Tag Archives: sensory toys

Rewards


 

What does ‘reward’ mean to you?

 

In the autism world, there are many challenges that are faced every single day. Yet some of those challenges can be very rewarding, for both child and parent. I can think of many challenges we’ve both faced, that in the end, we were equally rewarded – her reward was achieving something out of the ordinary, achieving a goal, breaking out of a habit. For me it was seeing her do something and knowing that she knew she did it without having a complete meltdown, or after the meltdown was over, she saw that what she did, was actually okay.

The first rewarding moment that I can remember, was the first time she sat in a barber chair without assistance or without me holding her down while she got her hair cut. Yes, you read that right. For most children with autism, getting a haircut is a HUGE challenge. I had to sit in the chair with her in my lap, hold her legs and arms as still as possible, all the while listening to her scream and cry as the stylist cut her hair. It’s just a part of that sensory/autism area…someone different combing my hair, that isn’t my hairbrush, etc. The stylist having to spray their hair with water isn’t a big hit either. Plus, the scissors aren’t a favorite thing – something sharp and pointed, coming towards me…

I take her to a place where the hair stylist is familiar with children with special needs; she has a special needs child of her own. Not only that, but the place is very welcoming to all children, especially those with special needs. They can play with all kinds of neat and cool toys. Plus, the stylist doesn’t even have to cut their hair while they’re sitting in a chair. I walked in one day and saw her sweeping up hair from around the train table – the child was preoccupied with the train set, that that was all they were going to do. My daughter was the same way, I couldn’t get her away from the train set, or coax her to sit in the chair to get her hair cut, so the stylist proceeded to cut her hair from where my daughter played. No problems, whatsoever!

Maybe there’s a fear of sitting in a barber chair, who knows!

The last time I took my daughter to get her hair cut, she sat in the chair without a fuss. Cartoons was playing on the TV The stylist was able to find a cartoon my daughter liked on the TV, which kept her preoccupied long enough for the stylist to go to work. It was only when the cartoon ended did she realize what was going on and started to squirm, though the stylist quickly finished, yet did an amazing job. The stylist then rewarded my daughter with a toy of her choosing, for her being so brave and not making a fuss.

This little barber shop also has an awesome store where I can buy sensory toys for my daughter. I even purchased a few puzzles and a few dry erase alphabet mats for my daughter to learn tracing her ABC’s on.

My daughter now calls the barber shop, the train place, because of the train set kids can play with while waiting to get their hair cut. There’s also a dollhouse and a few sensory toys around the store where kids can freely play.

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In search for the right daycare


Since I’ve been told my daughter is on the Spectrum I have been curious. Curious on how she would be treated, how she would fair in a regular daycare, how she would get along with other kids who aren’t on the spectrum. It is a fear of mine for her to be held back because of how delayed she is. But what people don’t see is how smart she is. She knows her colors, letters, shapes, how to count to at least fifteen. She can even count to ten in Spanish. She’s non-sociable with kids around her age only because she’s used to being around her older cousins. She is particularly hard to deal with for some people when it comes to them not knowing how to communicate with her. She isn’t that verbal and when she is, some people have a hard time knowing what she’s saying. This leads to meltdowns. I’ve been approached many times on how to deal with this when she does that, or how do I do this when she does that.

Well, some of my fears have come true. I found out a few weeks ago that she’s been held back in her daycare due to the fact that she’s still in diapers. Instead of being in the classroom with the 3 1/2 and 4 year olds, she’s in the classroom with the 2 year olds. Why had I not paid attention to this sooner? Well, with the high over turn in teachers, and the fact that she was moved around twice since putting her back in daycare a few months ago, had me thinking she was in her proper class. I did not find out she was in with two year old until I was signing her field trip form and it had what class she was in. I was not happy and even expressed this. Because I can’t get her to be fully potty trained, this causes a problem with the daycare she’s in.

This past week one of her specialist handed me a list of daycare’s to look at. These are daycare’s that have pediatric services. Daycare’s that have qualified teachers who specialize in areas for kids with special needs, such as Autism, down syndrome, delayed development, etc.  I have checked out at least two of them on the list and one of them I like already. I especially like that it has proper security measures, such as a door you have to push a button to request getting in and press a button to get out. At my daughter’s current daycare you can just lean on the door and it opens without issues. This becomes a problem with me as my daughter is a runner. She has on a few occasions gotten right to the busy street before I catch her. I swear I lose five years off of my life each time she heads for that door.

Upon checking out one of them, the one that I like the most, I have seen so many things that would benefit my daughter and her sensory needs. For the past month she’s been giving everyone a difficult time due to the fact that she’s in need of sensory input and I just so happen to be picking her up after a few hours of her having a lengthy meltdown. No one knows what to do for her when she has a meltdown, nor do they recognize that she’s even having an meltdown or the fact that she’s requiring some sensory input. Instead, they put her off to a corner and tell her to play by herself. At the daycare I checked out the nurse giving me the tour showed me all kinds of sensory toys. Thinks for yoga balls, slides, trampolines, ball pits, special swings, you name it, they had it and my daughter will benefit from these items as I’m sure she’ll be using them on a daily basis. This will also help me when I come to pick her up, as she won’t be cranky and out of emotional balance.

This daycare also has a wonderful staff that I had the joy of meeting. Their classrooms were much bigger and situated differently than the daycare my daughter is in currently. I noticed immediately that I was in a classroom for children that require structure and stability, something that my daughter needs. Actually I think every child needs structure and stability. I was also told that she will be placed in a classroom with her peers. I think my heart leaped with joy when I heard that. There are a list of other things that I liked with this daycare, though I still feel the need to look at a few others before I make my final decision. I’m sure I’m already biased in picking which one I want her to go to already.