Sunday, 27 February 2011

Big Sister's Birthday Card

I wanted to share this card that James made for his sister as I think its nice! He chose all the stickers and put them where he wanted them to go...

...she was really pleased with it! I'm probably going to buy some stamp sets for card making as I think both boys would manage that well and, like these stickers, they are quick and effective.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Snake Toy

I've been knitting this for ages and finally got around to finishing it a few weeks ago. 

It's from 'Let's Knit' Magazine. It's a really good pattern for us as each segments is done in a different stitch, giving lots of different textures. James loves it. There are some better pictures of it here on my Ravelry page. Unfortunately, the dog also likes it and has chewed the last segment off so it looks like I may be knitting another one!

Planes and Helicopters

These are some plane/helicopter activities we've done recently for our transport theme.

A plane sensory box made from a blue sheet, cotton wall balls and toy planes and helicopters...

I found myself talking about little fluffy clouds so put that on the iPad whilst Charlie was playing with the box. He was happy to play with the box as it was whereas James needs more focus so I tend to ask him to put the planes in and out which he is happier with.

Some very messy shaving foam clouds and planes!

Helicopter Potato Prints (Dad's idea)

Some play dough helicopters, I made the helicopters and got them to put the blades (lolly sticks) in....

Pastry planes! We have the tiniest plane cutter so made these little pastry cutouts.....

We've also finally got our display board up which is great as its important that we have visual clues as to what we are learning about around.

We also found a couple of great songs and rhymes which the boys really enjoyed doing. We came across loads of versions of 'I'm a little Airplane' to the music of 'I'm a little teapot'. The words were not quite right for the lads in any of them so we rewrote it to suit our language needs and put in signs. We also found an instrumental to accompany it on YouTube on the iPad which really is turning out to be a very useful thing to have.

I'm a little Airplane

I'm a little Airplane
(sign plane)
Watch me fly
(sign watch and fly)
From Down on the Ground
(point to down)
To up so High
(point up)
First I get all revved up
(put arms out to side)
Then I can fly
(Start moving slowly)
Off the Runway
(move faster)
Up into the sky
(run around like a plane on tiptoes!!)

The other rhyme we used, 'The Airplane' was from here and we used that one pretty much as it was. The boys loved these so we are keeping them going through our transport theme and adding more in as we go.

I found a book....

Yesterday, my mum and I were out with James and a helicopter flew overhead. James obliged us by looking up at it as we pointed it out and signed 'helicopter'.  This is a fantastic development for him and has been really noticeable during the past few weeks as having the building work going on has meant we've done more than our average amount of walks! He's had a considerable amount of 'look at the plane/helicopter' and its paid off.  Its one of those small things that most people take for granted and parents of special needs children get really excited about. Its also a reminder of firstly, the level of development the boys are at and secondly why I started writing this blog - there are so very few resources out there relating to kids like ours,often nothing is simple enough or starting at the stages the boys need so sharing what we find and come up with ourselves is important to me. A quick internet search on autism will give you hundreds of stuff to buy, books, ABA activities, programs to follow etc. but more often than not even the most simple activities are not simple enough and we have to take it all back a few steps.  Apart from Son-Rise, I had never found a book on kids activities (and I've read lots!) that is that relevant to children like ours, until last month when I came across an old book called 'Fun and Games - Practical Leisure ideas For People With Profound Disabilities'  by Judy Denziloe. The author is very much on our wavelength in terms of making stuff yourself to suit the individual and there are loads ideas in there - I don't know what to do first!  What I like about this book is that it's about working and playing with people where they are, no big claims of cures, its 'just' about play and interaction which is where we're at - giving our kids a childhood rather than a program of therapy.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

A Poem - My Boy and His Toys

Badger and his smooth white label
Florrie, especially her arm
The little green Eddie Stobbart Lorry 
Things that matched
Becoming blocks that matched
Becoming constructions of blocks that matched
And stikle-bricks too
A clever little tower
Split in half by you
Making 2 little ones
Always two by two
Suddenly stopping
I miss those towers
Dragons, Dragons, Dinosaurs
Little figures
The Dragon stretched
He was a stretchy Dragon
So loved by you
Poor Dragon, hollow and legless
But you saw the potential
And I love that Dragon too

Saturday, 5 February 2011

We're Home!

I haven't been blogging recently because we've been having some adaptions made to our house.  (I will blog about this at a later date when I've tidied up!)

Its been a strange time, going from a lot of snow, all the children being ill over Christmas to suddenly having to be out all day whilst the builders got on with what they had to do.  We've gone into survival mode I think.  The boys found it extremely difficult to go to places that were not so familiar and were on the whole happier doing walks and being in the car listening to music so that's what we've been doing - long drives, long walks, lots of picnics.  I for one do not want to see a peanut butter sandwich or a takeaway coffee ever again!  It feels like we have lost a whole month.  Its been hard to put any learning activities in place and after the first week we actually made a decision that it would be detrimental to do so.  We've worked so hard at putting routines in place for activities at home that it felt like all of that would be undermined if we started to change things.  So we've concentrated on the walking.....

Our theme for the next month or so is 'Transport' so we've visited all the museums in the area relating to that too.

Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Helicopter Museum

Haynes Motor Museum

The work has been worth the hassle and was much needed and although we are absolutely exhausted I think we are quite excited about what the adaptions mean for the future. Today though, I'm having a day off!