Sunday, June 14, 2009

Skills to be learnt

1.       These were some of the messages that I took back home with me when I attended a workshop on adolescent issues. Some of the skills mentioned included typing, use of simple tools such as the nail cutter, stapler, messaging on the mobile, using the computer…….

2.       Independent functioning skills such as self help skills, cooking. When teaching the child to bathe insist on him cleaning his arm pits and private parts, as these add to general hygiene.

3.       Learning to use a public toilet all by themselves and be able to follow the different toilet signs. I had a very personal experience of this at NIMHANS  in Bangalore, when a mother with her grown up son walked into the ladies toilet and there was lot of hue and cry. It did strike me as odd that ladies should take such a strong objection to this more so in a place as this. Discourage the habit of undressing before going to the toilet right when they are young or else it becomes a major issue when using a public toilet.

4.       The use of a calendar and clock.

5.       Carry a visiting card with all the details, such as name, age, address, number more so when the autistic individual is non –verbal or else be trained to provide information on himself.

6.       Teaching behaviors with strangers and familiar people.

7.       Leisure skills is  another important area where the individual can engage himself.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ramam turns nine

Ramam turned nine on saturday.He had a birthday party in his school. I had ordered a regular cake and baked a gfcf  one too.He wanted to cut the regular cake desperately, but when I told him I have baked the gfcf with so much love for you, there was no more hesitation on his part and he went ahead and cut both the cakes.After couple of mouths from his sister and me, I was a little anxious he might refuse to take from his head master.But surprise, he signalled him to wait, took a gulp of water from his bottle, which was close by and came back for more.This little act of his  put a smile on everybody's face.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Basic yellow cake

                    This has been adapted from the TACA website. I have used 1 cup GFCF flour, 1/2 tsp gelatin, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 large eggs, 1/4 th cup rice milk. I have cut  an organic vanilla stick into fine pieces , and blended them in  with rice milk. You also need 1 cup extra virgin olive oil. Mix together olive oil, eggs and sugar. In a separate bowl take the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. To the flour mixture add the milk-vanilla mix and the egg mix in an alternating manner. Mix till combined and bake. The cake is nice and soft.
                     I also tried lemon curd and lychee sorbet.I have been thinking of a frosting for a long time and finally zeroed in on lemon curd. I tried it  with ghee but it  left such a strong flavor of ghee, that there were no takers for it. Later other “gfcf moms” suggested that I try substituting half the quantity of ghee with a milk substitute or add lemon zest. But the texture and feel of the curd was very good. As for the lychee sorbet it never took off only! It is still lying in my freezer in a semi liquid state.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Talking to an autistic—part 2

When we were in Bangalore recently, our visits to NIMHANS and COMMDEALL taught us a great deal on the communication aspect. The guidelines given to us were based on our son’s age and ability.

·         TALK, Talk, Talk…………Talk as much as you can. For instance go beyond telling this is cricket and there are two teams. Go a step ahead tell him this is IPL, it is a 20-20 game, the match is telecast live….Otherwise his learning process would get very badly affected. The bottom line is to treat him as an older boy.

·         It is very important to teach our kids verbs and not just nouns. Flash card learning (pointing to the correct action words on the flash card) alone does not help. Generalize a lot.

·         Make him request, label things.

·         Play small games such as I name a fruit, you name one. Lets us label and point to all the objects, people in a given room or house.

·         Be very firm with a NO. Draw clear boundaries and communicate to him what is not permissible.

·         Teach rhymes with actions.

·         Let the child be thorough with the Yes/no concept. For instance you put a question to him. Is this a pen? He says no. End the question with that. Do not elaborate further as to this is an eraser.

·         Use reasoning with your child to explain situations and avoid a meltdown.

·         Move on from first, second to three step commands.

·         Introduce the concept of  delayed reinforcement. He finishes 3/5 activities and he gets his reward.

·         Remember to associate gestures and exclamations with remarks such as wah-wah for crying, oh –oh, ouch……

·         Sequencing of activities involving an event such as making a salad, sandwich, tea…..

·         Work on following a melody pattern.

·         Working on oromotor movements, COMMDEALL has an  oromotor kit. Start with simple CV (consonant-vowel) combinations.

·         Try and make opportunities where the siblings can be involved.

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