Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asperger : Heart to Heart Talk

How often do you have a "heart to heart" talk with your kids? I do it almost every night. Aspie kids have tough time expressing themselves, so we need to slowly help them to express themselves. When I first started with it, he just replied "ok/nice/don't know". But I didn't give up, in fact i tried for months and was disappointed in the beginning. Now he is able to tell me what happened to him at sch, how he feel and I can tell him how to overcome it. 

Just last night, he told me he was sad cos' his neighbour in class refused to borrow him her glue. He asked "can i borrow your glue?" Her answer was just "NO!" although she is not using it.

So he told me he was hurt and he had no choice but to tell the teacher that he didn't have any glue and the teacher borrow hers to him. So I asked him what will happen if she was in him shoes, any chance he is going to lend it to her, he said "Nope. I am not going to lend it to her". Holding grudges there.

So I explained maybe she lost her glue before just like how you lost yr stuff too and her mum asked her not to borrow anyone. And also because you always forget to say "Thank You" so ppl are pissed. So don't be angry with her.

I also praised him for his courage to go and tell teacher about it. And we should prepare our own stationaries instead of always asking around. So he was alright when he went to bed. Today before going to school, he asked me to bring him to buy glue. At least he remember what I said the night before.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

b and d

One problem that my son face is that he writes in mirror image. I was wondering what is so hard about  writing the alphabets correctly. Then I read a blog of a teacher that taught dyslexic kids to read, he said asking a dyslexic child to read is like asking a right handed guy to write with left hand. You never know how hard it is until you are in his shoes. :( So i told myself I need to be very very patient.

So I began to search online on ways to help him. A friend of mine is also doing the same thing. And once she showed this to my son. She said "Justin look at my finger....this is b" and she waved her left hand and did a thumbs up. I know that Justin won't understand so I came home and asked him to show me his left hand with a thumbs up and I did this animation for him so that he can see what we meant.

   photo b-animation.gif

And then I asked him to give me a thumbs up with his right hand.

 photo d-animation.gif

I showed this to him and will be practicing with him more.

b and d

Once he mastered this, I will move on to P and Q. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pajamas Pants for JD

My son loves red. But last night he just requested for a green pj pants. I have no idea why. But anyway he has grown so much, his pj pants are so short. So the other day I bought some stretchable fabric from Supplies Surprise Bazaar and so happen its green and black stripes. Last night I was itching to sew so i just began cutting my fabric.

Cutting the fabric according to his current pants, adding extra length.

After I took this pic, I asked myself "why am i making step by step when anyone can google step by step online? " haha So stopped taking pics and just continued to sew and sew while watching my AOD chinese movie. And I manage to let him wear it before he sleep.

Happy boy just woke up and went to my garden to weed.:)

I have added extra length and worried he might trip over so I have added a smaller leg opening so that it will hold it up and won't let him trip over.

Ahh.. it feels so good to finally sew something for my boy. I hope more to come :D

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teaching lil' boy to read

JT was in kindy G for year before this. And I always wonder why he can't read even simple words like "apple" or "boy". And after some observation, I found out that he reads and writes in mirror image. Being a leftie, they say it's very common.
And being 4 yrs old, they say it's common also.
But one whole year and still not being able to read, I'm abit worried that he dyslexic. And since the principal in kindy G shuns JD for being an Aspie, I was so ready to leave that kindy.

Notice that the entire word is mirror image? He said that when he see his teacher write on the board, it's like this. Scarry?

This year JT is in kindy B and I have informed the teacher about his problem and also worked on helping him to correct his reading and writing problem at home. Writing is a very hard thing for him, I still wonder why. There's always excuse that his hand is painful, his eyes tired, and much more. I was pissed each time I helped him and I end up pulling my hair and screaming like a mad woman. And then I started to google for methods to teach him to read. I tried a few method and then finally I found that he can read when I'm using the phonics method.

So I changed my method of teaching:
1. Use whiteboard to write and asked him to write and teach me back

2. Sit where he likes, floor.

3. Use alot of colours to get him interested

4. Mind mapping using pics that connects with him

5. Teach abit each day and revise what I have taught previously.

And recently I made flipcards with words and pictures and I gave this set to his school teacher so she can share with other kids. :) If you want a copy for your kids, let me know and I'll email it to you :)

Monday, April 08, 2013

Making own compost pipe bin

I used to go around digging holes to bury my kitchen scrap. And most if the time it's hard cos I don't have a big veg patch and I have plants all over the raised bed. And then I came across a pic in Pinterest and they mentioned about this composting pipe bin. How awesome! And I have so many leftover pipes from my house renovation and I went to the hardware store to buy the pipe cover (Pinterest suggest we use pot to cover the pipe) but I think it's much neater like this :)

Just drill some holes around it so that worms have access to the scraps in the ground.

Remove all the soil in the pipe and bury them deep covering all the worm holes. Cover the pipe with a cover ( you can use an overturn pot) but I use a proper pipe cover bought from hardware store.

I made a slightly taller one here. You can keep adding kitchen scrap into the pipes. Don't forget to cover it otherwise you will have maggots crawling around.

So now I have pipes all over my raised bed, and I can just keep adding new scrap into the pipes. My worms are fed, and I don't have to collect the poop and pee, it goes direct to my plants. Save my time!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Asperger: Building an Invisible Wall

My son used to say "I don't know" just to shut us off so that we stop asking him questions.  Whatever you ask him, his answer would be "I don't know". So one day I told his therapist about it and she said "okay, i will think of something". And on the day of the session, JD went in the room with her and after 45 mins, she came out and briefed me about the session's activities and what are his progress. She told me that she drew stickman and illustrated how JD is adding invisible bricks and building an invisible wall between him and his friends each time he said "Don't know" or refused to answer or communicate. He got upset and said he doesn't want a wall in between them. He demanded that she erase the wall (in the paper). She said alright, but how to erase the invisible wall that he already built between him and other people. She then told him, if he were to reply appropriately then it will remove the invisible bricks and eventually more and more friends will come. "Do you want that to happen?" And he said "yes!" So that really changed JD and his way of communicating with his friends.

When he was younger, his friends would say "my mummy bought this tupperware for me" And he'd reply "Do you know how to spell Thomas?" He doesn't know how to communicate and make the conversation last longer and it puts ppl off. That's the main issue being an Aspie. Now, he is able to communicate and respond accordingly.

Aspies are more "visual" people. Therefore by illustrating it out, he can understand faster. So I have re-illustrated and made this gif images so that if your kid has the same issue, maybe you can show this gif image to them and probably tell them the same. Aspies may seem to be loner, but actually they really want to make friends. They just don't know how. Let us help our kids to have a better future :D

Asperger - invisible wall photo asperger-dont-know.gif

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Asperger: What are you thinking, my son?

Few nights ago, JD came running to me with the extendable pipe on his head. He said "Mami! Look at me! Come and put your head on the other side!" He giggled and giggled so hard. I said, "Come! Come!" And joined him. And we took this pic.

And he laughed even harder. And when I took this pic, I was thinking "How good if there is a gadget like this that can connect our brains and make me know and understand what he is thinking and what is happening inside his brain".

Unfortunately, there is none and I will never know a lot of things (for now)...like...
▪               how it feels to be extra sensitive towards certain things like smell or words.
▪               why he refuses to do something although I have mentioned to him like million times.
▪               why he does certain things with the sequence and that style.
▪               why he cannot eat Kon Lou noodle or fried noodles.
▪               why is it so hard for him to talk to his classmates?
▪               Why he refuses to drink even a drop of plain water although he is so thirsty
▪               why he cannot buy anything by himself.
▪               And why he can have sudden meltdown.

I will never know now, but it's okay. I just got to make sure that I would be there when he is ready to tell me things. Although we don't have the "special connector" but we have time and love. Last one year, JD has told me a lot of things about himself. He also taught me a lot of things, things that I never thought I could do. And because of him, I have learnt how to appreciate life and simple things and know how to prioritize and to stay focus. I can see so much improvement in him and I know he can be much better. Just waiting for the day when I can say "what are you thinking my son?" and he can tell me straight to my face instead of me wondering. :)

Asperger: Teaching them to be compassionate and sensitive towards other people's feeling and needs

Backdates post.

2 days ago, I cooked spagetti for thier lunch. I asked JD " Do you want more spagetti?" And the first thing he asked was "If I take more, will titi have enough to eat ?". I said "Yeah, of course". And he said "Are you sure?". And he happily eat his lunch. 

This morning he asked me "Mami, do you know where is titi's piggy bank?". I asked "why?" He said "cos I found 2 coins and I want to give him". Just wanna test what he is up to , I asked "why didn't you keep the coin for yourself?". He replied "cos my piggy bank is full, so i give him lah".

Suddenly I remember that I need to pen something down. Which is the topic for today (chewah... like i am some writer or what). I think I have achieved another milestone and I think my constant reminder and nagging actually is working. 
The usual thing we hear people calling Aspies when they do not tknow about then would be the words Weird, Stubborn and SELFISH.Aspies would talk to themselves, talk about the same thing over and over again, would suddenly burst out laughing and many more. They would walk over and change the TV channel without asking and they would interfere when other people is having a conversation. It's always all about them, thier needs and thier feelings. Trust me, they do care about other people, but it's just that they don't know how to express and doesn't know what is the appropriate thing to say or do. To make it easier to understand, imagine that there's a wire of feeling and understanding but it's just dangling there not were not connected. They just need someone to go over and plug it into the system and make it function. 

So yes, it's an extra "subject" that AS kids need to learn. Either they learn in via therapy or they could learn it best from the best example, the parents. It's a very hard "subject" to teach" and it takes a very very long time. Although I know that JD is an Aspie only a year ago, but I have been teaching him since I knew he was different when he was about 2 yrs old. I usually show and then tell and i know it's not a glam thing to do a good thing and then tell someone you did a good thing, but for them, we need to do it cos we need to "connect the wire", if you know what I mean. I am still doing it now and probably will do it for many more years to come, cos for AS kids they need so many reinforcement and constant reminder so that it register into the system.

Thanks to my son, repetition and Nagging is my skill now.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


JD: AIYOH!!! I forgot my wallet!

Me: don't worry. I can give you money. How much do you need?

JD: I only need 1 ringgit to buy Solivite.

Me: before or after school?

JD: before school.

Me: do you need more? If you spend your 1 ringgit then you won't have anymore money

JD: erm... you can give me one more dollar

Me: Sure? 

JD: one dollar and fifty cents la.

Me: *give him 1.50 and went down to help him with his bag. hugged and kissed him*

JD: *walked away..stop and U turn to come back and gave me a hug and kiss on lips and walked away*

Me: *tearing and quickly run into car and cried*