How to Travel with a Stroller : Ten Best Lightweight Strollers for Children with Special Needs

It’s almost summer and maybe some of you have travel plans in mind already.

Our kids are growing fast and before they go on their own or have friends of their own, we as parents would like to travel with them to places that they will remember in the future.

Which kid would not like to see Mickey Mouse in Disney World? Or the Legoland? Or enjoy those fantastic roller coaster rides or those awesome animal shows in some famous theme parks ? Or the merry-go-round for the younger ones or your special kid?

For sure your child with special needs would be delighted to see awesome places and cartoon characters with their siblings and cousins.

Of course, we all know that some children with special needs have mobility issues because they develop late.

Related post: Special needs stroller: choosing the best for need and comfort

They learn how to walk and to run much later than kids their age.

But these should not stop you from letting them explore their environment, much more traveling even to places far from home, like where you ride an airplane.

So have you thought on how to travel with a stroller? 

Of course you want to go places with your special kid’s comfort in mind as much as possible.

Because he or she cannot walk long distances and gets tired easily or maybe still non-ambulatory, thus a stroller will be your best friend during your escapade.

I have looked at the ten best lightweight strollers out there for your children with special needs.

Here goes:

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.

1. Bily BCS330HG Compact Easy-Fold Stroller

Billy lightweight travel stroller
  • Product Dimension: 80 x 47 x 104.1 cm
  • Item weight: 14.3 lbs
  • Maximum weight to carry: 40 kg
  • Good for newborns up to 36 months old
  • With 5 point harnesses, adjustable foot rest
  • Available in sophisticated heathered gray or funky graffiti pattern
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Multiple position seat recline and pivoting arm bar for safety and comfort
  • Ultra light-weight
  • Quick and easy one hand fold
  • More leg room for taller babies

Cons:

  • The brake pad which is in the middle of the bar gets kicked randomly and makes the stroller stop all of a sudden making the baby uncomfortable and might fall
  • It is not good for windy days
  • The wheels are small, thus, not very good for grassy areas and bumpy sidewalks
  • Cannot is small and cannot shield baby much from rain or sun
  • Toddler can topple back when lying flat because the back of the seat reaches only the baby’s shoulders, with no head support
  • No shoulder strap or luggage handle
  • No cup holder or tray

2. Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller

 

  • Product dimension: 31.2 x 18 x 39 inches
  • Item weight: 11.8 lbs
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 lbs
  • Comes with a three-tier, extended canopy to protect your baby from UV rays
  • 2 colors: fire red and slate
  • The seat reclines and offers 5-point safety restraint system
  • With a large storage basket for baby’s necessities
  • Comes with removable child tray to hold a cup and a juice and a parent tray with 2 drink holders
  • With one -year manufacturer warranty
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • With a peek-a-boo window to keep a watchful eye on your kid every time
  • Very lightweight, thus perfect for traveling and day trips
  • All- terrain wheels and front suspension offers a smooth ride
  • One-hand and self-standing fold which makes it convenient for travel

Cons:

  • Cannot recline completely flat.
  • Folding is not one-handed and a little tricky

3. Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller

Summer Infant 3D Lite Travel stroller
  • Product dimension: 41 x 8.75 x 10 in
  • Item weight: 15.87 lbs
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 lbs
  • With stylish aluminum frame and large seating area
  • Comes with easy to fold frame and carry strap
  • 4 position recline with 5 point safety harness
  • Anti-shock front wheels and lockable rear wheels
  • Available in 9 colors
  • Comes with extra large storage basket, rear storage pocket and parent cup holder
  • Adjustable and removable canopy with flip-out sun visor
  • Click the image or here to see the price 

Pros:

  • Easy compact fold with carry strap
  • Can recline all the way back
  • Tall enough that a 6’3 person can push it without hunching over
  • Made of lead-free aluminum material which makes it very lightweight and durable
  • With additional padding for more comfort

Cons:

  • Cannot be cleaned with abrasive cleaners, solvents and bleach
  • The canopy sun visor is too high and cannot cover the kids’ eyes
  • The handle bars are quite tall for a short parent, thus uncomfortable for long walks

4. MacLaren Mark II Stroller

 

MacLaren Mark II travel stroller

 

  • Product dimension: 78.3 x 48.3 x 105.5 cm
  • Item weight: 4.43 kgMaximum weight to carry: 24.9 kg
  • Comes in 2 colors: black and marina
  • ” The lightest full – size reclining buggy in the world “
  • With 2-position recline seat
  • Fits children from 6 months until 25 kg ( 55 lbs )
  • Four wheel suspension with replaceable wheels
  • Made of strong ultralight fabrics
  • With a removable, washable coordinating seat liner
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Features state of the art designed chassis, air craft grade aluminum hexagonal tubing for greater strength and durability
  • With lifetime warranty- must register stroller with MacLaren within 60 days of purchase
  • Comes with extendable waterproof/UPF 50+ sun canopy and built-in sun visor
  • The breathable mesh center and panel inserts protect the baby
  • The handles are anti-microbial
  • With buggy ID tag and wind resistant rain cover that comes in handy when needed
  • Easy to fold

Cons:

  • On the pricey side
  • Cannot stand on its own when folded
  • Difficult to maneuver on bumpy streets or terrains

5. Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience Stroller

  • Product dimension: 78.7 x 64.8 x 100.3 cm
  • Item weight: 8 kg
  • Maximum weight to carry: 22.7 kgWith 2 seat options of rear-facing ( up to 30 lbs ) or forward-facing ( up to 50 lbs )
  • Anti-shock front wheels
  • UV rays can be blocked with the large canopy peek-a-boo window
  • Easy to fold lightweight aluminum frame, with auto lock and strap
  • With easily accessible basket for baby’s needs and parents’ storage pocket and cup holder
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • The reversible design allows use for younger babies ( rear-facing ) to when they grow up and become more curious ( forward-facing )
  • With infant head support for the rear-facing option and 5-point safety harness
  • Comes with 6-position recline ( 3 in rear-facing and 3 in forward-facing ) that can be one-hand operated
  • The height of the canopy can be adjusted to suit taller or shorter babies
  • The canopy is long and can be extended to fully cover the baby against the sun
  • Easy to maneuver because the wheels glide smoothly
  • Perfect for any terrain with easy to lock rear wheels and front swivel wheels
  • The handles are comfortable for taller parents

Cons:

  • The cup holder is flimsy
  • With very small storage compartment which is hard to access when baby is sitting in the stroller
  • Strap is a bit awkward to carry stroller
  • Opening and closing is a bit tricky
  • The seats are very low to the ground, so parents have to bend way down to help the baby when needed

6. Besrey Lightweight Stroller

 

  • Product dimension: 60 x 48 x 100 cm
  • Item weight: 4.9 kg
  • Maximum weight to carry: 33 lbs
  • With 5-point harness and protective comfort pads
  • Made from high quality anti-rust aluminum alloy
  • Fits easily bins in an airplane and very light, can be a carry on
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Can be easily folded with one hand
  • Adjustable canopy for full sun cover
  • With removable handrail for easy putting on baby and out
  • Convenient easy to access large bassinet
  • With fully reclining leg rest

Cons:

  • Sometimes, doesn’t open properly and sags when baby is sitting on it
  • Does not recline
  • The brake is an issue when taking a flight of stairs or off the train
  • No shoulder strap or bag, thus not very convenient to carry

7. Cosatto Woosh Stroller

  • Product dimension: 74 x 48 x 104 cm
  • Item weight: 6.0 kg
  • Maximum weight to carry: 25 kg
  • With 5-point harness
  • Lockable front swivel wheels and all-round suspension
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • Comes in lovely colors and design
  • Very easy to assemble
  • With study chassis for longer use
  • One-hand folding
  • Roomy seat, decent-sized basket and adjustable calf support for baby’s legs
  • Comes with a rain cover
  • With double length hood and visor for full sun cover
  • With cushioned chest pads
  • 4-year warranty

Cons:

  • Some say the wheels break after a few months
  • Tricky folding and unfolding mechanism for some customers
  • The rain hood can be easily kicked by the baby
  • The wheels get stuck on uneven surfaces
  • The handle doesn’t move up and down to suit a taller parent
  • Comes with a bell that could be annoying to some

8. Pockit Lightweight Stroller

Pros:

  • Wheels rotate 360 degrees, thus easily maneuvered when unlocked and locks for stability on uneven surfaces
  • Very tiny when folded so fits in an airplane bin very well, or can also fit in a carry on bag

Cons:

  • Very wobbly on uneven pavement- careful your kid might topple off
  • Handles cannot be extended, thus not comfortable for a tall parent
  • Very challenging to fold
  • Strap not included
  • Overhead canopy is not very useful
  • Small storage below, cannot fit lots of stuff

9. ZOE XL1 BEST v2 Lightweight Travel & Everyday Umbrella Stroller System

ZOE XL1 travel lightweight stroller
  • Product dimension: 10 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Item weight: 11 pounds
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 lbs
  • With a large basket underneath and a cup holder
  • Comes in 7 colors: Aqua, black, eloise plum, london navy, noah grey, red, lime greenWith a twin model ( for 2 babies )
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • With a little window on top of the canopy to peek at your baby
  • The handle is good for tall parents

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap
  • Does not recline as much
  • Doesn’t stand upright when closed
  • Difficult to maneuver for some

10.Evenflo Aero Ultra-Lightweight Stroller

  • Product dimension: 29 x 22.25 x 40 inItem weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Maximum weight to carry: 50 pounds
  • With easily accessible extra seat back storage pocket
  • Comes with a spacious storage basket, 2-mesh in seat pocket, and a parent cup holder
  • Comes in 2 colors: lark and dove
  • Click the image or here to see the price

Pros:

  • The easily one-hand folded stroller can stand on its own
  • Made of functional and long-lasting, high quality materials-imported polyester, metal and durable plastic
  • With large canopy and a flip-out visor
  • Allows easy and safe putting and removal of your child because of the rounded foam handlebar and rear wheels that lock
  • Includes ParentLink customer service perks like real-time chat and free live video installation support

Cons:

  • No rain cover or weather shield
  • The front wheels are single wheels ( not double ) and goes in opposite directions, that you have to manually straighten them
  • Sometimes tricky to navigate polished floors and pavements because of the plastic wheels
  • Flimsy cup holder
  • The storage basket has no front mesh and stuff inside can fall out, especially when folded
  • Reclines up to 120 degrees only, thus uncomfortable for some kids to sleep on
  • No strap to carry

My top two choices:

For me, considering the type of stroller, how small and light it is but durable and useful but not so pricey, I recommend these two strollers:

The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller

and the Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience Stroller.

Enjoy your holiday!

I hope I have given you ideas on what’s out there on the market if you are planning to buy a lightweight travel stroller for your child with special needs that you can use this summer when you plan to travel anywhere local or abroad.

After all, the comfort of your special child is your best interest as well as the light load that you have to carry and keep either in your car or the airplane bin.

Happy shopping!

Don’t forget to bring your camera or phone ( with camera ) and capture those precious moments, the laughter and wide smiles of your kids.

Their happiness is very contagious and will rub off on you as, well.

Enjoy your summer holiday!

 

Are you ready to buy the lightest and most comfortable travel stroller for your special child? Or your old one is already worn out and you need a new one?

Where do you plan to visit come summer? Share your plans with us.

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How to Spread the Word of Love … Ten Songs to Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness day.

Autism spectrum disorder is a life long disability that affects how a person communicates and relates with others and how they experience the world around them.

There’s a lot of stigmas to people with autism.

Many people misunderstand those with the spectrum.

Therefore, let us join organizations all over the world on this big day ( April 2nd ) and the whole month ( April ) every year when they do autism-friendly events and educational activities to foster understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

Worldwide support is done by lighting blue landmarks, buildings, homes and communities in recognition of people living with autism.

In line with these activities, musicians all over the world have made and performed awesome songs to celebrate this day.

We all know that music is a vibrant way of letting people learn about something or disseminating important information.

Likewise, listening to songs about autism uplifts people with ASD and their families  and inspires others to learn how to understand them.

I have found really beautiful and inspirational songs that speak about autism.

Songs that were written and performed by musicians, ordinary people with families who have autism, and even young people with ASD.

Ten songs that will touch your hearts, like they touched mine,  and will open up your minds to accept and understand these kids and adults with autism.

Awesome songs that will teach everyone how to spread the word of love about autism, ten songs to celebrate world autism day on April 2nd and same day every year.

Sit down and enjoy the videos and sing with the artist- I have written the lyrics below the videos so you can follow.

Here goes:

1. Beautiful blessing

This song, written and sang by Chelsea Stepp, was inspired and dedicated to her youngest sister who was diagnosed with autism at age two.

She considers this song her most important personal accomplishment because the organization “Autism Speaks,” used it as promotional material, thus Stepp performed it at the annual Summit for Autism in Washington.

Chelsea Stepp is a singer-song writer from Warfield, Ky who started singing when she was 3 or 4 after her parents bought her a toy karaoke machine. She started playing the guitar since she was 14, not really serious at first, but with constant practice, got better with her craft.

She auditioned for ” American idol,” when she was a teenager and won ” Big Sandy Idol,” an Eastern Kentucky-based competition.

 

 

Here’s the inspiring lyrics, which spreads autism awareness and how we need to acknowledge that kids with autism are misunderstood a lot because they can’t express how they feel.

” You mean what you say, just can’t say what you mean

Bottled up inside your head, and bursting at the seams

Trapped inside a world that’s all your own

Your thoughts roll in like waves crashing on the shore

Time is ticking, time is ticking, time to pace the floor

Back and forth to find the place where you belong

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

Things could be better, but things could be worse

Give me your heaven, give me your hurt

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

Act like I understand, but if I told the truth

I couldn’t stand as tall if I were in your shoes

Everyone needs a hero, and here you are

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

Things could be better, but things could be worse

Give me your heaven, give me your hurt

Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse

It’s all those things you’ll never had you’ll never miss
But I would give anything if I could change this
Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse
Things could be better, but things could be worse
Give me your heaven, give me your hurt
Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse
Beautiful blessing, beautiful curse.”

2. Not so different

Cassandra Kubinski, the singer/songwriter, wrote this song for her friend Vanessa, who had 2 boys with autism spectrum disorder.

She learned that this family had to overcome challenges, red tape and judgement to get education, after school programs or just collect information.

Their goal is to raise awareness and solicit funds for autism programs and services across the UK, US and Canada.

 

 

Listen to this beautiful song and follow singing with the lyrics below.

” I can be sunshine
Even when all you see is rain
I can be silence
Inside I’m calling out your name.

Words don’t come easy
But I hear everything you say
Reach out and touch me
I need to feel your heart today

So don’t say that I’m in the dark, ‘coz you can’t see my light.

It takes every colour in the spectrum to make the world so bright
If we want to understand
We all must learn to listen
Love speaks in a million ways

And in the end we’re not so different
Yeah, yeah
We’re not so different
Yeah, yeah

It can be hard I know.
When all you wanna do is help
But just I’m learning everything I need within myself
It takes a village, it takes a will, it takes some work and it takes time
Discovering slowly, growing the world that is in my mind. “

The rhythm tree- music therapy progrma for children with special needsWell get by-autism song

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

3. Through my eyes

Lyrics: Valerie Foley
Music: Fiona Johnson
Artist: Scott James

This song tells how a person with autism feels and looks at the
world around him. That through his eyes, he sees things differently than
us.

That knowing how he feels and sees things, maybe he has fears, but
we just need to understand him, and guide him to overcome his fears.

 

 

The lyrics are so powerful. Sing along with Scott James and feel how an autism person feels, so you can see the world through his eyes and be more accepting of his world.

” See the world through my eyes
It changes shape and it changes size
It’s not quite the world you see.
If you could find a way to look around inside my mind

Maybe you would understand me 

I’m not blind, but I can’t always see
I’m not deaf, but things can sound strange to me
I’m not trapped, but it’s hard to feel free
Imagine what it’s like to be me

Imagine what it’s like to be me

It’s hard for me to try to think things through or talk like you
Everything can be a blur sometimes
But if you walk along beside me, hold my hand and guide me

Together any mountain we can climb 

‘Cause I’m not blind, but I can’t always see
I’m not deaf, but things can sound strange to me
I’m not trapped, but it’s hard to feel free

Imagine what it’s like to be me
Imagine what… I’m dreaming of my future and it’s brighter than you know
I’ll get there on a different road when I am ready to go…

I don’t need pity, I don’t need tears

I just need someone to help me understand my fears
Tell me you believe in me, let me know that I’m OK
Help me feel safe in the world and I will find my way

‘Cause I’m not blind, but I can’t always see

I’m not deaf, but things can sound strange to me
I’m not trapped, but it’s hard to feel free
Imagine what it’s like to be me
Imagine what it’s like

Imagine seeing the world through my eyes.”

4. If the world only knew

Lyrics and music by Scott Evan Davis, in collaboration with the students of p94 Spectrum school.

Performed by Ilan Galkoff, 12 year old, who said, ” I am not autistic but I chose to sing this song because I love the message in it.

It is a song about people with autism wanting to be the same as
everyone else and not to be told they can’t do things because of their
disability.

 I have been fortunate enough to appear in a few
West End Shows. I love singing, art and raising money for charity. I
hope you enjoy the song and will believe in yourself enough to show the
world what you can do.

 I have a wonderful cousin who is autistic and I dedicate my song to him. “

 

 

Check out the lyrics and sing with Ilan.

“Every day seems like the day before

Keeping to myself but wanting so much more

I could be a painter

Or in the hall of fame

I can almost hear them calling out my name

But when people look at me

That’s not what they see

If the world only knew what I could do

They would be astounded

If the world only knew what I could do

I would be surrounded

If the world only knew what I could do

Maybe I’d be free

If they could see there’s so much more in me

I put up my guard to deal with fear

When things get too hard then I disappear

I wish that I could tell them

And make them understand

Being different wasn’t something I had planned

But when people look at me

They don’t want to see

If the world only knew what I could do

I would be respected

If the world only knew what I could do

I would not be rejected

If the world only knew what I could do

Then I could be free

And they would see all that I have in me.

I would show them all that everyone is different

I would stand up tall instead of run away

 If there was no world I’d have nothing standing in my way

Then I would be still only me

If the world only knew what I could do

I would shine in glory

If the world only knew what I could do

I would tell a different story

If the world only knew what I could do

Finally they would see

I am just what I’m supposed to be. “

 

Autism breakthrough- helps families with autism
Ten things about autism- how to understand kids with ASDEarly intervention games- to develop social and motor skills for kids with autism

5. I’ll never give up on you

Lyrics and Piano by George L. Rodriguez

Sung by: Racquel Roberts

Rodriguez  has a son who was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old, and was already 18 and high spirited when he wrote this song in 2014.

The first line, ” I look at you with your angelic face, ” was inspired by the photo of his son when he was 3.

 

 

This moving song is dedicated to children, parents and people who are living with a unique life experience, which maybe different and misunderstood by others.

 

” I look at you with your angelic face

A beautiful child a bit out of place

Sure you’re different if that’s all they see

Yet given the chance you can be so much more.

Caring people will open up doors

In my eyes you’re perfect to me

Everyday things others easily do

Language and play come so hard to you

Still step by step each moment is brand new.

So take my hand and I’ll lead the way

With laughter, love, patience, faith

When we believe our dreams can come true

I’ll never give up on you.

Sometimes your blue skies will suddenly rain

Like ripples of water not exactly the same

People will stare hon, you needn’t explain

For your life’s a story, the world is your stage

Just be yourself, no matter your age.

To all the critics you’ve got nothing, nothing to prove

So take my hand and I’ll lead the way

With laughter, love, patience, faith

When you believe your dreams can come true

I’ll never give up on you.

How did it happen this global mistake

1 in 100 is too much to take

Questions to answers, answers are keys

Unlocking this mystery

Here are your keys.

So baby take my hand and I’ll lead the way

With laughter, love, patience, faith

When you believe your dreams can come true

Your life’s a story, the world is your stage

Just be yourself no matter your age

This is your time take it!

To yourself be true

I’ll never give up

No I’ll never give up

No I’ll never give up on you

I’ll never give up on you

Love You.”

6. Unstoppable: A Song for Autism

Singers/Song-writers: Tommy Byrne & Isabella Guerriero ( 2018 )

Tommy was in his 20’s when Anthony, his cousin, was diagnosed with autism. His parents brought him for stem cell treatments and gradually he improved and became more verbal and was able to go to school.

Anthony has been a source of great joy for their family and he was nicknamed “Unstoppable Anthony” ( thus the title of this song ) because of how he can change people’s lives-with random hugs to strangers in restaurants or jumping on their laps with a laugh and a big,wide smile.

Tommy thought of some of the song’s lyrics and melody while on his way home on a train and he went to visit Anthony the next day where he asked his sister, Isabella, also Tommy’s god daughter, who was 7 at that time, to help him finish the song.

Isabella got her crayon and paper and wrote the lyrics and was done after 25 minutes. Anthony’s dad also helped in the chorus part and reminded them about how he communicates.

 

They hope that this song can be a voice for people with any disability, including autism.

The important message of their song is, ” We hear you.”

 

” I know you get frustrated, trying to tell us what you want to say.

I know it’s not easy for you, but that’s okay.

When you go through hard times, you’re not by yourself.

We don’t like it either and all we want to do is help.

We see the words in your smile.

We see the joy right in your eyes.

When something in your world goes wrong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Life is one big ocean, waiting there for you.

Don’t be afraid of those waves, just jump right through.

We all believe you can fly, if you really want to.

Just remember you can do anything that you want to do.

We see the words in your smile.

We see the joy right in your eyes.

When something in your world goes wrong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

We see the words in your smile.

We see the joy right in your eyes.

When something in your world goes wrong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong.

Remember to stand up and be strong. “

7. I’m in here

Artist: BJ McKelvie & Cathy Hutch

This song is sung from the point of view of a child with autism as he communicates with a loved one.

That he wants to reveal himself as he tries to find a way to show who he really is and all he needs is acknowledgement that he is just here and just wants others to see the world through his eyes.

 

 

” With every breaking dawn

A brand new child is born

Someday they’ll be full of hopes and dreams

It won’t be very long until they move out on their own

‘Cause that’s the way life’s supposed to be.

But something isn’t right

There’s a lost look in their eyes

They’re crying out 

“Why can’t you just see?” 

I’m in here

When the joy turns to crying ( crying )

See the world through my eyes

For just a moment in time

I’m in here

Oh don’t you know I’m trying ( trying ) 

To find a way to show you who I am

So through the years

Through triumph and through tears

These are the one who make their own way

They touch you deep inside

Where your love just cannot hide

Just open your heart and hear them say (hear them say )

I’m in here

When the joy turns to crying 

See the world through my eyes

For just a moment  in time

I’m in here

Oh don’t you know I’m trying
To find a way to show you who I am
The world may be cruel
In my times of desperation
Can’t find the words to express how I feel
So I strike out in pain and frustration
I might not speak
But my feelings are so clear
I’m in here
I’m in here
I’m in here
When the joy turns to crying
See the world with my eyes
For just a moment in time
I’m in here
Oh, don’t you know I’m trying (trying )
I’m in here
To find a way to show you
I’m in here
When the joy turns to crying (crying)
See the world with my eyes
For just a moment in time
I’m in here
Oh, don’t you know I’m trying
To find a way to show you
I’m in here
When the joy turns to crying (crying)
See the world with my eyes
For just a moment in time
I’m in here. “
8. Missing pieces

Written by Mark Leland/ Tim Calhoun in 2008
Artist: Mark Leland

This song encourages everyone to do their part in helping families with the overwhelming task of raising a child with autism.

 

 

” It was a mid December evening

In a room of heavy breathing,

When I looked into my little baby’s eyes,

And like the ships that sail the ocean,

He had captured my emotions,

Wrapped them up just like a gift

At Christmas time.

I thanked the Lord above that he was mine

I prayed to God that everything was fine,

After months we saw him changing,

Nathaniel’s speech was rearranging,

So we took him back to see what they could find

And after ironing out the creases,

They came up with missing pieces,

And they told us that autism’s on the rise,

I looked into my little baby’s eyes,

I promised him to find the reasons why.

Now I lay him down to sleep

I pray the Lord my son could speak,

And make him strong, where he is weak

This I ask of you…

And just like him, there’s many more

That need our help to win this war,

Cause who knows what might lay in store,

To help them make it through.

The doctor says, there’s so much more to do,

To put the pieces back together,

But it’s up to me and you.

So now we lay down to sleep

And pray the Lord they all could speak,

Please make them strong, where they are weak.

This we ask of you…

Cause now we know there’s so many more

That need our help to win this war,

And who knows what might lay in store,

To help them make it through.

Yes, who knows what might lay in store,

The missing piece is me and you..

Hello Dad. “

9. Through the spectrum

Written and performed by Carla Bianco

 

 

This is an ode to mom through the eyes of an autistic child, how the kid feels his mom’s unconditional love.

 

” When I was two years old

You saw something special

They couldn’t see

You did everything you could, mom

To reach me.

You opened the door

When the world shut me out

You showed me how I didn’t need to be more.

And You turned on the light

And taught me to smile

I just see things a different way.

I can see the world

Through the spectrum

Everywhere a rainbow

Like an anthem

When they try to see

Through my point of view

That’s when they will see the colours, too

If they could see what I see

They would get to know me differently

But you know what’s behind these eyes, mom.

What I’m feeling

Yes, you’re the one who really knows me

A mother’s love is what showed me.

I can see the world

Through the spectrum

Everywhere a rainbow

Like an anthem.

When they try to see

Through my point of view

That’s when they will see the colours, too.

Oh I see everyone is beautiful

I feel the pain inside your heart

I see everything is luminal

Like a band of colours.

Thanks to you.

I can see the world

Through the spectrum

Everywhere a rainbow

Like an anthem

When they try to see

Through my point of view

That’s when they will see the colours, too

Through the spectrum. “

10. Let me shine

This song was created in 2017 in collaboration with Oxford band Low Island. It was written by Low Island’s Jamie Jay and Carlos Posada.

It was performed by staff and young people with severe autism from Prior’s Court, a specialist residential school in West Berkshire. Most of these young people are non-verbal with severe challenges.

The message of the song is acceptance and understanding of all people in the spectrum, thus “Accept me for who I am and let me shine. “

 

 

This song ( with the lyrics below) is so moving and is proof of the achievements of the young people at Prior’s Court and how they shine with the support of their therapists.


” I have made a connection


A special bond


I help you paint with your own colours

To your own rhythm

Every day is different


Here we aim high

And everyday is always full

Of laughter and light

One step at a time


Stand next to me, walk by my side

You and I are friends for life


Stand next to me, walk by my side

Accept me for who I am ; And let me shine ( 2 x )

Accept me for who I am ; And let me shine ( 2 x )

I’m not broken
, I am unique


So all I want is for you

To believe in me

We’re all proud


To be part of this place


And we will teach each other

Something new every day

One step at a time


Stand next to me, walk by my side

You and I are friends for life


Stand next to me, walk by my side

Accept me for who I am, and let me shine ( 2x )

Accept me for who I am, and let me shine ( 2 x )

Repeat 4 x more.

Let’s come together to celebrate the world autism awareness day

There you go, I hope you enjoyed the songs as much as I did.

If I have touched a person’s heart with these songs, then I am happy that I am able to participate in the celebration of world autism awareness day on April 2nd and for the years to come.

In putting out these songs I know that I am fulfilled and inspired to show how to spread the word of love to people and kids around us with autism.

After all, they just need our understanding and acceptance.

 

Do you have somebody in the family or anybody that you know who have autism? 

Which of the songs remind him or her to you? 

Please like and share

How To Enjoy Spring Break… Ten Activities Which Will Get Everyone Excited!

I’m sure our kids are excited of their one week spring break, including our special kids. This is the week that they can sleep later than usual and wake up later as well.

One week of no homework, no time set for bedtime and waking up, nor studying for exams.

If you have vacation days, you might want to apply for vacation, too, so you have lots of time to bond as a family.

This is like mini-summer, even if it’s only one week, if you plan to make the most of it, it’s all worth it.

So, have you planned on how to enjoy spring break with your kids who will be out of school for the week? 

Skip the laundry and ignore the mess in your home. Just go and do fun things with your family and your special child.

There is no better time than bonding as a family by doing any or all of the following fun activities.

How to enjoy spring break…plan on doing any of these 10 activities to get the kids excited.

 1. Go swimming

Go swimming during spring break

 

If you are stay at home parents, you can go to the pool and swim anytime, but if you are working, after-work would be fun  as well.

Aside from fun, swimming is a good exercise for everyone, too.

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

 2. Go to the library

Go to the library during spring break

 

This is the perfect time to head to the library and borrow lots of books and DVDs or CDs.

For kids who can read, they will enjoy reading book after book after book. If your special child cannot read, reading to him is the perfect bonding time for you both.

You can all read while in the library and read at home with the borrowed materials or watch the DVDs at home before bedtime.

 

Or you can buy these books online to stock up for your kids to read or for you to read to your special kid.

Click the images to see the price.

Love you forever by Robert MunschDr Seuss's book collection5,000 Awesome facts ( about everything )  Mummy Fairy and Me

3. Watch movies

You can go to the cinema  as a family and eat out after the movie date.

But if budget is tight, watch old movies at home in Netflix or the YouTube or with the borrowed DVDs from the library.

Or you can buy cheap DVDs from the mall. You will enjoy just the same. As long as the family is together, that’s all that matters.

 4. Do cooking lessons

How to enjoy spring break-learn to cook and wash the dishes

If your special child loves to eat, give him cooking lessons in your kitchen of the food that he likes to eat a lot.

Let him help prepare the ingredients and mix together the food in the frying pan. Start with simple recipes like make sunny side up eggs, make a hamburger patty, make a pizza from scratch, or bake cookies.

After cooking, let him help wash the dishes and clean up the mess in the table. This way, he learns how to be responsible.

5. Do art activities

Do art activities during spring break

You can let your special child do some coloring or make some cards that you can give out later on  like for somebody’s birthday, etc.

If your special child has talents in drawing or coloring, he will really enjoy this fun activity.

Or if he is not into art, this is the best time to introduce him to drawing and coloring.

Bring him to the dollar store and let him choose the art materials that he wants including the coloring books and crayons or colored markers if you don’t have these at home.

If your special kid is a girl, she might want to do some crafts, like make necklaces or do some scrap booking.

6. Visit the grandparents

How to enjoy spring break- visit the grandparents

Now is the perfect time to go visit one of the most important people in your family. The grandparents will be delighted to see their grandchildren again.

They might have babysitted your special child when he was younger, and this week is the best time to catch up.

Bring some food so you can eat together as an extended family.

Or your kids might want to sleep over with their grandparents, then you can have alone-time” as a couple.

7. Invite cousins or friends for a sleep over

You can ask your kid’s cousins or friends in your home for a sleep over and make them some popcorn while they watch movies or do some artwork. This is the time for them to catch up on the activities that they enjoy together.

Kids also like to tell stories about their experiences in school or with their other friends, so making them bond overnight would make them enjoy time together.

8. Go to the zoo or the museum

Go to the zoo during spring break

This free week maybe the best time to re-visit the zoo or the museum if these have been your activities during the summer.

I’m sure there will be lots of new displays in the museum or new animals in the zoo if you haven’t been there for a while.

This is a great time for your kids especially your child with special needs to learn something new or to apply what he has learned in school.

9. Play in an indoor park

Play in an indoor park during spring break

There is still snow outside and the park may still by muddy and have lots of puddles, so it will not be fun going to the outdoor playground.

So to pump the kids’ energy, why not go to an indoor amusement park and let the kids run around, or let them go up and down the slides and other play structures.

Bring their cousins  or their friends along and while they are having fun, you can maybe go shopping if the park allows them to be left on their own or you can stay in their waiting area and read a book ( if you’re alone )  or you can chat and catch up with your grown up cousins or friends ( parents of your kid’s friends ).

After their play, I’m sure they are tired and hungry, so go to a restaurant where you  can all grab a pizza or anything that the kids love to eat, like hamburgers. This brings you all to the next activity.

10. Eat out as a family

I think this is the best activity that everybody looks forward to.

Of course this could be the final activity of the day if you have done an earlier activity, like playing in an indoor park or having gone swimming or watching a movie.

Whatever you have done earlier in the day, I’m sure everyone is tired and hungry, so a pizza or a hamburger or a pasta or even a full meal is very much welcome.

Just enjoy and have fun! 

You don’t have to do everything listed above because your budget will burst and there’s only a week to choose the best activity for the whole family. Especially if you will still be working during this time.

But of course, if you plan ahead, you can still do free activities like go to the library and borrow books and DVDs, go to the public pool on free days, etcetera.

Kids grow fast, so while they are still young and willing to go with you to fun places, grab these free days and just enjoy!

Before you know it, school days are starting again and next year, they maybe older and have their own set of friends and not willing to go anywhere with you anymore.

We have an advertising relationship with the stores we link in this post. 
We'll earn a commission when you shop through our link with no added cost to you.
squeezy canoe
Let your special kid sit in this squeezy canoe while reading to let him focus more.

 

Mixbook to store memories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which activities do your kids enjoy with your family? Is there a specific activity that your special child enjoy the most?

Please like and share

How to Potty Train a Child with Special Needs…. When is the Best Time to Start ?

 

Almost all schools require your special child to be potty trained for them to be accepted. Especially if the schools have no educational assistants and of course, the special education teachers can hardly accommodate your kids’ ” accidents,” most of the time.

For the parents of regular kids, potty training is not really difficult because kids usually show readiness as they age, which is usually from 18 months to three years old. Of course parents usually see resistance from the kids at first, but eventually they oblige happily.

It is different though for your special child who develops later compared to normal kids.

And this could be a real struggle for the parents, on how to potty train a child with special needs- especially if you are a busy working parent who wants your special kid to start school.

Is there a right age when to start potty training?

Because your child is special, you have to observe carefully if he shows signs of readiness. Of course, these signs show up later, and do not coincide with his chronological age.

Ask yourself these questions and when the answers are positive, then your special child is ready physically and psychologically to be started on potty training.

Therefore, the age when to start potty training varies from child to child. And will somehow depend on how they have developed physically and mentally at certain ages.

Physical Readiness

  • Does he stay dry throughout the night?
  • Is he dry at least for 1-2 hours at daytime?
  • Can he sit with or without support?
  • Can he keep his balance while squatting on the toilet bowl ?
  • Is he able to walk without support?

Psychological Readiness

  • Is your child able to understand instructions?
  • Can your child show in his face that he needs to poop or pee at certain times?
  • Can he control his urge when you tell him? Even partially?
  • Can your child know the difference between wet and dry?
  • Does he ask to be changed when soiled or wet either verbally if able or tries to get the clean diaper by himself?
  • Is he able to undress and dress himself, even partially?
  • Does he know when he needs to go to the bathroom? A non-verbal child may give out sounds that he is pushing.
  • Is there no added stress in the home like birth of a sibling or loss of one or both parents?

We all know that special kids develop much more slowly than kids their age, so you need to really observe how he is developing and responding to your cues.

Never rely on his chronological age so you won’t be frustrated.

Bear in mind that they can be toilet-trained but much later than normal kids.

Reasons why special kids refuse toilet training

Even normal kids will refuse toilet training at some point at the start of the training. Or would sometimes regress after having been toilet-trained for a while.

More so for special kids, who might have a struggle with understanding the benefits. Or they might be having issues with the following:

  • Fear of sitting on the toilet or falling down
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Startling experience of an automatic flush in a public washroom
  • Power struggles
  • Stressful life events like birth of a sibling, death or separation of parents
  • Poop withholding

Be very patient and understanding when your special one struggles with these issues.

It is really important that you give all the support that they need to overcome these challenges.

Once they feel comfortable and accepting of the training, it will be a breeze for both of you.

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

How to encourage your special child to continue with potty training

  • Scheduling their poop or pee time- Making them seat on their potty or on the toilet bowl after every meal or before going to bed. Or making them pee every one to two hours. They will learn that doing it at certain times will make them do it successfully each time.
  • Buying them the potty seat that they like or they enjoy.
  • Reading them a book about potty training to give them ideas on how to properly do it.
  • Letting them read a book or watch Nursery rhymes while they are seating on their potty. It will make them feel relaxed and focus on what they are reading or watching rather on how difficult they need to push.
  • Happiness jar– Fill a jar with chocolates, lollipops, small toys, or notes about their favorite activity like a trip to the zoo or to buy their favorite book when they use the potty daily for a week.
  • Celebrate in the evenings- when they stay dry during the day or they have used the potty successfully, celebrate by going to the park or do something that they enjoy before bedtime.
  • Make them pee before bedtime even if they still wear diapers so there’s a greater chance of them staying dry the whole night. Or wake them up in the middle of the night to pee ( if it’s also comfortable for you or you’re still awake ) so he gets dry till morning.

What parents say about their experiences on potty training their special child

Diane on Nathan

Diane and Nathan on potty training with positive reinforcement.

Diane has this to say about Nathan, who has Down syndrome and autism. He is now 12 years old and fully toilet trained.

” We started Nathan on potty training when he was still a baby; we would let him sit in the toilet bowl after every meal.

His dad would let him pee before bedtime, at midnight, and wakes him up at 6:00 AM before he goes to work.

We used positive reinforcement by giving him M&Ms; when he was successful. He was really happy about this.

When he started school at 5 years old, he was still on diapers. At 7, he began to get upset with his diapers, so we did not put him on it anymore. He had few accidents at school ( twice at home ) then, so we would let him bring under wears and socks in his school bag.

He can hold his bladder now for a long time, even during travels. His dad usually brings him to the bathroom every 2-3 hours to let him pee.

Nathan doesn’t want to poop in school, he usually does it at home at nighttime. So, when he’s taking a long time in the bathroom, that means he’s waiting for us to go in there and wash him.”

Emerald on Hailey

Hailey will soon be started on potty training.
Hailey who has Down syndrome and now 2 years and 7 months has not been started on potty training.

Her mom Emerald says she plans to start her when she is around 2 and 11 months basing on the experiences of other moms in the Down syndrome group that she joined in Facebook.

As of now, she observes that Hailey can follow simple instructions like if she wants her milk, she will say “dede,” and her mom would ask her to get the bottle and she will follow.

Emerald would like a little more time for Hailey to increase her level of cognition because she observes that when Hailey runs she’s still not concerned of her safety.

Lee on Mark

Lee and Mark on potty training

Another Down syndrome kid, Mark, who is now 10 years old but still non-verbal, is only partially trained.

Lee, his mom, started potty training him when he was around 5 years old .

They would let him sit in the toilet bowl after breakfast and dinner to poop.

At least every hour, they would let him pee in the toilet as well.

Mark was dry at night at around 7 years old and did not want to wear diapers anymore.

He goes to school without diapers but still would have accidents. At home, he would just pee anywhere. Likewise, he never goes to the bathroom on his own.

Check out these books on potty training. Click the images to see the price.

Potty training book for fun and focus

The Potty book for girls

P is for Potty -book for potty training

 

 

 

Patience and determination brings success

It takes lots of patience, understanding and motivation to stay focused and determined to make toilet training successful.

Just remember that like your special child’s development, toilet training likewise takes awhile to be a success.

Count every day and his small wins and reward him and yourself for these little accomplishments.

He will eventually refuse to wear his diapers and will be happy to sit on his potty or the toilet bowl to do his thing.

And you will both dance with joy once he does it on his own, every day, every time.

 

Please like and share

Ten Best Potty Training Toilet Seats….Choose What Your Special Child Will Love to Use

Your special child maybe slow in his development but for sure, somewhere in his timeline, you feel that he is about or almost ready to ditch his diapers.

This is really important because most special education programs require special kids to be toilet-trained partially or fully before they can be accepted to the school.

Aside from observing if your special child is ready for the training, like he can follow simple instructions, he can sit comfortably in the toilet bowl, he is dry the whole night or at least 2 hours at daytime, etc., choosing the best potty training toilet seat for your child could make a big difference.

If he likes what you buy for him, he will be interested at all times to sit on it and will be potty trained in no time.

I have looked at the ten best potty training toilet seats in the market today thinking of their usability, durability, comfort, pleasure and interest for your child when using it.

Here goes:

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

1. Potty toilet trainer set with step stool ladder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the image or here to see the price.

  • Product dimension: 26 x 14.8 x 3.8 inches
  • It measures 6.5″ or 8.8″ from floor to step ladder.
  • It measures 16.1″ from floor to seat.
  • The package includes: 1 footrest, 1 pad, 2 handlebars, 6 plastic screws, 1 screwdriver
  • Comes in various colors: green, blue, red, pink
  • Suitable for boys and girls with pee catching design to sustain their interest in toilet training.

Pros:

  • It can be easily assembled ( even kids can help their parents ) to fit in a toilet ranging from 14″ to 16.1″ from floor to toilet bowl seat.
  • The sturdy design lets your child walk up and down and sit safely in the toilet.
  • Very easy to remove and fold so the adults can use the toilet after your child is done.
  • It comes with a padding on the toilet seat to make your child comfy when he seats.
  • Best for 1-7 year olds, with the footrest being adjustable as your special child grows up.
  • The very wide step and handles make it safe for the kids.
  • Can also be used as a stepladder when kids brush their teeth.
  • The stairs make it interesting for the kids.

Cons:

  • Does not fit high toilets over 61.1″ high.
  • The splash guard is not tall enough for little boys.
  • The seat is wide for small kids, so they have to sit closer to the front for them to feel safe, but makes their pee not fall properly to the toilet, rather ends up under the foam cushion or drip down his leg unto the floor.
  • It is not that stable when folded and propped against a wall-needs a clip to keep it closed.

2. EasyGoProducts Potty toddler toilet trainer

 

EasyGoProducts Potty toilet trainer

 

Click the image or here to see the price.

  •  Product dimension: 14 x 13 x 6.8 inches
  • It fits most standard or elongated toilet seats
  • It can be adjusted to the size of your toilet seat.
  • Comes with anti-spash at the base which makes it hygienic

Pros:

  • It is easy to clean up with a removable backrest
  • it is easy to install and to remove when an adult needs the toilet.
  • Easy to bring to travels because it comes with a handle.
  • It comes with adjustable handles and 4 non-slip strips at the bottom to secure your child in place and prevent falling.
  • With a soft cushion seat to make your child enjoy sitting  comfortably.
  • The cushion is removable for easy cleaning.
  • There is a storage hangar that can be used on the side of the tank.
  • It is light and doesn’t wobble.

Cons:

  • It cannot fit in some toilet seats.`
  • It has a large gap on the sides of the front shield which allows urine to pass through to the seat and floor
  • The lock is only useful for oval toilet seats.
  • It is quite bulky to carry around.

3. Potty training set by Evibaby

 

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 11.6 x 11.0 x 4.7 inches
  • Comes in white
  • Suitable for all kids from 1-7 year old.
  • Comes with a free brush for cleaning.

Pros:

  • It has a lifetime guarantee.
  • It is BPA-free- warm in winter, breathable in summer. The multi-layer  protects baby’s skin and comfortable.
  • With non-slip strips and adjustable levers which secures the set in place so the baby feels confident that he will not fall.
  • With an integrated urine splash guard so the urine does not go to the floor.
  • Easy to clean with no crevasses to build up germs
  • The adopt soft cushion is removable for easy cleaning, thus more hygienic.
  • Easy to adjust and fits multiple styles of toilet seats.
  • The high back rest makes the child feel secure.

Cons:

  • A lot of force is needed to tighten well the locking mechanism for the ” bars ” at the back.
  • Cannot fit some toilet seats.

4. Fisher-Price Ducky fun 3- in- 1 potty

 

Fisher price ducky fun 3-in-1 potty
Click the image or here to see the price

 

  • Product dimension: 45.7 x 34.3 x 33.5 cm
  • It could be used 3 ways: as a potty chair, a step stool or a trainer ring.
  • Can be fitted in most adult toilet seats. ( but cannot fit padded toilet seats )
  • Splashguard can be removed for the boys.
  • Can carry kids up to 100 lbs ( 45.4 kgs ) to be used as a sturdy stool.

Pros:

  • The friendly ducky character is inviting for small kids.
  • With 4 tunes and fun ducky sounds that encourages your child to sit down comfortably and enjoy the music.( thus requires 3 AA batteries ).
  • It is easy to bring for travel.
  • The feet of the potty can be removed by taking off the screws if space in the car is limited and they can be easily put back when needed for stability.
  • With handles that make the kids feel secure.
  • The removable bowl makes cleaning easy.
  • By removing the potty ring to fit in the adult toilet makes transition easy for bigger kids.

Cons:

  • The sound goes off randomly especially when it’s older.
  • The songs play at times even when not in use which can become annoying especially at night.

5. Summer infant my size potty

 

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 15 x 11 x 15 inches
  • Seating area: 9.5 x 11.25 inches; Interior seat opening: 4.5 x 6.25 inches
  • Requires 2 lithium metal batteries ( included ) with a battery life of 6 hours.
  • For kids 18 months up to 50 pounds.
  • Comes in white and pink colors.
  • With a removable clip on splash guard for boys.

Pros:

  • It helps the kids to transition easily because of the ” adult ” look.
  • With a flip up lid design, to let boys easily pee while standing up.
  • The removable bowl makes it easy to clean.
  • With a built in wipe dispenser that keeps flushable wipes easy to reach and promotes hygiene.
  • Makes your child feel rewarded with the flush handle with realistic sounds.

Cons:

  • It is not portable.
  • The removable splash guard can fall off easily which makes peeing of boys a challenge.
  • The seat cannot be detached from the potty if you plan to use it as toilet seat insert.
  • It slides easily across the floor.
  • Quite small for bigger kids
  • It takes a lot of space in a small bathroom.
  • Cannot be easily stored unless you disassemble it.
  • Too many cracks and crevasses to wipe down.
  • The back part does not stay on very well.

6. BabyBjorn Potty chair

BabyBjorn potty chairBabyBjorn potty chairClick the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 36 x 35 x 31.5 cm
  • Comes in various colors: gray, pink, blue, green, turquoise, white, purple
  • Simple, ergonomic design with high backrest and comfy armrest
  • BPA-free plastic

Pros:

  • With splash guard that prevents spills
  • Easy to lift out and clean inner potty.
  • With rubber strips on the bottom that make it stable.

Cons:

  • Difficult to store because of the big size and awkward shape.
  • Hard to bring to travels because of the big size.
  • The kids’ thighs and bum could get pinched by the plastic in between the potty and the chair
  • A little pricey.

7. Cute frog potty training urinal for boys

 

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 29.4 x 20.8 x 15 cm
  • For 8 months to 6 year old boys
  • With strong sucker that will allow adjustment of height according to size of your child
  • Interesting frog shape and rotating windmill will let your little boy enjoy doing his thing
  • Comes in different colors: blue, green ( also with stand up design), coffee

Pros:

  • Easy to clean design -with urine groove separation and smooth surface
  • Can be put up on the wall easily
  • Large capacity so urine will not overflow
  • Teaches boys to pee standing up- makes them feel like an adult male

Cons:

  • Sometimes the suckers don’t stay up- needs to be screwed on, thus not suitable for tiled walls
  • Not very big

8.Baby potty and chair by LuvdBaby

Click the image or here to see the price

 

  • Product dimension: 32.6 x 32.2 x 25 cm
  • With bright fresh, funky design and in bright vibrant colours for another level of experience
  • Light weight, very durable and easy to assemble.

Pros:

  • Suits well for tall kids
  • Has a high back for support making it comfortable for the baby to sit.
  • With 4 legs made stable with a non-slip rubber base.
  • A raised splash guard prevents accidental spills.
  • Provided with a lid and a removable potty to make cleaning easier.
  • 100% lifetime warranty

Cons

  • A little bit pricey compared to others
  • Cannot be used as a step-not so stable, can tip forward
  • Needs careful placement of the child in the seating position for safety and happy experience.
  • With a tendency to tip forward when child gets off which can cause spillage
  • Sometimes the legs come off

9.The First Years training wheels racer potty system

 

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 13 x 7 x 17 inches
  • With a fun race car theme, your special boy will be encouraged to sit in the potty
  • Kept in place by a non- skid bottom.
  • 2-in-1 potty system which allows the trainer seat to be removed to fit in most adult toilet seats

Pros:

  • Less mess with the high splash guard
  • Your child will feel more secure with the handles on the seat
  • The lift-out pot makes it easy to clean.
  • Because it has no lid, you are encouraged to clean it right away.
  • Just right for younger boys being low and small

Cons:

  • Some little boys would think it is a toy, so would push it around.
  • Pretty low and small for bigger boys
  • With the pot being black, it is hard to see the pee and the poop.
  • Not suitable for tall boys, too low that urine will splash everywhere.
  • The seat is not very comfortable and leaves marks on a kid’s buttocks.

10. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn, Puppy Potty

 

Fisher-Price Laugh and learn puppy potty

Click the image or here to see the price

  • Product dimension: 11.8 x 14.2 x 14 inches
  • Comes with Puppy’s potty time electronic storybook that child can read or hold while sitting in the potty- with 6 songs and 8 phrases and sounds
  • Light weight and easily movable.
  • Has integrated splash guard for boys
  • Easy to clean and with removable bucket
  • Babies feel secure with handles on the removable potty ring

Pros:

  • Sings instantly on using the potty, so it encourages a kid to stay put until done with business plus reading the book makes the kid
  • With 3 fun phrases, 3 short tunes and realistic flushing sound to reward successful attempts ( positive reinforcement )
  • With a concave splash guard with a little rim inside to contain his pee inside.
  • The book walks the kid through the potty process. Listening to the story distracts the kid as well and makes pooping relaxing and easier.
  • The book is plastic and can be soaped and washed.
  • The cute story in the book will make your child proud for getting potty trained like a big kid.
  • It is low and not scary for the little one to sit on
  • The seat can be moved to the regular toilet easily, thus can be used for traveling
  • Better choice for kids who are stubborn with potty training, with entertainment and rewards

Cons:

  • Not suitable for boys because when they pee they tend to spray over the edge
  • Small for a bigger kid
  • The sensor will stop working after a while and could also sound randomly.

My top choices

There you go, I hope you have found something useful for your special kid, a potty toilet seat that will inspire him to go back again and again until he is fully trained.

If your child is still small, my personal choice would be the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn, Puppy Potty because it is comfortable, easy to clean and with additional bonus, that includes the electronic book and the positive reinforcement that it brings through the fun phrases, songs and realistic flushing sound.

For bigger kids, my choice would be the BabyBjorn potty chair because it is stable and comfortable for the kids. Likewise, it is easy to clean and comes in different colours. It could be used by both girls and boys, as well.

Depending on the capabilities and readiness of your special child, toilet training could be a struggle or a big challenge but with the help of the potty training toilet seat and your patience in training your kid, they will eventually hate their diapers and you will soon forget how hard training was.

Just try to be very patient and put some fun in letting your child be successful a lot of times.

Rewards definitely help!

 

Does your special child show readiness for potty training? Are you planning to buy a potty training toilet seat soon?

Or if you are now potty training, how are your experiences?

 

 

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Big sister, little brother…..he has Down syndrome and autism!

Big sister, little brother

 

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

 

She was the apple of her parents’ eyes for a long time until her brother came along.

Growing up with working parents, Joanne became a bookworm and would just soak in books instead of playing by herself while waiting for her mom to wake up after a restful sleep from night duty.

Due to her love for reading, school became a means for her to excel.

Being an only child back then with no constant playmates, she longed for a brother or a sister.

And then, Nathan came along.

Since then, her brother has become her playmate and source of joy for the longest time.

Now that Joanne is finished with university and far from home, she always looks forward to returning home on vacations, even during short breaks, because she knows that they can be the ” big sister, little brother ” team and they could bond to the max during  that time.

 

Tell us about yourself.

” My name is Joanne and I have one special brother named Nathan.

Currently, I am a student and see my brother only when I go home for holidays. In my free time, I enjoy reading and watching YouTube videos.

I hope to become a Pediatrician and maybe specialize in Genetics so I can work with kids like my brother, who has both autism and Down syndrome.”

How old were you when Nathan was born and how did you know that he was special?

” Nathan was born when I was 11 years old. I knew that he had Down syndrome before he was born and my parents knew that there was a big chance of him being born with Downs due to both my mom’s age and her sister having Down syndrome, as well.

However, it wasn’t apparent that he had autism until he was around 2 years old. This was around the time when he lost all the words he knew and started developing stimming behaviors. For example, he loved rocking in a recliner we had and would flap his hands. “

Describe Nathan and tell us about his development.

Little brother has Down syndrome” Sometimes Nathan is very loving and other times he can be aggressive. It just depends on the day and how outside factors are affecting him.

I would ask him for a kiss or a hug and would happily oblige, but other times, he would pull my hair.

He tends to misbehave the most when he gets asked to do something he doesn’t want to do at all. For example, if he gets asked to hand someone the remote for the television, he might get upset and would literally stomp upstairs.

However, even things like this we appreciate and are proud of because it shows his growth in personality. He used to not react at all.

Something we are very proud of is that Nate is a very neat person. He takes off his shoes and socks after coming home from school and places them where the shoes belong.

If he sees a cellphone on the table and he knows who it belongs to, he will make sure to hand that to the specific person.

Even if the pillows, the remote, or the house phone are out of place, he will make sure to put them where they belong.

This started a couple of years ago but he has been generally neat overall. “

 

How did you and your family react to the news that he was special?

” My family and I were very accepting of the fact that Nathan had Down syndrome. Again, my mom’s sister had Downs and I had visited her in the Philippines when I was younger. It was no surprise when Nathan was born.

In fact, I think it made us love him even more. “

Do you have any fears about Nathan’s future?

” Something that I feel scared of regarding Nate’s future is that people might not be as accepting of him once he is older.

Right now, at 12 years old, he can get away with almost anything because he is young enough and is cute. Once he is older, he will be expected to understand more, to be capable of more.

But what if he’s not? “

Does your family have specific plans for his future?

” Right now, there are no specific plans for Nathan’s future. We are just trying to help him grow and learn, then we will proceed from there.”

How did you and your family cope with the struggles on caring for him as he was growing up?

” My family had the normal struggles faced when taking care of a child, they just happened a lot later and for longer periods of time due to Nathan being slower mentally and physically.

But other than that, yes there were specific challenges related to him being him. He had to have a lot of therapies to get his abilities to where they are now and that takes time, money and sacrifices.

However, Nathan is easy to relate to. It’s easy to relate to the feeling of not being able to do something that others find simple and then feeling so frustrated. I believe everyone has been there at some point.

Even the difficulty of being able to communicate with others is relatable.

That’s an issue I’ve encountered. I can’t speak Filipino and I am not able to communicate with my grandmother. But just like Nathan, I can get what I want to say across.”

What therapies or supports did Nathan have until now?

” I know that he had occupational, physical, and speech therapy throughout his life. He used to get one-on-one with these when he was a baby.

I remember they used the blue exercise ball and would lay him on his tummy on it. I don’t know why though, maybe to learn how to crawl?

Currently, he is attending a special school for 4 hours every day where  they have music and arts therapy as part of the program. The kids are also involved in ball games and exercises.

Nathan likewise  does seasonal basketball and soccer. “

Share with us how Nathan makes your family happy.

Big sister, little brother

 

” Nathan makes us happy with his interactions with the world around him.

He’s funny without realizing it. It just comes naturally, I guess.

I remember when my grandfather lived with us for a bit, Nathan would copy the way he walked with his hands behind his back.

Even when he says “No way,” to us we are happy because that’s
him communicating with us.

But my favorite is when he decides to show me his love out of nowhere. Sometimes he’ll pull me closer for a hug or a kiss or even just give me a smile. 

He’s able to convey how much he loves me with that smile.”

What activities do you enjoy most with your brother?

” Nathan and I enjoy going to the park together. He loves to go on the swings and feel the wind on his face.

We also enjoy watching YouTube videos together, he likes to watch them over my shoulder.

But our two favorite activities are taking naps and taking snaps. “

You said Nathan is non-verbal, so how do you know if he needs something?

” We share that sibling connection. Out of everyone in our family, I understand him the most.

Most times I just know what he is trying to say or I can anticipate what he needs before he is even able to ask for it.

Generally, since he doesn’t talk, he will grab someone’s hand and gesture it in the direction of what he wants. For example, if he finishes his dinner but wants more, he will grab my dad’s hand and drag it towards what he likes to eat more of.”

 

What advice can you give to siblings and parents  on how to take care of a special sibling or child.

” I know it’s hard at times but don’t forget that a lot of people out there are willing to help you: your family, your friends, even your local community.

Do your research into what events you can get your child into.

Don’t be afraid to talk to others at these events so that you can learn from their experiences and from their mistakes.”

Lastly, do you have any experiences with Nathan that’s worth sharing?

“Once we went to an aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia. There were some penguins there and I guess that they’re very playful.

 Nate was really young then. Maybe 4 years old? He was definitely in his stroller. He was looking to the side, watching some penguins on a little cliff.

One swam up from the opposite side and surprised him and he was so startled, he went, “AH!” It’s a fond memory that my whole family shares.”

 

Thank you, Joanne for sharing to everyone your wonderful and inspiring experiences and stories about your brother, Nathan.

I can definitely relate because your aunt who had Down syndrome is my sister, Pangga, whom this website is dedicated.

Truly Nathan and the other members of our extended family who are special bring us immense joy in our day to day life.

I am sure, as well as your parents know,  that Nathan is in good hands and you will take good care of him when we are not around anymore.

We are so proud and happy of your dedication to your brother.

 

How does your special child connect with his siblings? What are the activities that they enjoy together? Please share your experiences with us.

 

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Special needs homeschool….can my child learn?

As parents, we want our kids to learn the best that they can. We always seek for them the best schools, under the best teachers if we have choices.

We assist our children as much as we can with their homework and projects. We see to it that they hand in their assignments on time and they review their lessons way ahead of their scheduled examinations.

When they do good in school, we are the proudest of their achievements. We even buy something for them to celebrate their success.

The same goes for our children with special needs. As parents of our special kids, we always want for them to achieve the best that they can be.

It doesn’t matter if our special child is not able to talk at the age appropriate for him, as long as gradually he is able to communicate, that’s all that matters.

 

Special needs homeschool

We may have fears of our special child being bullied in school, or questions whether he will be able to adapt easily to his new teacher and new classmates plus the new surroundings.

So, at the back of our minds, we have this question:

A special needs home school…. can my child learn from me?

Is homeschooling the better option?

This is the question that most parents with special needs child will have to address.

Let us look at the pros and cons of homeschooling.

Benefits of a special needs home school

As parents, we always hope for the best outcome or learning potential for our special kid.

If you have the time and the resources to home school your child, it could be your best option for him.

These are some positive aspects for letting your child attend home school.

  • Specific needs will be addressed. You as the parent who is there for your child 24/7 truly understands what your special child needs, for example you will know what your child is struggling, maybe reading or verbalizing his needs.

 

  • “We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”
  • One-on-one attention will boost your child’s confidence more than ever and he will learn faster.

 

  • Avoiding many obstacles in a traditional classroom. Communication will be the biggest struggle in school, but with you around in the home school, he can always be open to verbalize his needs or put forward his concerns non- verbally if need be. Bullying would be an issue that can be avoided there as well.

 

  • Flexible time and schedule. A structured time and schedule is good, but there will be times that your child would need to move his schedule or you may need to do it yourself for whatever reason.

 

  • Observing up close your child’s progress and struggles. As the parent-teacher, you will see first-hand your child’s development or what area he needs to focus on.
  • Understanding your child’s inadequacies and coping mechanisms. Only a parent can accept unconditionally his child’s shortcomings.
  • Pacing of teaching can be adjusted depending on your child’s improvement. You don’t have to report to a principal or superior about why your child is still unable to read or identify colors at a certain time and explain why.
  • Comfortable surroundings for your child will let him learn more effectively. You can both be in your jammies and sitting in your bed reading together. He doesn’t need to go out in extreme cold if the weather is not so good.

Drawbacks of homeschooling

Of course attending a traditional school for your child would be the best option if need be, but it is not always possible, or you think making him attend home school is the best because you believe you can offer him the best education there is.

There are negative feedback of course, and would include the following:

  • Social skills will not be optimized. Since he is alone at home with you, he will not develop the best friendships and good communication skills.
  • Your child will test the limits of your patience. There might be a time that you might feel so frustrated if he learns so slow or forgets what he has learned and you feel that homeschooling in not fit for your special child.
  • You might feel inadequate for your child as a mentor having no teaching experiences in school, more so with a special kid.
  • Tantrums or meltdowns might happen many times that are hard to control and as a parent, may discourage you to stop the lessons for the day.
  • In the early stages or even before starting homeschooling especially if a special child has been previously enrolled in a public school, some school officials harass the parents and don’t allow the special child to dis-enroll because of fear of losing funding.
  • Special needs children may lose government-funded special child services such as speech therapy when home schooled.

How to improve your child’s skills as a home schooler

As the teacher for your special child, you can always plan on improving how you handle him. You don’t need to suggest to his teacher in the regular school what you think is the best way to offer him lessons.

  • Let your special child attend group activities like your church’s Sunday school or your neighborhood’s annual picnic to broaden his horizon and meet other kids.
  • Enroll him in extracurricular activities like piano lessons where he can interact with another teacher or other students if they will have recitals or concerts.
  • Let him stick to a routine as much as possible, like the same schedule each day for school, play, and homework. This will develop in him discipline and good study habits.
  • Daily habit of reading if he can, or reading to him if still not able on his own.
  • Encourage him to ask questions, thus enabling him to learn through exploration and discovery.
  • Give rewards for his achievements. There is no better way to encourage him to achieve more if he sees that you appreciate his efforts.

  • Encourage him to repeat works or projects that are not acceptable at first or second try. Let him feel that mistakes are okey as long as he tries again to correct them.
  • Discuss with him why he did not get good results or scores with certain exams or projects and encourage him to give suggestions on how he can overcome these.
  • Balance learning with fun. Introduce play as much as possible or activities that your child enjoys in your daily lessons.
  • Connect with other parent-teachers ( join home school groups ) so you could compare ways on how to optimize teaching to your child and he can meet new friends as well.
  • Be patient with your child’s progress and just be content of what he can achieve daily. Don’t expect too much.
  • Display his works at home such as in the fridge or a dedicated corner or show to family so he knows that you are proud of his achievements.

Legalities and requirements of homeschooling

While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states in the US and all provinces in Canada, there are different requirements of each state or province where you live.

Call the authorities or agencies in your place just to be sure that they will not go after you and you will be out of trouble.

Some places require home school parents to meet basic educational qualifications, like a high school diploma or GED or a teaching certificate, but most states in the US do not have this requirement.

For Canadian homeschooling, please visit your province’s Department of Education websites for specific requirements. Some provinces may require you to report to them periodically for your child’s achievements. Or you need to tell them before you start home schooling.

I have mentioned only US and Canada here as examples, but if you live somewhere else, this could also apply to you.

Parents excel in giving education to their special needs children

A year-long research was conducted by Dr Steven Duvall in eight elementary and two junior high students with learning disabilities, where five students were home schooled and five attended public schools.

He did this by seating-in on teaching sessions and observed every twenty seconds how the students used academically engaged time during instructional periods. He then encoded data in his laptop which were double-checked by a second observer.

Likewise, Dr Duvall measured the students’ scores in standardized achievement tests in reading, math and written language.

Look at the amazing results!

  • The home schooled special kids showed academic engagement two and a half times more than those enrolled in public schools.
  • The home schooled kids spent only 40.7 % of their time with no academic responses against 74.9 % for the kids in public schools.
  • The teachers and kids in home schools were sitting side -by-side or face-to-face 43% of the time compared to only 6% of the time for public schools. This gave more advantage for the home schooled kids.
  • The home schooled kids showed an average of six months improvement in reading compared to only half a month gain for special kids enrolled in public schools.
  • The home schooled kids showed an average of eight months improvement in written language skills compared to only 2.5 months in kids enrolled in public schools.

Dr. Duvall summarized, “These results clearly indicate that parents, even though they are not certified teachers, can create instructional environments at home that assist students with learning disabilities to improve their academic skills. This study clearly shows that homeschooling is beneficial for special-needs students.”

It is  a very positive and encouraging study, so my dear parents, take the opportunity to home school your kids if you can!

What parents say about homeschooling or home education:

Here are two parents who found homeschooling effective for their children with special needs.

JOYCE has this to say:

” My son was thrown out of a private mainstream nursery at the age of 4. What followed was his diagnosis of autism and my decision to home educate. I am lazy and chicken, decided I would rather provide him what he needs socially and educationally myself than spend my days beating my head against the doors of authorities to convince them to provide it. And all that otherwise frustrated time is instead spent enjoying my happy, unique
son.The result so far –

My husband and my family are now convinced that we made the right choice. My son is happy and excited about learning. It’s not all roses, he does balk at writing but he excels at chemistry (sorry for the brag).

They have come to see that it works. He can race ahead at what he loves and get extra time for things he struggles with, all in a nonjudgmental environment.

It is so far beyond what I could hope to find for him in a school. His joy in learning is worth all the effort.”

MARSHA IDDINGS shares her feelings about homeschooling her son Matthew:

“The most important fact that I discovered while developing Matt’s home school program is this: You, the parent, will always be your child’s greatest advocate. No other professional knows, cares, or loves your child with the depth that you do. This, more than any other factor, is important in creating a successful learning environment for the challenged child.”

Home schooling could be the best option for your child with special needs

There you go, considering the many benefits of homeschooling plus the positive results of the study done by Dr. Duvall and the awesome and positive experiences of some parents, let you be inspired to start to home school your special kid and erase your worries that you cannot  be the best teacher for your special child, but of course, he can definitely learn from you.

REMEMBER:

You as the parent who is there for your child 24/7 is the only one who knows your special child’s strengths and weaknesses to the core.

You are the only one who can offer him unconditional love and full support.

Your child feels secure with you at home, where it is the safest environment for him.

So, my dear parents, if you have the time and resources, go and home-school your special child!

You can be the best teacher for him. Ever.

 

Do you have plans of homeschooling your special child?

Or are you already homeschooling your child with special needs?

We would love to hear from you.

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The indoor play area for kids with special needs – exciting updates!

The indoor play area for kids with special needs

 

I’m way beyond ecstatic to share with all of you the latest updates on our project: the mini-therapy area or the indoor play area for kids with special needs who are enrolled in the Special Education program ( RECS-SPED ) at the Romblon East Central School  in Romblon, Philippines.

This mini-therapy area is dedicated only to these kids. It is at the back of their resource room and only these kids will have access to it, plus their teachers and maybe the parents or caregivers.

We started from a dream and a vacant lot!

Construction started in December 2017, almost 13 months ago.

This was how the vacant lot looked before- just an idle space waiting for something to blossom.

The vacant lot started our dream to build the indoor play area for our special kids

Please read here for more information on how we started the project.

Fundraising Activities

We only had big goals then, but no finances.

So, we brainstormed ideas on how we could raise funds.

Two major fundraising were done locally in Romblon, Philippines to help out with the expenses plus a much bigger and still ongoing fundraising at Go fund me, which we started during my birthday 2 years ago in October 2017.

Click the image below to view the page.

Go fund me page for indoor play area

The very first local fundraising was done last year on January 2018 with the Bingo Social,” where teachers, parents and the community enjoyed playing the bingo and hoped that their cards will fill with stones with the called numbers and follow the pattern that was announced each time.

Bingo social to raise funds for the indoor play area

Fundraising for indoor play area for special kids

Bingo board used for fundraising for indoor play area for special kids

There was tremendous financial support from the townspeople including the teachers, parents, and the whole community, as well with cash donations in response to the solicitation letters that we distributed.

Our most recent fundraising was last month- the Christmas show where the special kids showcased their talents in dancing, singing, modeling and acting. We had also silent auction and door prizes for this event. Solicitation letters were sent out as well to the community, and again, with overwhelming response.

Click here to read the full post about the Christmas show.

Starting the project

Building started in December 2017 after we got substantial amount from the Go fund Me page.

Starting to build indoor play area

Starting the construction of the indoor play area

Starting the construction of the indoor play area for the special kids

Workers prepared the vacant lot and eventually got busy constructing the flooring of the indoor play area.

We really got excited and very hopeful that finally we are living our dreams and somehow we will have something to offer our children with special needs to enhance their social and motor skills.

Indeed, if we strive to do something and don’t hesitate to ask for help, nothing is impossible!

And the workers did really good in their tasks and worked fast.

All the while, the SPED teachers were there to supervise and observe the ongoing project while continuing their jobs to teach the students with their academic needs.

After a few weeks, look at what they have accomplished!

Stairs of the indoor play area for special kidsThe future sensory path for the indoor play area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At this point of the project, we got more excited and hopeful that it will be done soon.

The flooring was done, so what’s next?

The website-panggataikaw.com

Unfortunately for several months, the project stopped for lots of reasons- from the teachers being busy with school activities and seminars or conferences, to summer vacation, to not being able to find suitable and dependable workers, to name a few.

But our excitement was still there.

During this quiet time with the project, I started to build this website, panggataikaw.com, to raise more awareness that special kids are part of our community and need our love and support.

I also wanted to reach out globally for more donors.

If you are one of those with generous hearts, please donate through our Go fund Me page here.

Continuing the project

As of last month, the work was again actively ongoing.

Posts were put in place in preparation for the roofing.

Funds that we collected in the ” Bingo Social ” and the extra from the “Go fund Me ” page were all put into use.

Foundation for the roof of the indoor play area

Building the post for roofing foundation for indoor play areabuilding the roofing for indoor play area

The roofing for the indoor play area for the special kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the workers were busy at the back of the resource room, the SPED teachers were all hands preparing for the ” Christmas show,” the latest fundraising done last month on December 15, 2018.

The latest update

Can you imagine that in just a little more than two weeks, these roof foundation were put in place?

We are so happy that our efforts and your donations are all taking shape!

The mini-therapy area is almost done!

See our big smiles?

We are all excited to continue what we have started and we feel that soon, we will be seeing our special kids play and romp in this mini-playground slowly being built just for them.

Again, our big thanks to all the donors and supporters, from the local fundraising and to the Go fund Me page.

Our project looks almost done with all your help, but we still need more donations.

Please consider sharing your blessings through our Go fund Me page.

Future plans

Once we’re done with the roofing, we will start improving the walls and finish the sensory path so it will look like this one:

 

Then we will start buying play equipment like these.

Swing for the indoor play area

Trampoline for the indoor play area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you believe we can now vividly hear the laughter and the squeal of the kids?

We imagine our children with Down Syndrome develop their best motor skills!

And the children with physical deformities and those struggling with social and communication skills will get to bond with their classmates and eventually show improvement in their gross motor and social skills.

And they will always look forward to being in school everyday because during recess and after school, they can play and share giggles and bouts of laughter with their friends and classmates.

We still need your support

And of course, your support is still much appreciated.

I have always felt that generosity is all around us.

We are always ready to support worthwhile endeavors. Our hearts are always open to share our blessings.

I’m sure we have all experienced pure joy when we give.

And blessings come back a hundred fold.

If we have stable jobs, complete family, good health, happy relationships, giving to people in need is so easy to do.

It’s our way of thanking GOD for all these graces-SHARING because our BLESSINGS are bountiful.

Our children with special needs at the Romblon East Central School in Romblon, Philippines say THANK YOU for pouring and sharing your blessings to them!

May your tribe increase!

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The Christmas show-our special kids in action!

We just did the Christmas show, starring the special kids at the Romblon East Central School.

The Christmas show staring the special kids

 

This was not a regular program; it was a fundraising event to raise money so we can complete the mini-therapy area that we started a year ago.

And it was a big success!

Click here to read how we started the project for our children with special needs.

I know, you will ask, how is it possible to put up a show and train children with special needs to perform on stage? It was really a challenge for the teachers, but they did it!

And to think that they only practiced for 2 weeks!

There were challenges along the way, like asking permission from the school head to do the show, to looking for a venue, to conceptualizing the format of the show, etc.

Plans were put in place only 2 weeks before the event, which coincided with the last day of classes before the Christmas break and the day of the Christmas party.

We were tempted to put it on hold for later, but then finally decided to push through because our project still needed lots of funds to be completed.

This also coincided with my visit to my parents in our hometown, so this is really the best time to push this, because it’s always good to work with the teachers personally.

We actually had another fruitful fundraising only in January of this year, and I was also visiting then. It is mentioned close to the end of the above post if you click the link.

These activities made my vacation busier, but more productive and fulfilling. I am so thankful that I have family and friends who are so supportive of this project and helped me to make our plans easier to accomplish.

Of course, with the big push of the 3 very responsible SPED teachers, how could this event be not a big success?

Talents in singing and dancing

Children who had talents in singing were tapped to do solo and duets ( one of them with a parent ) and surely, they were a hit!

By the way, kids who started with the Special Education program, but moved up to the regular classrooms, were also invited to perform.

It is amazing to watch these kids show off their talents and see their confidence in doing their thing. All because they were started early on with special education and were guided and supported to be the best that they are now.

Fashion Modelling

Another amazing number in the program was letting the children with special needs show off their party attire by walking the ramp or modelling.

Most were happy to oblige and confident to walk, but some needed their teacher’s “push ” to walk on the stage. It was so heartwarming to see them do this.

You couldn’t imagine that these kids have developmental disability or physical deformities to start with.

Look how they did their thing!

A special child modelling her party attire

Our special kid with Down Syndrome showcasing her modelling talent

The Nativity

The highlight of the show was the pantomime of the birth of Jesus.

You could feel the pride of the kids doing their part in the drama. There was Joseph and Mary knocking on the doors looking for the place to give birth to our Saviour.

Later on, with the baby Jesus in their midst, the three kings paid homage, as well as the shepherds with their sheep.

 

The birth of baby Jesus

As the play progressed, you would notice the teachers popping in and out of the stage to guide the kids, some of whom seemed not to know where to place themselves or what to do while in the stage.

As an audience who is familiar with the Christmas story, and guided by the kids’ costumes, you will just realize what their parts are and what they need to do.

Such patience and efforts from the teachers!

Those are our Special Education teachers, dedicated to their pupils with special needs.

Did you see the 2 teachers going in and out of the stage to place the kids where they should be?

Chorus

The final part of the show, was the chorus of all the participants and the teachers, who sang the Christmas song popularized by the artists in the local television channel.

Again, you could feel the Christmas spirit in the air and the excitement that the holiday brings.

For the parents, I saw in their faces that they were so elated of the accomplishments of their children.

And of course teachers Bing, Law, and Nots, I know deep inside they were so thankful that the program was a big hit and their efforts were not wasted.

Kudos to all three of you, I’m so proud of what you have accomplished!

Next time, we have to put up the show in a bigger venue.

A big thanks to our teachers and parents for putting up this beautiful Christmas show !

Silent Auction and Door Prizes

To give more excitement to audience participation, Pangga ta Ikaw donors and friends prepared gift items as prizes for this.

Tickets were sold at the entrance and the venue.

This was really a big hit. People anticipated that their ticket numbers will be called for each gift item. Silent Auction was done to add excitement to the program Silent auction items

Prizes for silent auction

 

It didn’t matter if the gifts were big or small, everyone were excited that their numbers will be picked.

These prizes were donated by members and supporters of Pangga ta Ikaw. These gift items were regular daily needs of everyone.

Congratulations to all the winners! Here are some of them with their big smiles.

Silent Auction winner Silent Auction winner

 

 

Some did not only win once but twice or even three times. It was their lucky day indeed!

Generous donors

Days before the Christmas presentation, the SPED teachers and the regular teachers with the help of the parents of the special kids distributed solicitation letters to potential donors with the aim of collecting funds to complete the mini-therapy area.

Included was this awesome invitation to the Christmas show.

The Christmas show starring the special kids

 

There was overwhelming support in response to the letters. The school community and the whole townsfolk felt our need and responded favorably to our appeal.

BIG THANKS to all the donors and supporters!

For sure and we hope that with your big help, our project, the mini-therapy area will be finished soon!

The project

Here’s a glimpse of how our mini-therapy area looks now.

The mini-therapy area is almost done!
With the full support of SPED teachers Bing, Law, and Nots, the mini-therapy area is almost done!

We think it’s almost done, but it still needs a great amount of money.

Nevertheless, I believe, we’re almost there and again, my heart bursts with joy with all your help.

Watch out for the next article about the progress of this project.

Donations

We still accept donations to finish the project and for purchase of future equipment. Please give your donations in cash or in kind to any one of our three teachers or you can visit our Go fund Me page.

Go fund me page for donations

 

Please click here to donate.

Big Thank You

Again, much appreciation to everyone who have given their financial support and to the future donors.

The Christmas show held on December 15, 2018, at the Romblon East Central School – SPED Romblon, Romblon Philippines was indeed a great success, of course with lots of support from the teachers and the principal, Mr. Joseph Menorca and the donors from the community.

GOD will always give back a lot more for your generosity.

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How to help autistic children – become an autism tutor!

How to help autistic childrenI wanted to be an autism tutor.

When I was a new immigrant a decade ago, I thought it was awesome to be teaching kids with autism. I believed I could do it because I had clinical experience with kids.

I knew it did not pay much, but being with kids again would let me use my medical skills on how to help autistic children.

I tried to apply once, somebody called and asked me if I was willing to relocate. Little did I know that the job as an autism tutor that I applied with is a few miles away from where we lived and would make it impossible for me to commute daily.

Of course, I couldn’t move to another place, having arrived only a few weeks back.

I just accepted that it’s not meant for me.

So, I worked at a call centre just to earn something while I prepared to do exams to hopefully get a license to practice my profession in a foreign land.

Until one day, I was out of job again. Thinking of applying as an autism tutor for the second time, I did a first aid course hoping that I could be hired easily if I had this requirement.

Still, no luck!

With perseverance in looking for a healthcare-related job, I landed employment in Clinical Research.

This is where I met Rachel. We now work in the same department.

I know she recently graduated from a Psychology course and I learned that she used to work as an autism tutor.

One day, I introduced her to my website and while reading one of the posts, she exclaimed, ” This is also what I did! “

I got excited and encouraged her to share her experiences tutoring children with autism and she gladly accepted my request.

Here goes Rachel’s story.

 

Be an autism tutor and help children with autism spectrum disorder be the best that they can be.

How many years did you work as an autism tutor?

I worked as an Autism tutor for a year and a bit, approximately from May 2017 to August 2018. This is when I switched to my new job as a Research Coordinator.”

What motivated or inspired you to become an autism tutor?

While I was completing my undergraduate degree in honors psychology, I had an opportunity to volunteer with a school division, tutoring a young man who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and Tourette syndrome.

Through this experience I found a passion for working with individuals with disability. Following this, I started doing respite for an adult with autism spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy, and decided I wanted to focus my undergraduate research in this area.

I met with a professor whose PhD is in the area of Applied Behavioral Analysis and we settled on thesis research looking at the results of a short-run early intervention program on skill acquisition in children diagnosed with autism.

The organization that I completed my research out of ended up being where I got my job as an autism tutor after I finished my degree. “

Can you describe your job? How old were the kids with autism whom you cared for?

” My job involved one-on-one program delivery for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

I worked with both families and children teaching a variety of individualized skill sets and goals in all facets of the child’s life. It heavily involved creatively finding new and interesting ways to deliver the needed programming within a variety of settings (e.g., daycare, pre-school and homes).

This also involved organizing and recording both data and notes on the progress of the child.

I had three clients during my time as an autism tutor; the age range was 3-5 years old.

I worked under both a senior tutor and an autism consultant; every child had a team of one or two tutors, one senior tutor and one consultant.

The consultant was responsible for providing and creating the programs for the children and the senior tutor was responsible for professional development of the tutor and assisting in program delivery where needed.”

Can you explain more on what you did as an autism tutor? What was your typical day like?

” Typically, I would have two clients over a year. I would spend one full day with one client, then the next day with the other client.

I shared my clients with another tutor so we would alternate days.

I would arrive at the client’s home early in the morning and look over the previous tutor’s notes from the day before. From there I would set up all my stimuli for the programs and skills I would be working on that day. An example of this would be setting up sorting stimuli for a program that requires the child to sort different colors of objects into piles.

The programs were all based on Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) principles and theory which focuses on positive reinforcement strategies. ABA focuses on the principles of learning in order to alter behaviours and improve skills.

Throughout the day I would run the programs provided by the autism consultant in between breaks of play and fun!

It was very important to keep things fun for the child and make the programs not feel like work, but like play as much as possible.

The child was able to work for play activities (e.g., playing in the backyard on the bike) or edibles (e.g., skittles).

We would take a lunch break as you would if you were in school and then at the end of the day I would write notes in our communication book for the tutor who was coming in the next day.

Sometimes my days involved attending preschool or daycare with the child and helping them work on their social skills. While I was in the home, the parents were there so we were able to collaboratively work as a team with the parents, senior tutor and autism consultant. “

 Did you have any struggles or challenges in your job?

” Overall, my experience as an autism tutor was extremely rewarding.

However, working one-on-one with a child who struggled behaviourally could be very exhausting and I experienced some days where I felt extremely burnt out.

A significant challenge would be the independent and isolated aspect of the job. If the child had a particularly hard day, it was only me who was in the home and I had to be the one to figure out how to handle it and make the day more positive for the child.

Mostly, I enjoyed every day I spent with my clients and they had a very positive influence in my life and taught me so much.”

How did you handle a very difficult child?

” Every child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is so different.

Difficult or challenging behaviours manifest in a variety of ways. For the most part, if a child had any difficult behaviours the consultant would have a behaviour plan in place which had consistent steps on how to handle this behaviour.

Having a team consisting of the parents, senior tutor and consultant made for a very supportive environment and we would figure out how to handle challenging behaviour together in the most positive way for the child. ” 

 

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How did you involve the parents in teaching their kids? 

” I believe I discussed this question a little bit above. However, yes the parents were heavily involved in teaching the kids. In fact, they had their own programs that were sometimes similar, or different, to the programs the tutors were running.

Parents worked privately with the senior tutor and consultant in order to learn how to deliver programs and were expected to work on these in their spare time with the child.

As well, the parents were able to speak with me before sessions, as well as after, with any concerns or questions they had about the progress of their child.

It was a very collaborative environment. In this type of early intervention it is so important that parents and tutors are all on the same page and keeping consistent expectations for the child.

If everyone is consistent with programs and expectations, the child will learn so much more! ” 

 

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How did you feel at the end of a workday? 

” I usually felt pretty tired at the end of the day, but at the same time I left work feeling fulfilled and happy.

My clients made me laugh and smile every day!

Some days were harder than others but these just meant I had to
change what I was doing as a tutor in order to help the child have a
more positive day next time! “

What made you happy or fulfilled on a certain day ?

” So much! 

The most fulfilling thing was when you were working with a child on a certain skill for a long time and then it finally clicks and they learn that skill!

An example would be one of my clients struggled with verbal skills, in particular greeting others when getting to school. We worked on saying “Hello” and making eye contact for months and then one day when I walked in to the house they looked up at me and said “Hello, Rachel!”.

This was so rewarding because they had struggled with this skill for so long, and the child was so excited when they finally mastered it. “

What is your best advice on those who plan to pursue a career as an autism tutor?

” My advice would be to make sure you are okay with independent work.

One-on-one program delivery with a child, who is not always verbally able to communicate with you can be very isolating.

But if you are passionate about a career in helping people then it is an amazing and rewarding job. “

 

          

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“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

How did you de-stress after a difficult day?

” After a particularly stressful day, I would try my best to go home and not think about it.

What helped would be taking time for self-care, whether that is having a bath, going to a yoga class, or spending time with friends and family.

When you are doing a job that involves being very attentive to others’ needs it is important that you are able to disconnect and take time to focus on your own needs as well!

Balance is everything. “


How have you made a difference in the life of an autistic child?

” Within this job, there were many moments where I took time to reflect on the positive impact I was having on my client’s lives.

Typically, a child goes through a year of the program and then begins Kindergarten.

Probably the most rewarding moment is before kindergarten when as a team, we reflect on the child’s gained skills and how much they have learnt.

Doing this helps you realize all the things you taught the child and how much of an influence you had on preparing them to have success in Kindergarten and their later school years! “


What is the best lesson that you learned from a child with autism?

” This is a hard question because I have learnt so many!

My clients taught me just as much as I taught them.

The things I felt or thought before I started working as an autism tutor were only strengthened from this job.

If anything, I learnt the importance of appreciating every person’s individual differences and how everyone is special in their own way.

We have to accept people for who they are and celebrate these differences!

Like I mentioned above, every child with autism is so different, and this is what makes them special.

We have to focus on the balance between helping people live their lives to the fullest, and also not forcing them to conform to society’s expectations, we have to remember to celebrate what makes them special and unique!

 

Becoming an autism tutor is very rewarding

 

Rachel, from your stories, I know that doing this job made you a better person now. More open to everyone’s differences and more patient with people’s shortcomings and inadequacies.

I may have been unlucky to do this job and not experience the feeling of fulfillment after a day’s physically tiring job, but the encounters that you shared, made me realize that being an autism tutor is one of those professions where money may not be great, but the rewards to yourself is so great having contributed to a special child’s well-being and preparing him to become the best version of himself.

Given the chance, I would still want to experience working as an autism tutor.

 

Have you recently engaged with an autism tutor? Or do you know anyone working as one? Try to give them a big hug for the awesome job that they are doing.

 

If you are a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder and he is taken cared of by an autism tutor, please share with us how your child is being helped and how he is developing and trying to evolve to be the best that he can be.

 

 

 

 

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