World go round.

25 Sep

What with the little man going on and on about money all the time I thought the Digital Coin Counting Money Jar would be an excellent review choice for him. Little Man used to be pretty awesome at saving but not anymore, his now terrible! As soon as money hits his hand his spending it. He seems to think that the hole in the wall just dishes out free money whenever you ask for it! Yer, I don’t think so!

The Digital Coin Counting Jar is a clever Money Box that counts each British coin as you feed it through the slot located in the lid. The digital counter keeps on running while totalling up the pennies as you save.

It’s a great idea as it really is a brilliant way to encourage children to save their pocket money. I love how visual it is, just being able to see the total going up is a really great feature for Little man. He doesn’t do guessing and not knowing how much money his saved tends to drive him a little loopy. The digital total also assures him its all a reality… This may seem weird but being able to visually see the total along with the money in the jar gives the child on the autism spectrum visual encouragement. Little man finds it incredibly irritating when people expect him to just appreciate something without the visual stimulation to back it up.

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The fact that its a gadget also contributes to its overall desirability for the Little man who is a totally gadget nut job (nothing’s to do with Aspergers, just a case of boys and their toys I think). He keeps this on his bedside table and cheekily checks it daily to make sure the pennies ain’t going down as opposed to up. Whoever he thinks maybe on the Rob is beyond me! Well it ‘s just myself and the toddler at home when his at school so this doesn’t speak high volumes of his trust in me. Not that he has any justifiable cause… I’m the one who gives him the money to feed the thing and his definitely the only one spending it, not me!

He used to have one of those cash machine saving banks. He loved it, only this love was short lived. Once he lost the card, had an almighty meltdown and I had no choice but to show him that actually the card was nothing more than a novelty. Yes, he was pleased I’d freed his cash from his little ATM replica but meltdown number two soon kicked in, what with the reality that his plastic cash card was just a toy and I’d been able to access it if I really needed to destroyed his love for it.

This money counting jar is something very different and much better suited to his needs. It’s a great size and its made of hard durable plastic as opposed to glass (wouldn’t last five minutes otherwise). The fact it’s clear is a real bonus as for the reasons I’ve already mentioned above.

The digital counter is very clever. It takes away the whole manual counting process and although this is fine as math provides one with great brain food, its also a top way to get out of penny counting. Silver and golds i’ll count all day if you like but the brown ones… These just get on everyone’s wick.

It’s a great way to reach a goal. They can see themselves getting closer and closer and this spurs them on.

Now this may sound terrible but its also a great tool for enforcing good behaviour. Normally if I just say to little man “you’re losing your pocket money” he doesn’t even react its like he couldn’t care less! But when you use something like this as a visual tool it can really swing things in the other direction. Now he does care as if he does lose it there will be no bigger coins to help his total rise and the thought of having to search down sofas for pennies for another week, really must be to much fir him to cope with. He really has had a better two weeks.

The ‘Digital Coin Counting Money Jar’ uses 2 x AA batteries (not included) and
Unfortunately the contents is not included.

The Digital Coin Counting Money Jar is just £12.99 Check it out for yourself over at Presents For Men.

Who Loves me?

23 Oct

Who Loves me?

 No, not me… I know you all adore me 🙂

 Who loves me…  Is the name given to these awesome personalised flash cards designed for children of all ages.

 I had to jump at the chance of reviewing a set of these for Harley (22 months old). 

 The idea is simple yet extremely clever & effective. Each flash card consists of both words and pictures, however what’s different is the pictures are in-fact images of the child’s family, friends or loved ones. Each have the name of the person under the image in big bold lettering, then there is text on the back of the card, personalised to relate to the person in the picture.

 When I saw these on another blog I was taken by the idea and just thought how great these would be for pre-schoolers especially those who are on the autism spectrum. Now Harley doesn’t have a diagnosis of autism, however his older brother Little man now age 11 does and I would have loved to have a set of these back when he was two, five even. 

 If I had these back when Little man was younger I would have used them when he started at school to include the images of teachers & class room assistants (of course with their agreement) this would have allowed little man a way to get used to the teachers in the school (class teacher, head teacher, classroom assistant and so forth) the beauty is you can order one card  or a 100 cards really its up to you.

Got the pennies you could even get the class done 🙂

 The text on the back would have allowed the little man to remember their roles within the school, therefore he would have gained a better understanding of whom to go to for help when needed, avoiding a mass of difficult issues.

 The possibilities are endless… Go mad, make cards of the doctor, dentist, even shop assistant (Yes, yes with permission of course) Even snap pictures of building, places (school, doctors & dentist surgery, school bus etc….) This would allow your child to become familiar with places that normally cause heighten anxiety. These would also be perfect for the non verbal child, encouraging speech or just providing reassurance or a better understanding. It’s a fact that children on the spectrum are visual learners so these cards are perfect!

 As for Harley… He loves the cards and has had hours of fun playing with them. 

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He names all the people in his cards, lines them up, runs around the house telling everyone to “Look” and even packs them away nicely. 

 One of the cards is has the image of his Granddad, who he doesn’t see often. It was magical when he visited and he was able to recognise him from the cards. He went over to his toy box took out his cards opened the box, taking the card of his granddad out and said loudly, “Look Granddad” as he placed it in his hand. 

 How awesome is that!

 So how’s this done?

 It’s so simple, if simple was made illegal, I’d be in the slammer! 

My mum could do this and she’s a load of poo when it comes to computers (sorry mum)!

 Firstly decide on the number of cards you want. Each card can be brought individually at a price of £1.99, however the more you buy the cheaper this is! Discounts are applied on the count of 8 and 16 cards (Yes, I’m unsure how it works if you want hundreds of these babies, but really hundreds seriously, would anyone want this many)? 

  Next, make sure you have decided who is going on each card? Make sure you have all your images ready and waiting on your computer & some idea of the text you want written on the back of each.

Note: If you sign up to the site, you can actually save half-way through returning later to finish.

 You then follow the easy to follow instructions for each card (don’t panic at the price, reductions are applied at the checkout).

 Simply add your image taking the pic from your hard drive (the higher the resolution the better) add the name that will be located below the image once in place, then choose your image from the picture library from the choices given (these are little clip arts that go on the back, just above the description). Now type your description, keeping it short and sweet (you are only allowed a maximum amount of characters).

 Once you have finished, you then click the next key adding another card. Just click finished when your through, you will then be re-directed to the checkout where deductions are applied and payment made.

 You will receive an email confirming your order and allowing any corrections of any mistakes and typos before finally being dispatched (despatch email will be sent once they are on the way). 

 Ours took a few days, it’s a super fast services.

 Costumer service is excellent! One of my images was a tad blurry so I was sent an email to notify me and offer me the chance to change the image which I did via email (so this was taken care of for me) How awesome a service is that!

 I highly rate these cards and recommend them to anybody looking for flash cards with a difference especially for parents of children on the spectrum regardless of their age. 

 These cards are off the highest quality yet really affordable. They make a fabulous personalised christmas present that’s guaranteed to break a smile or two!

*****stars  awarded

£1.99 per card

Special price of £11.99 for 8 & £17.99 for 16 flash cards

Gift vouchers available 

 Want Some? How could you not! 

Just click here to get yours!

Brio Blocks Magnetic Train proves a hit with Harley

20 Jun

Being a blog writer I’ve been offered my fair share of reviews. Unfortunately hover bags and tea bags haven’t really excited me! So when Hello Baby asked if one off my little ones would be interested in reviewing the Brio magnetic train, we were happy to say yes.

Delivery was super speedy and we had our product in a few short days. Sadly my youngest was a little under the weather when it came, so it was decided to wait a few days till he was feeling a bit better before getting it unpacked. Well, it was worth the wait… Harley went crazy for the little wooden train. Now, I know that most 18m old little boys love building blocks, but its fair to say that Harley is mad over them.

The train came with ten brightly coloured blocks, that were the perfect size for little fingers. Harley’s motor skills are still rapidly developing, the magnetic blocks meant that Harley was able to build without accidentally knocking them all over, avoiding frustration and tantrums.

There is no right way to build your train! Your child is able to design it as they wish.  Harley did however take the free-styling rule a little too far with his upside down design.

Harley seemed to have a lot of fun with his train. The fact the blocks are magnetic means Harley was able to push his finished masterpiece around the living room without the blocks constantly falling off.

Harley a “typical” toddler in the fact he likes to make a lot of noise. Yes, he thought it would be a great idea to loudly bang the blocks together in an attempt to make sweet music. I don’t know if those lovely people at Brio had us mum’s in mind, but the magnetic force made this a much harder task, saving mummy from a massive headache.

From a mothers point of view, the ‘Brio Magnetic Train‘ is a great little toy that for my child provided hours of fun. It’s a wooden toy which means it will last and last. It’s very visual with it’s colourful blocks, that are the perfect size for little ones. It’s a great way to improve a child’s fine motor skills and makes absolutely no noise whatsoever, which is always a bonus in my book. This little wooden train complete with magnetic blocks is a fabulous price at just £12.49. I highly recommend it’s added to your little one Christmas list.

Harley is 18-ms and judging from the size of his smile and the length of time he was engaged in play, would indicate that the Brio Magnetic train was something of a hit (Even big brother had a go, what with his transport obsession it was half expected)

Brio Blocks Magnetic Train is available from Brio directly or from the online nursery shop Hello Baby. Hello baby also sell a wide range of other baby and nursery products including baby & toddler toys, nursery furniture & travel and safety items.

Getting to grips with the seven senses

11 Feb

Have you ever found that something caused you such annoyance that the stressfulness of the situation forces you to stay away, avoiding the source of stress at all cost?

What about if something caused you pain and discomfort would you avoid the source inorder to gain control, be free from the pain, living your life in the most prosperous way you could?

Imagine if the most common stimuli… sounds, smells etc… caused you the above on a daily basis! Everyday tasks being a protentral hazard causing you high levels of anxiety… But even worse you are unable to escape the trigger but instead expected to tolorate it!

imagine if you hated spiders, feared them more then anything else but u were forced to let one crawl all over your body… How would that make you feel?

Think of a situation, a fear or phobia that causes you high levels of distress, imagine having to deal with it every single day! Yet no one “gets it” your totally isolated and alone… Being seen as a drama queen, attention seeker or labelled as a trouble maker.

So many children & adults on the autism spectrum have difficulties with their sensory processing, some more then others, however when it’s a problem it’s likely to be a significant one! School, home, shopping centre where-ever the trigger lie, problems with sensory processing can be experienced just about anywhere. School is an obvious culprit for children given the amount of time they spend there. School can present huge problem, unstructured time is normally always a trigger for the child on the spectrum and you may find as a parent that your child is being labelled as challenging as a result of this.

There are seven senses that make up our sensory system… These are Vestibular (movement-balance), proprioceptive (body awareness), tactile (touch), auditory (hearing), visual (seeing), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) Some may have problems with all the above, a few or non at all! It just depends on the individual.

The example of the spider was given to me by my very clever little man, who was trying to explain to me how he felt when forced to tuck his shirt into his school trousers (school uniform was a huge problem when in mainstream)

Little man has a range of sensory processing problems some worse then others. I would definitely say that he has the most difficulties with his tactile sense but auditory, visual and olfactory come pretty close. These have become more obvious with age.

It is said that people who are tactile devensive will likely have problems with fine motor skills that are related to academics and self-care skill which is very true for little man.

Lights tend to upset him too. While at the library with his tutor he was finding it hard to engage due to the lighting. This was because the lights were all different which meant they all let of a different degree of light, some brighter then others. When he first started he came home and asked, “Mum, why can’t the library stick to the one type of lighting instead of having all different types” he then went on to say… “Some flicker and buzz which is so… annoying!” He would also come home with a pounding headache. This was due to both the lighting and the fact he had actually engaged in work alday something he hadn’t done for the whole of 2010 while in mainstream. His now managing to cope reasonable well with the lighting and if anything his becoming quite good at blocking it out. As long as he isn’t sat in the brightest spot or beneath a buzzing bulb his OK.

His tutor is excellent and has worked out that by letting little man listen to music through his headphones (oh yes Bruno Mars is repeatedly played) while working he can engage better. Many don’t get this but his a bit like me there! I will blast music through my earphones while tackling important work as it means I am able to block out the world and completely get into my own zone resulting in getting important work finished ontime and to a high standard.

Every single day I learn something new about little man and how AS affects him. It was only the other day that I discovered the reason for little man wanting his trainers done up so tightly that it almost stops the blood flow! It’s actually a sensory related issue! It seems logical now and I can’t understand why I hadn’t realised it before. He says they need to be tight in order for him to remain in control of his feet. Shoes that move around freely give no control he told me. I completely get it now!

Little man can also be a little bit of a sensory seeker. He likes rough and tumble (play fighting) sadly due to the lack of understanding from school little man was all to often excluded for such behaviours. He also likes memory foam pillows, trackpants (he wants to wear the same ones everyday no matter how dirty they have become) and certain textures that he just has to touch.

The above are all fine but he does have a liking for fizzy drinks. This isn’t just a suger thing but definitely a sensory one too… How do I know? Well he cried the other day due to my refusal for him to have a can of fuzzy orangeade. I offered juice and he states “it’s not the same” He then goes on to inform me that it doesn’t feel the same in his mouth or going down his throat.

So there’s a bad habit need fixing.

So… My over all point to this post is for some awareness to come out of it, example… When a parent tells you that, “My child really can’t tuck his shirt in as this causes him physical discomfort that is one step away from what we describe as pain” We don’t really mean… “My child can’t be arsed to tuck his shirt into his trousers” or “My child can tuck in his shirt in but chooses not to as a deliberate attempt to piss you off” We really did actually mean It when we told you he can’t!!! For you to state, “Really I’m sure he can if he wanted to” is really offensive and like asking someone in a wheelchair to walk upstairs!

The child or Adult on the autistic spectrum has an array of difficulties aswell as qualities! Next time you sport a child throwing a “wobbler” in the supermarket, street, school gates or wherever else it may be. Stop and ask yourself is it sensory, is it autism or another difficulty, hidden disability you will never know so therefore should remain openminded before pointing, commenting or passing judgement.

After all how would you deal with fear, phobia, pain and discomfort if those around you had no understanding of it?

Sensory processing problems are very real, just as autism is! And for that reason it should not be looked upon as anything else!

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