What is a meltdown?

We just had our dinner and decided to head to the ATM machine to draw out cash. My son spoke out and said that he wanted to help me to insert the ATM card and take out the cash. There was a long queue and both of us were getting restless when it was our turn.

I had forgotten about the initial agreement I had with him and I inserted the card when it was our turn. “Mummy, what are you doing?” “Sorry I forgot, I’ll let you take the cash when it is dispensed?” He started to raise his voice, mumbled, and gave me an angry look. He kept repeating,”How can you forget?” Arrrgghhhh…You promised!” His body is shaking by now, and no matter what I say, nothing gets in.

While this is not a full-blown meltdown, it was enough to get both of us exhausted.

What is a meltdown?

A meltdown to me:

involves my child exhibiting uncontrollable emotions and or behaviors.

They may come in the form of:

kicking, screaming, not being able to listen to anything I say, physical aggression at me or others, shaking of his body excessively, sobbing uncontrollably.

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A Child’s Gray Perspective on Circles Curriculum

Recently, I attended a lecture and the speaker spoke about the circles curriculum and how it may be useful to use this method to teach our children with ASD on social boundaries and relationships.

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My son calls this circles of colours 🙂

If you want to read up more about this concept, check out Jenna’s blog which provides clear explanation on how we can use this with our child. The basic concept is that we will use different circles of colours to teach our child on the kind of conversations, touch and behaviour we can have with the people within the circles.

I drew a copy of this visual representation of the circles in my notebook as well. In it, I have also written down social stories that I use to teach my son on the circles of colours. Things were going well for about a week until…

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How to toilet train our kids with autism

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Two years ago, when my friend, who is an allied educator told me that he has never had a kid with mild and even severe ASD who could not be toilet trained by Primary One (i.e., seven years old), I didn’t believe him. Two years on, I am so thankful that my child is finally diaper free and able to fully self-initiate pee and 90% of the time poop.

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A simple & effective way to teach toilet hygiene

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If you’ve read my post on ‘Do you wash your hands before or after you pee?‘, you’ll realize my child has the tendency to wash his hands before he pee-s, as he sees the entire process as just needing to complete all the steps but not in a logical sequence. I used this simple way which solved our toilet hygiene issue.

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Early signs of Autism

1) Do you suspect that your child has autism?

A child with autism spectrum disorder has poor social skills, limited communication skills, and repetitive interests, activities, or behaviors. Possible warning signs may appear when the child is around 12 to 24 months old and include:

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Some of the early signs of autism noticeable when the child is around 12 to 24 months.

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5 Simple Ways to Engage Your Child Through Social Stories

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According to Barker, J. (2001), people with autism often have language and attention issues which interfere with their ability to learn from verbal explanations alone. Visual aids, becomes a useful tool to back up verbal explanation.

This is because visual pictures (p.xiii)

  1. can make abstract verbal concepts more concrete
  2. remain stable over time while auditory information can be missed as students’ attention fluctuates, and
  3. provide a more powerful means to engage attention

I first talk about the ‘The Social Skills Picture Book‘ in June last year when I first started out my blog. This book, by Barker, uses a visual strategy to teach social skills.

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Product review: Mathematics Smart Tray

Years ago, when I was still a young student, I remember my Mathematics teacher told us that the chances of us getting strike by lightning is higher than striking the lottery. He was teaching us probability. I remember listening attentively to his lesson as his ‘starter’ got me interested.

I have never been a numbers-person so I always feel bless to have my hubby, who, to me, is a mathematics genius. Hence, in teaching mathematics, I always believe, unless you’re a genius sort of kid or what we call ‘numbers-kid’, the lesson should be engaging and if possible, taught with manipulatives.

Last year, one of my best friends gave me this set of Mathematics Smart Tray where she purchased from Big Tree Singapore. This educational set is actually sold by Junior Learning, which is located in Southern California. Duncan and Anna, who founded Junior Learning, who wanted to establish synergies across the fields of toy design and educational publishing. The educational toys sold on their site are definitely worth checking out to aid teaching our children, and especially for those who are visual or tactile learners.

Read on to see how I use the Smart Tray to get C to be more interested in learning Mathematics concepts and view the step-by-step instructions to decide if this set is suitable for your child.

 

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Five Storybooks Suitable for K1/Preschoolers

It’s been so long since I did book reviews. It’s not that we don’t read anymore but I have been really swamped with everything else and it takes quite long to write these reviews. A glimpse into our nightly reading world.

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C gets to choose from a range of books every night. Recently, I’ve been really tired so we are only reading one English and one Mandarin book every night. We used to read three of each but I think I am getting older, and more tired. I believe a lot in reading, not purely for language building, but for pleasure, creativity, and confidence building.

Below is the list of books that we borrowed from the library:

The links provided are from Book Depository. Although I seldom buy books as I prefer to buy second hand books or borrow from the library, but when I do, I would purchase from Books Depository as they tend to have free delivery many times throughout the year. Just a small disclaimer, I do not receive any monies from Book Depository. As usual, I just want to make it easier for my readers to purchase the books for their kids should they like it.

Back to our book reviews:

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The Man Who Planted Trees – Thank you

Dear readers, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I’ve hit my 1000 hits. It’s an encouragement to me to continue on this journey.

For this thank you post, I would like to share one of my favourite books, titled, ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’.

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Thank you for being that shepherd.

This book tells the story of one shepherd, Elzeard Bouffier, who ‘singlehandedly’ re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps in Provence. The goal of the book was to make trees likeable and to encourage people to plant trees. Borrowing the words from Wangari Maathai, who wrote the foreword of the book, “The Man Who Planted Trees is a charming story about the virtues of environmental stewardship and tireless service, both of which are very important. However, it is also a vision of the good things that happen when we care for the world around us, and take what was barren and make it green.” (p.ix)

As a teacher, mother and individual, I love trees, not just for its beauty, but the philosophy behind it.

“As an educator, I am keenly fond of trees and often use it as my analogy to educating a child. As a child, I am amazed how a single seed, so small and vulnerable, can grow up into something so magnificent and strong.

I see the journey for my son like the stamp-printing that we did as shown above.

We create the foundation; we water their roots for them to grow. As they grow, they will have branches and leaves growing upwards and outwards, while inevitably, some may fall to the ground, which signifies sadness, disappointments or even heart breaks, there will still be others growing strong.

As parents and advocators, we too need to create this network of support system for them, and perhaps, eventually, learn to see them as a tree, like many others.

They too will blossom, like a tree that is meant to bear fruits and flowers, one that adds to the beauty of this world. One that was created for its purpose like any others.”

Do take some time to read this book, it is inspirational. It encourages us that dreams are possible if we are willing to take that step, to persevere and continue on that step to pursue that dream.

The journey of a thousand miles begin with one step. – Lao Tzu, famous Chinese Philosopher

So whether your dream is for trees or our children, never lose hope, for as long as you hold on to the slightest hope during times of desolate, time will have a way of finding you, hope will have a way of seeking you, life will also have a way of communicating with you, to make it all possible again.

Echoing my motto,

‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ Enjoy this beautiful journey with us.

Love,

A