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Showing posts from January, 2012

See you later..

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So where have I been lately?


Orlando, Florida actually for a Assistive Tech Conference which brought together companies from around the world to discuss and show off all forms of assistive technology for special needs and disabilities.




I took this at the hotel next to mine - on a rare walk around the grounds. I'm told that practically all waterways have 'gators and they are happy enough to leave us alone if we leave them alone. Apparently walking a small dog will get their attention. Which is okay as long as you can run faster than your small dog I guess....


Here I am being a girly swot in the front row of my friend Barbara's presentation at 8 am on Saturday morning. (can you imagine an Irish trade show starting at 8am?!)

Barbara has her own App company called Smarty Ears, and as a professional speech therapist almost all of her Apps hit the spot for us; both for articulation but also for language therapy. They also have built in recording and data can be shared via em…

Guest post: From the Developer of Grace App - HIS STORY!

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Growing Up Geek: Steven Troughton-SmithOriginally posted by John Turi on engadget, Dec 23rd 
Welcome to Growing Up Geek, an ongoing feature where we take a look back at our youth and tell stories of growing up to be the nerds that we are. Today, we have a special guest:programmer, app designer, artist and geek, Steven Troughton-Smith. I was born to be an artist. I was always the kind of kid that doodled when bored in class; I used to spend hours creating the most intricate symmetrical robots or plotting maps for world domination. Somewhere along the way I realized that the thing I really wanted to design was software, and I'd really have to learn to start programming to be able to make what I saw in my head exist.

As a child of four I was exposed for the first time to a computer -- a Macintosh IIsi. When I wasn't playing SimCity 2000 or Spelunx, I was dabbling in Photoshop 3.0. I was fascinated by the Mac and would spend hours learning all the intricacies of how it w…

Guest Post; Functional Behaviour

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Today I have a rather scientific guest post from my friends at ABA Ireland. ABA Ireland started as a Facebook Group to link and promote the use of Applied Behavioural Analysis across all settings and to support students, therapists and tutors. They have also run a number of "Fun Days" for families of children with autism and are now getting set up with as a charity with a website. The group is INCLUSIVE - in that they want to encourage anyone who wants to increase their understanding of evidence based education to join and learn more about it.  After my recent posts on behaviour which were written from a parental point of view, I asked the group to contribute a slightly more formal explanation of Functional Analysis - which is what you need to do when you have an inappropriate behaviour issue going on. Niall Conlon very kindly agreed to write this. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments and I will get Niall to answer them. Lisa

"First off, thanks to Li…

Guest Post from Clive: The Autism Assistance Dog

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Today we hear from Clive the Autism Assistance dog and my good friend Fiona.  Fiona's son Murray went to the same state autism school as Grace and Liam from 2004 -2008, when we left to go to Saplings.  Fiona and I have kept in touch sharing lunches and yes, a few boozy dinners with the group of Mums that I met at that little school in South Dublin which did our best to improve.
So it was with my heart in my mouth as I first read this post on Clive's blog and tears in my eyes when I finished reading it. You will see why...

Murray and Clive


"This has been a very special week in the House of Clive. We have had a really 'magical Murray moment'.
Murray is 12 and Clive has worked with him for the past five years as his Assistance Dog.

In that time there have been many wonderful moments between the two of them - lots of new adventures, lots of places travelled and most importantly lots of progress with Murray. He communicates so much better, is far more independent and more…

Toilet Training Part I

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I recently joined a new facebook group for Parents of Autistic Children in Australia who are trying ABA. The old chestnut: When to toilet train?  came up and it reminded me to repost this advice:




Don't be pushed into it!
You have to be ready to persevere with it so make sure there are no holidays, or house moves coming up, or any kind of disruption to normal life as it will set you back.

Prepare by making a visual social story laminate the pictures and put them in the toilet where you can point to each step as you prompt them to do it.

You can also make a little book of pictures to represent each step - to read together.

These days you might be tempted to do a story using an App but please be warned - if you want it to be accessible during the toilet routine, you are setting yourself up for a water (and worse) accident with your iDevice.

Make it out of paper using pictures from any of the free image sharing websites listed below*
Adapt it to your child's needs and cognitive lev…

B is for Behaviour

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Once upon a time my little Liam was a biter.




Still is but he has learned to bite his own hand* in order to stay out of trouble.

We didn't teach him to do this, but the consequences of biting other people taught him to try and stop himself, by putting his hand up to his mouth. He used to bite a lot of other people. A lot.

Biting is such an effective way to get someone out of your space, to elicit a reaction, and to get sensory input when you are angry, threatened or excited, that it comes naturally to many children, not just those on the autistic spectrum. It comes just as naturally for the victim to squawk or scream in an amusing fashion, back off and leave them alone with whatever they were doing before you got bitten. No wonder it works.

So, how do we put an end to it? Well the first thing is not to react. Very difficult when your beloved 3 year old has just nipped you on the c-section scar (a convenient height when you are 3) and you are in white hot pain meltdown. But stifle …

New Years day + 1

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My boys in the new pub in Greystones: "Mrs Robinsons" a nice way to encourage Boo to take a walk. xx