Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eating out in Bangalore

                                               These are two restaurants that hold  some promise for a GFCF menu when eating out. They are both as diverse as chalk and cheese. One is Suggi that offers malnad cuisine and have their branches at Malleswaram and New BEL extension. The ambience is good. The service is average. They have some interesting items on the menu as the Suggi basket - Kadabu, neer dosa, shavige, all served in a dimsum basket (how mangalorean is that). Anyway it has to be had with the curries available in the main course. The food again is average. A meal for  a family can be anywhere between 700-1000.
                      The other one is Kamath @kamth yatri nivas. This one is on the same road as Sapna book stall. It is more like a mess rather than a hotel. Service is super quick; they could probably beat Mcdonalds to it. The beauty of this place is the hot, hot jowar rotis they serve, fresh out of the tava. The cooks sit in a line in the verandah on the kitchen side. You can actually watch them make it. Meal per person is Rs.1oo.One can tell them in advance if you don’t want the curds and buttermilk. It is more like ghar ka khana. (Homemade food). Nutritious and tasty.
                                  There is Sivananda stores near the sivananda circle that sells jowar flour. I spoke to the in- charge at Kamath and he  said they mix rice and jowar flour in the proportion 10:90. Jowar itself is very coarse. Back to baking at home. Check out the pumpkin cookies


Pumpkin cookies

After a long time baked these cookies.They feel  soft at the centre and crisp on the sides.I have adapted this recipe form the joy of baking. I have used white sugar instead of brown for the simple reason I didn't have it in my pantry.

2 cups (260 grams) GFCF flour                        
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
 2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (260 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil or corn oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (215) grams pumpkin puree
                              Preheat oven to 165.c. In a bowl sift all the dry ingredients. In a bowl beat the eggs and sugar, until light. Beat in the sugar, vanilla extract, oil, puree. Beat in the flour until incorporated. Place small scoops of batter on the prepared baking sheet at intervals of2 inches.
   Bake for 15-18 minutes. A tooth pick inserted in the centre of the cookie should come clean. Cool in a wire rack.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New ABA school at Hebbal and Domulur, Bangalore

         The Samvaad institute of speech and hearing at Hebbal,  provides treatment for all communication disorders. The Director, Radhika Poovayya,  is a speech language pathologist with 23 years of experience. She is presently training to be a board certified behavior analyst. Under her guidance ABA services are being provided for children with autism at the institute in Hebbal.
                               ABA services are now available for children at Hebbal from the 6th of Sept 2010.Daily sessions of 1 /2/3/4 hours are available. Individual sessions will be given to all early learners and once the child’s skills improve child will be introduced to small groups of 2 and 3. All programs will be monitored and supervised by Radhika Poovayya. To quote Radhika “Research has proved that providing 25 to 40 hrs a week to a child with autism is effective .Our personal experience using ABA  has been extremely good and we have got  amazing results with our children .This  has prompted us to plan an expansion of services so that we can provide more hours of therapy to each child and reach out to more children at an affordable cost”. She has earlier conducted ABA workshops under the aegis of Smitha Awasthi in 2007 and 2008. She also intends to organize parent training programs at regular intervals. They recently held a parents meeting to help parents share their opinions and voice their concerns.
                                 Radhika Poovayya, plans to start her first batch of students for the school with a maximum strength of 25 children. Registration is open for admission of children with autism at the institute. She is also offering similar ABA services at Domulur from 15th oct 2010.  For those of you wanting to look at ABA as an option, Pl email queries / book appointments to

Friday, September 3, 2010

Random musings

As I keep blog hopping,  I am constantly  amazed at the wisdom, courage and fortitude of parents who have been battling autism, in their own way, and passing on their experiences good and bad.  All of it can be overwhelming. Some of these blogs move you to tears. One such blog that needs mention is
                               Having handled a child with autism for 10 years, here are some thoughts I would like to share.
 For one you can never wish autism away. The complexity and the challenges only keep varying. The mother with a newly diagnosed child may want to know all about potty training, while I am out looking for hobbies that Ramam can pursue.  There are going to be challenges along the way.

Secondly, what works for your child be it therapy, or if you are thinking of medication has to be individualized to meet his requirements. When you adopt a particular teaching method, it does not mean you remain wedded to it to the extent of exclusion of checking out other therapies. It is all a trial and error method that works. We have tried sidha, ayurveda, homeopathy when it come s to medication ……..and in communication everything from PECS, communication folder, to VBA .For a non verbal child these have been crucial aids at some point of time.

Thirdly, you must cherish the child’s every achievement or milestone because after sometime they seem so common place. I remember one mother calling them “inch stones”.

Fourthly, I find it easier to handle a meltdown when I tell to myself it is autism that is acting up and not my son. Despite the so many challenges he faces in a day, Ramam remains cheerful and that is a lot. This is one such instance in his every day. Recently, his teacher sends me a note stating that he does not return to his class independently from the dining hall. He goes down to the basement. I wrote back asking if he is going to pick some lineups (that is acronym we have coined for the small objects he likes to pick up and line up). And so it was. I sometimes really wish to God he could explain himself and his actions.

Fifthly, it is very important to massage their ego and appreciate what they have achieved. In the long run, if as parents we look at ourselves more as facilitators who helped our child to give his best to everything he does. That can go a long way in helping him. The smaller things as keeping the environment  conducive to learning, ensuring he has his done his last piddle , so that he does not wet the bed, ensuring he is not constipated and more importantly remaining  cheerful in his presence. As they say God is in the details. It is not easy, but so it is.

Sixthly, I realize last eight years, I have been rushing Ramam through so many activities. It is important to interact at every single point of time. Today, I ask him if the temperature of the bath is ok. I wait for him to ask for the towel. Ask him to powder his face himself and then go about correcting it. Doing everything for your child, takes away many learning opportunities for him.

Seventhly, many a times they can also surprise you. When you think they are not listening, be rest assured they are hanging on to every word of yours. This makes it doubly important to be careful as to what you talk in their presence.

Eighthly, you are very important to them. Ramam is in the habit of getting on to my lap, pulling my cheeks, if I sit in a therapy along with him. More often than not I am told to leave the room. I am on my guard whenever a new therapist takes on and would like to observe the session. One day after the session got over, I howled at him in frustration. I am told to get out every time because of you. The next time, the therapist was about to ask me to leave, he opened the door and pushed me out before she could complete the sentence. It also goes to show they are also quite sensitive.

Ninthly, Taking care of one’s own health is very important; because it pays in the long run. By looking after yourself you are doing your child and family a favour.

Tenthly, I wish I could make this sound like Ten Commandments, but then I have exhausted all my points. It has been a loooooooong   post.
Here are some links that Gina  sent me.

Google Autism Search Results