2013 Affordable Summer Swim Therapy for Children with Autism in the Old Balara, near Katipunan, Quezon City Areas at the Ayala Hillside Estates

Swim Therapy is a program focused for special needs children. Swim therapy lessons are by APPOINTMENT and can be on a year round basis. 

Swimming Lessons are taught by Coach Sherwin dela Paz.  Coach Sherwin is a certified swim coach.  He is Philippine National Red Cross Trained.  Currently, he holds the position of head coach of the Ateneo De Manila University Varsity Team.  He is also head coach of the Rizal Technology University.

We’ve also attached their summer schedule for regular classes for your perusal:

SCHEDULES:

Batch 1 April 1 to April 12, 2013

Batch 2 April 15- April 26, 2013

Batch 3 April 29- May 12, 2013

Batch 4 May 15 – May 26, 2013

TIME:

1st Class 7:30 -8:30 am

2nd class 8:45 -9:45 am

3rd Class 10:00 to 11 am

YEAR ROUND SCHEDULES :

Monday to Friday Night classes 7:30 to 9:00 pm

Saturday and Sunday Classes 7:30-8:30 am and 8:45 to 9:45 am.

*Swim therapy and private schedule classes will be coordinated with the Coach, parent and administration.

FEES:

Toddler  Class – water orientation for ages 4 to 6  years old   Php 3500 for 10 sessions

Basic – Water orientation, survivial swimming for children at least 7 and above who never had formal training.  PHp 3000 for 10 sessions

Competitive-  Learn all 4 strokes and swim laps (workout) to strengthen cardiovascular capacity Php 3000 for 10 sessions

Swim Therapy  – eliminate or at least reduce obstacles that might keep a child with special needs from full and active participation in society  4,500 for 8 sessions.

Please contact  Coach Sherwin 09194769194 , Coach Krystal 09219939518, Tess 4126937

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2013 Summer Swimming Lessons for Adults and Children with Autism

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I find it commendable that swimming programs are offered for persons with autism.  Aqualogic has a program AquaPALS (Persons with Autism Learning to Swim) which offers a    1:1 specially tailored to persons with autism.  Lessons are 2x a week .  There are 8 lessons per module.  Each lesson is good for 30 minutes.  Pricing is PHp 7396.00 per module.

To give you more background on Aqualogic Swim Co.  This is a company  headed by Ria Mackay.  Ms. Mackay was a competitive swimmer in her younger years and has been teaching swimming both here and abroad for the last 20 years. She began expanding her teaching operations in 2006, when she formed Aqualogic Swim Company with the help of her former teammate, Nonoy Basa.

Aqualogic Swim Co. is a member of the United States Swim School Association (USSSA) and World Aquatics Baby Congress (WABC).

They are the only licensed Total Immersion™ Swim School in the Philippines.

They also conduct lessons in different venues in Metro Manila, namely Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Galeria de Magallanes Clubhouse, The Village Sports Club in BF Paranaque, and Colegio San Agustin in Dasmarinas Village, Makati.

They currently handle the Special PE Swimming Program of Colegio San Agustin for SY 2010-2011 for Pre-School to Highschool. We also handle the PE swim program for the Lower School levels of Keys School in Mandaluyong.

They have also provided swimming instruction for The Maria Montessori Children’s School Foundation in Paranaque, and have taught over 1000 students with ages ranging from 6 months to 70+ years old.

Schedules:

Additional Classes now open at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel!EDSA SHANGRILA HOTELTuesday and Thursday  (Aquakids) (to start on April 11, 2013)2:00-3:00pm
3:00-4:00pm
4:00-5:00pm

Saturday (to start on April 6, 2013)

7:00-8:00am  (Aquatech)  12 slots only
8:00-9:00am  (Aquakids) 12 slots only

Summer Classes will start on April 1, 2013

see schedule below:
(Aquakids 3-12yo and Aquatech Program 13yo-up)

Makati Shangri-la Hotel
Monday and Wednesday ( Aquakids)      8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Monday and Wednesday (Aquatech)       7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
8:00PM – 9:00 PM
Tuesday and Thursday  (Aquatech)         7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
8:00PM – 9:00 PM
Edsa Shangri-la Hotel
Monday and Wednesday ( Aquakids)      2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Monday and Wednesday (Aquafitness)  6:30 PM – 7:30PM

Tuesday and Thursday (Aquatech)          7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
The Village Sports Club
Tuesday and Thursday ( Aquakids)         8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Tuesday and Thursday ( Aquababes)

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM (6-18mos)
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM (19-28mos)
10:00 am -10:30am  ( 29-36mos)

Linden Suites – (Aquababes)-  37 San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Centre, Pasig 1600
(indoor and heated pool)
Tuesday and Thursday

3:00-3:30 PM     6-18mos
3:30-4:00 PM     19-28mos
4:00-4:30 PM     29-36mos
4:30-5:00 PM     29-36mos

Call  837.1716 / call or text 0917.858.2782 email: admin.aqualogic@gmail.com for booking.

Rates are as follows:

2013 TUITION FEES 
Annual Registration Fee: P500 per student
AQUABABES / AQUATOTS (Infant-Toddler Swimming)
2x a week      = P 5,995 / 8 lessons
Once a week = P 6,395 / 8  lessons
AQUAKIDS (Teaching Kids to Swim)
2x a week      = P6,695 / 8 lessons
Once a week = P7,395 / 8 lessons
AQUATECH (Adults)
2x a week = P7,895 (valid for 4 weeks)
AQUAFITNESS
2x a week = P4,500 (8 lessons)AquaPALS (Persons with Autism Learning to Swim – 1:1)
2 x week =  P7,396 / 8 lessons (30 mins) per lesson
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Special Kids a Video Modelling Therapy Program

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On a trip to my favorite video store, a 4 DVD boxed set series called Special Kids caught my eye. This boxed set contains 8 shows. 2  30 minute shows per DVD. I was initially quite skeptical as to how a video would be able to help a child with special needs and decided to do more research.

After reading up on the videos, I discovered that the videos were made by an award winning writer who is also the father of a child with special needs.  I also learned that Special Kids speech and skill building video programs are being used in 30 countries and 500 US school systems.

Special Kids speech and skill building video programs have been demonstrated to help many visual learners acquire verbal, reading, writing, academic, motor, play, self-help, social and interactive skills.

Special Kids 30-minute programs utilize concept-to-language association, object-to language association, action-to-language association, labeling, sequencing, modeling and generalization .  These video methods  are now proven effective in numerous university and hospital sponsored studies of high-visual special needs audiences.

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In the U.S. these videos are being sold from John Sprecher’s website for USD 29.95 (or Php 1221.96)  per video without taxes or shipping .  The whole set alone would cost you USD 239.6 (or Php 9775.68).  In the Philippines, the original boxed set would only cost you four hundred pesos (Php 400.00).  At 4% of the original USD price, this boxed set is a bargain.

Here are summaries of the videos included in the boxed set:

The Alphabet

Goals: Communications, Academics, Motor
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes ” Color
**Available only in DVD**

You’ll Learn Everything From A to Z! How do we talk and write and read? We use words – and the 26 great letters of the alphabet are how we make them! Join John and learn everything from A to Z! Upper case letters. Lower case letters. How to say them. How to write them. And how letters take on meaning and become words! Speech, labeling, writing, reading, generalization and association to words.

Body Parts & Grooming

Goals: Self-Help, Communications, Social, Motor
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes
**Available only in DVD**

Do you know how to wash your hands, brush your teeth and comb your hair? Join John and learn all about your body and how to keep it clean. From head to toe, you’ll see that boys and girls aren’t all that different as you learn to bathe, shower, wash hair, brush teeth, even trim nails! Speech, labeling, writing, reading, sequencing, modeling, generalization, and association to objects and actions.

Getting Ready

Goals: Self-Help, Communications, Motor, Social
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes
**Available only in DVD**

It’s fun to get ready for the day. Do you know how to do it? Join John and get ready, get set and go! You’ll learn to care for yourself: how to bathe, shower, brush teeth and comb hair. Then you’ll learn how to dress yourself (and undress), with emphasis on tying, buckling, zipping and buttoning. Speech, labeling, writing, reading, sequencing, modeling, generalization, and association to objects and actions.

Things in a Day

Goals: Social, Communications, Play, Motor
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes
**Available only in DVD**

There are lots of great things to enjoy every day, from family and friends, to food and fun! Join John and learn all about them. You’ll discover things around your house. You’ll learn important things: telling time, answering a telephone, buckling a seatbelt. Plus you’ll do lots of fun things, too. Speech, labeling, writing, reading, sequencing, modeling, generalization, and association to objects, actions and concepts.

A Day at School

Goals: Social, Communications, Motor, Play
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes
**Available only in DVD**

What’s a typical day at school like? There’s a lot to do and it’s a lot of fun! Join John and learn the alphabet, numbers, spelling, reading and writing. You’ll sing a song, watch kids color pictures and play at recess. Plus you’ll learn how to behave…from getting on the bus, to sitting quietly, to raising your hand or waiting your turn. Speech, labeling, writing, reading, sequencing, modeling, generalization, and association to objects, actions and concepts.

Shapes & Colors

Goals: Communications, Early Academics, Play, Motor
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes
**Available only in DVD**

The world is full of great shapes and beautiful colors! Join John and learn circles, squares, triangles, stars and more shapes, plus reds, greens, blues, yellows and more colors. Trace your favorite shapes! Color your favorite colors! Then show what you’ve learned by identifying each one. Speech, labeling, writing, reading, generalization and association to objects

Animals, Birds & Fish

Goals: Early Academics, Play, Motor
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes
**Available only in DVD**

Dogs and birds make great pets, but not elephants or sharks or tigers! Join John and meet the many cool creatures that share our world inside our house, up in the air, sown on the farm, deep in the ocean or the jungle. Plus you’ll learn many animal sounds, from moos to meows! Speech, labeling, writing, reading, generalization and association to objects.

Spelling

Goals: Early Academics, Play, Motor
Feature Running Time Approx 30 Minutes
**Available only in DVD**

Words are our great friends and helpers – because when we use words, we communicate! Join John and learn how to spell an alphabet-full of wonderful words. You’ll read and write and say words, create sentences from words and discover how sentences make a story! Speech, labeling, writing, reading, generalization and association to objects.

Special Kids is the only video modeling therapy programs in the world specifically created and produced for children and teens with all types of developmental, cognitive and learning disabilities

Special Kids is available at all Astrovision/Astroplus branches. Please call branches for availability. As this is a sale item, stocks may be limited.

Astroplus SM North EDSA  9201531

Astroplus SM Makati 8182382

Astroplus SM Mall of Asia 5560080

Astroplus SM Megamall 6331707

Astrovision Ermita 5363228

Astrovision Festival Mall 8503978

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Summer Sports Activities for Kids in Metro Manila 2013

Summer’s here finally here.  It’s the only time of the year where we can spend our precious few months developing our children’s love for sports and healthy exercise.  Children who join team sports not only benefit physically through exercise, but they  also improve their psychological and social well being.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that behavior learned in childhood influences adult behavior .  Children’s involvement in sports helps them develop healthy habits and behaviors.  These are just some of the benefits you can look forward to when you get your child into sports.

We’ve compiled a list of sports for parents to check out :

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Archery

Benel Archery Club  17 Calbayog St. 1550 Mandaluyong Philippines  Contact. 5314681.  More for age 8 and up.

Basketball/Volleyball

Milo BEST Clinics offers basketball and volleyball training.  They also have a lot more choices of schools to choose from .  Locations are generally more accessible.

Manila Downtown YMCA also offers basketball training for the summer please see schedule below

Bowling

SM Bowling offers basic training workshops in four locations North Edsa, Fairview, Valenzuela and Cebu. Cherrie Del Rosario/Francis Honorica  5661533 to 34 .

Chess

Metropolitan Chess Club offers a lot of locations to choose from Paranaque, Las Pinas, Bacoor, Manila, Quezon City, Antipolo, Marikina, Rizal, Pasig, Taguig, Pasay, Kapitolyo.  Paranaque, Muntinlupa . Please visit the link http://ww1.nestle.com.ph/milo/ssc/sponsored-best-basketball.html for schedules and contact person.

Football

Ateneo Football program offered in Ateneo High School Football Field .Please call Ms. Marlyn Franco at 4266001 loc 4192 or Mr. Joseph del Valle at 4266001 loc 6220.  12 sessions. Classes start April 2013.

Gymnastics

Club Gymnastica offers gymnastic training this summer with 3 locations to choose from.

St. Paul Pasig, Club Gymnastica Pasig and Novaliches.   Susan Talingting 6352553/6420660/ (0917)9553078.

Ice Skating

SM Ice Skating is only offered in 2 locations : Mall of Asia and Southmall. You can also contact  Frances Mariano or Francis Bohol for more details 8000426 or francis.bohol@smsupermalls.com

Karatedo

AAK Karatedo is also offered in a variety of locations. Please refer to the link below for the various schedules and locations. Please visit the link http://ww1.nestle.com.ph/milo/ssc/sponsored-best-basketball.html for schedules and contact person.

Swimming

Bert Lozada  www.bertlozadaswimschool.com average rates are  around 4000 php  for 10 sessions depending on location.  There is a yearly 350 php annual membership fee as well. Bert Lozada has a well established reach across the country.

Swimtech is Milo’s answer to Bert Lozada’s Swimming School. They have a wide range of classes all over the country. Please visit http://ww1.nestle.com.ph/milo/ssc/sponsored-best-basketball.html for schedules and contact person.

Swimplus is an NGO. 4328287/ 0916 5425149 Ed or Mat Loteria. They are most for Valenzuela or Bulacan residents.  Please see link to their Facebook site or search Ensogo for deals. https://www.facebook.com/notes/swimplus-phil-amateur-club/swimming-lesson-2013-all-you-need-to-know-venues-site-maps-fees-sched-etc/191711537533990

Manila Downtown YMCA also offers swimming training for the summer please see schedule below

Table Tennis

Table Tennis Sport Clinic at Harrison Plaza Table Tennis Club at Shooters Billards and Table Tennis 2nd Floor Harrison Plaza Shopping Mall, A. Mabini St. Malate Manila. Please contact Floro L. Tagum 09193332855 for more details

Manila Downtown YMCA also offers swimming training for the summer please see schedule below

Taekwondo

Milo’s Taekwondo programs  are also available in several locations across the country.

Please visit the link to get hold of their schedules  of the various sports and programs http://ww1.nestle.com.ph/milo/ssc/sponsored-best-basketball.html

Manila Downtown YMCA also offers taekwondo training for the summer please see schedule below

Milo Summer Sports Clinics

Milo  has a lot of other summer programs nationwide. They offer badminton, chess, tennis, taekwondo, volleyball and futsal.  For NCR, locations are Rizal, Caloocan, Malate, Valenzuela, Novaliches, Manila, and Marikina.   You can visit: Ww1.nestle.com.ph or call GREATFIL TEAM INC. (PAT GOC-ONG) at 09175899880 or 3536288 or 9666333.  Or visit the link http://ww1.nestle.com.ph/milo/ssc/sponsored-best-basketball.html for schedules and contact person.

Manila Downtown YMCA also offers a variety of sports this summer from April 1 to May.

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Anger, Teasing and Bullies a Post AIT Experience of an 8 year old boy with Speech Delay and Sensory Integration Issues

Children with developmental delays often experience awkwardness in social and emotional aspects. It is often difficult for them to manage their feelings. It is also compounded by their inability to express how they really feel.

This inability to fully express their emotions often leads to feelings of anger and frustration.  These unresolved feelings of anger and frustration often lead to meltdowns.

One way to help these children manage their anger and emotions is to do role playing at home. Practice different scenarios with your child to see how he would react in certain situations. This advanced preparation helps a child know what to expect during a visit or a confrontation.

Mommy C. does her best to prepare her child for first time visits to doctors/dentists. She even takes the time to role play potential confrontational scenarios with her son. The role playing adds a sense of “routine” to the procedure as the child knows what to expect and what is going to happen.

To prepare Nicky for confrontational scenarios, Mommy C. would tease Nicky by calling him funny names to see how he would react. A typical teasing conversation would start like this:

Mom: “Nicky Mickey Mouse!”

Nicky starts crying: “No, I’m not Mickey Mouse. I’m Nicky A.”

3 months after AIT, Mom reported changes in the way Nicky reacts to typical teasing:

Mom: “Nicky Mickey Mouse!”

Nicky (without crying) : No. I’m Nicky A.

Nicky finds Mom’s teasing irritating sometimes. It is important to note that he no longer cries when teased and that he is better at controlling his emotions. He is also able to divert himself into doing other activities like drawing, etc.  He is also now able to tell when a person is joking or trying to insult him.

In school, Nicky has a classmate named Howard.  Howard often sings “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” even if he knows that Nicky finds the song irritating.

This time Nicky decided to hug Howard to stop him from singing. His attempts fail as Howard just ignores him and continues singing the song.

Nicky said: “Stop!”  Howard heard the command and immediately stopped singing.

Mom was so happy to share that Nicky was able to handle this sticky situation. Three months ago, Nicky would’ve had a meltdown in front of Howard.

During another incident in school, there was a bully called Kit.  He was a big boy who would turn his classmates into door smashers.  Nicky was one of those kids he bullied.

While Kit was at busy turning the smaller kids into door smashers, Nicky could only watch.  He afraid to do anything because Kit was much bigger than he was.

Nicky was so frustrated that he blurted out,  “Let me smash Kit’s face.  I want to be a giant robot so I can smash Kit’s face!“

Now Kit had one weakness. Kit hated listening to anyone singing the ABC song. Nicky was able to remember how much Kit hated the ABC song.  He irritated Kit on purpose by singing the ABC song to him.

Kit was so irritated with the song that he stopped door smashing the little kids and concentrated on blocking out the racket Nicky was making with his ABC song.

Mom was very happy to know that despite the fact that Nicky wanted to physically hurt Kit. Nicky was able to control his emotions.  He was also able to find  an ingenius and peaceful solution to the problem.

Not everything has been a bed of roses though, Nicky also encountered his share of setbacks in school. He recently told the teacher to “Go to Hell”.

It wasn’t exactly a good choice of words for an 8 year old boy to say.   Nicky caused quite a commotion in school, since the teacher was really hurt by what he said. Mommy C. had a lot of explaining and apologizing to do.  Even Mommy C. couldn’t understand where he picked up those words, since she makes it a policy never to use swear words in the family.

Life is never easy for a child with autism. Social interaction and managing emotions are giant hurdles for these children. Mothers like Mommy C. celebrate each new milestone that children like Nicky reach.

We can’t help but be truly happy for our children- the first time they behave at the barber’s and manage to control their fear of the shaver. We also can’t help but be happy-  the first time they confront bullies in school and come out unscathed like David confronting Goliath. Each milestone, each hurdle these children overcome, are little baby steps  in their journey towards recovery.

Nicky‘s journey teaches us that we have so much more to learn our children’s struggles  with autism. They have so much to teach us. We learn by seeing the world through their eyes and taking the time to appreciate things we normally take for granted.

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Why You Should Help Your Child Overcome Handwriting Difficulties

Kids  often have difficulties in handwriting.  It is a complex skill for them to learn. More often than not, many kids get frustrated trying to master the skill of handwriting. These are areas of concern when it comes to your child’s writing.

Is your child handling the pencil correctly?

Is the handwriting legible?

Is it neat? Does the child show poor fine motor control?

Does the child experience discomfort when writing?

Is he/she applying enough pressure on the pencil?

Does he/she write too slow or fast?

Does your child have a good attitude towards writing?

It always pays to consult with an occupational therapist (OT) when you find that you need to be concerned about your child’s handwriting.  An occupational therapist can help  with exercises, tips and strategies for a child with poor handwriting skills.  They can also correct your child’s pencil gripping skills at an early age.

Why is it important to invest in your child’s handwriting skills? Over the years, handwriting difficulties can impact on a child’s education and self-esteem.  As children progress through school, they are expected to express what they know through writing.  If a child fails to learn these basic skills, he will be unable to cope with the speed and fluency that teachers expect children at their age level to be writing in.

If your child’s writing problem is not addressed, it can even interfere with the actual process of learning.  Once learning is affected, it is difficult for the child to stay motivated and interested in the classroom.

It is not surprising to find one of the leading traditional schools in Manila focusing so much time and effort on strengthening their student’s handwriting skills in the preschool years alone.  This is to prepare the students for the school’s rigorous academic curriculum.

We’ve compiled a list of  teaching aids that you can try  to help your child look forward to handwriting practice.  Here are some popular teaching tools to help your child’s handwriting skills improve:

Pencil Grips

Pencil Grips  are a revolutionary applied technology that works with the body’s natural physiology to gently place fingers in the proper position for gripping. Allowing over a 90% surface contact with its soft comfortable gripping surface, The Pencil Grip sets the industry standard in ergonomic pencil grips. It works for both right and left handed users by gently placing the hand of its users in the proper writing position for gripping. The natural feel and soft comfortable material make it easy and fun to write.

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Pencil Grips are doctor and occupational therapist recommended.  They assist with hand health issues and are latex and phalate free.

Twist Up crayons

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No more tears over broken crayons. These  mini twist up crayons come in smooth plastic barrels that make them feel like markers.

Kneadable Scented Erasers

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Fun and functional erasers for every kid who needs something to “fidget” with in the classroom. Stretch, squeeze and squish for fun.

Grippable KUM Bear Sharpeners

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Easy grip imported sharpeners from Germany with built in no mess compartment.  The bear also doubles as an eraser.

Papermate Eraser Toppers

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Useful for pencils whose erasers have outlived their lives. A snug fit on any regular pencil.  Erasers are of good quality.

Smencils

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Smencils are a fun additional to a child’s sensory diet.  High quality round #2 pencils with erasers. Each pencil has a different flavour. Choose between cotton candy, bubble gum, cherry, chocolate, grape, root beer, orange, tropical blast, very berry, watermelon.  Each pencil comes in a freshness tube to maintain scents for 2 years.  Smencils are environmental friendly and made from newspapers.

Tri-write crayons

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The perfect crayon for young children just learning how to color. It strengthens fine and gross motor skills and encourages proper writing grasp.

Mr. Sketch Scented Markers

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A wonderful sensory experience for children who want to explore colors and scents.  Mr. Sketch markers

Therapy Supplies can be found at the following :

Crayola Twist Up Crayons – available at regular bookstores

Website for special needs supplies:  http://multiply.com/autism

Let’s Talk and Learn Therapy center at 705 Heinz Road, Le Mariche Residences, E. Rodriguez, Quezon City, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 4126937 4126936

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AIT Experience of an 8 year old with Speech Delay and Sensory Integration 3 months post AIT

We’ve been fortunate enough to have Mommy C. who has been such an angel at collating Nicky’s changes and experiences since he had his first AIT three months ago. 

Most children usually have their changes in AIT after (3) three to (6) months.  In some children, AIT changes are very dramatic.  In children whose cases are similar to that of Nicky , the changes are subtle and require time.   It usually takes an observant mother to fully appreciate these changes.

Part of Nicky’s school burned down recently, so Nicky was out of school for a month   When they came back from the break, teachers in school noted that Nicky was faster at absorbing lessons. He was even among the top performing kids in the class.  Teachers also noted that Nicky is better at processing answers and thinking of solutions. 

On Losing a Tooth: 

He has also become more aware since AIT.  He actually told Yaya to check his teeth. This is something he’s never done before as he’s usually not that self-aware.  He also lost a tooth and was able to tell his mom.

Nicky: I lost a tooth

Mommy: Did you swallow the tooth or did you throw it away?

Nicky: I swallowed it (looking serious)

Mommy: Let’s open your tummy.

Nicky: No! No ! I throw it away.

Mom was quite amazed that Nicky was able to joke about his lost tooth.

On a visit to the Center: 

Mommy C. and Nicky went to visit Teacher Steph at the center .

Teacher Steph greeted Mom: “How are you ?”

Before Mom could even reply: Nicky spoke up . “ I ‘m fine. Thank you.”

Teacher Steph was surprised by Nicky’s ready response and eye contact.  The first time she had met Nicky, he had such fleeting eye contact.  He also had to be prompted to reply to questions. His use of language was much more limited.

On Reading and Language:

According to Mommy C., Nicky readily responds when asked. He enjoys Geronimo Stilton books and reads short stories.  He is now able to talk  more in “phrases”.  His command of the English language has improved.

On Sound Sensitivity:

Mom noticed that Nicky covers his ears less now. He can now tolerate hearing the birthday song and other forms of music.

On Expressing Hunger:

Mom shared that  Nicky was actually able to say “ I’m hungry. My tummy is grumbling.”  It is a breakthrough that Mommy C. is thankful for, whereas, months before he could only say communicate that he’s hungry only when he was asked.

On Computer Games:

Nicky is also better at playing games like “ Jet pack Joyride”  He averages 1000 pts now whereas before he could not get past 500.

On Self help:  He does a lot of things on his own now- like dressing up, wearing shoes and socks, and wiping his butt.

On Poo:

Nicky “Baho ! (stinky). My poo poo fall down on the floor!”

Yaya asked him: “ Who messed up the floor?”

Nicky: Me!

He was not bothered by the poo.

On Going Out:

Nicky : (headed out of the house)

Mom: Where are you going?

Nicky: I want to go out.  I want to go to Robinson’s Magnolia.

Mom: How can you go out? You are not dressed.

Nicky: (Nicky looks at this shirt  and looking sheepish) “ Oh!”

Nicky decides to go back into the house and change.

On Giving Commands:

N: Mommy push me.

Mom: Why should I push you

N: Push me up to there  (because he wanted Mommy to carry him up)

Since Nicky’s command of language improved, he is now able to communicate more of his wants and needs in an appropriate manner.

On Brushing Teeth:

Nicky now goes up by himself to brush teeth on his own. This is the first time he has done this. He often had to be either prompted or reminded to do the task.

On Fixations:

He has lost his fixation with Angry birds (at last).   He is now more curious about things.  His developed awareness is better.

On Getting a Haircut:

It used to be so difficult for Mom to get Nicky to have a haircut because he would squirm and move around as he couldn’t stand the tickling sensation of the shaver.

Mom; It’s a little tickle. Ignore it.

Nicky (referring to the shaver) : It tickles.

Nicky did his best to ignore the tickling sensation and tries his best to behave.

Mom was able to leave Nicky for a while to get some change.  When she got back, Nicky was still having his haircut.

While waiting for the barber to finish his haircut, Nicky got bored and asked about the TV.

Nicky (on seeing the closed TV): Open the TV

Barber: The TV is not working

Nicky: What will I do?!

Mommy C. is very happy with the developments. A few months ago, she could not even leave Nicky alone at the barber shop.  He always had to be prompted and even held sometimes.  Now, he only needs a few prompts.

soundtherapy.ph

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Tips on Choosing a Developmental Pediatrician in Manila

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I know this is a matter of contention and confusion among parents with special needs children.  The first professional your that your child is most likely to visit is a developmental pediatrician.  Many parents often do not know what to expect.

A developmental pediatrician goes through 4 years of training in medical school, three years of residency training in pediatrics, and a subspecialty training in developmental behavioural paediatrics.  They are trained to diagnose  a wide range of developmental delays. You can often find them in hospitals.

Developmental paediatricians are usually found in hospitals. They have a long waitlist. They charge around Php 2000 to  Php 4000  on average. The hours depend on the assessment.  Not all doctors charge the same amount. It is better to ask how much the doctor charges before you do go and set that appointment.  I find it best to call several hospitals and ask for phone numbers to get an idea of what rate you can expect.

Mainstream developmental paediatricians often recommend Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy (depending on the child’s diagnosis).  They can also suggest the specialty schools or therapy centers  that may benefit your child.  With certain cases, they may recommend medication.

Some doctors may ask you to visit once or twice a year for updates and assessments.

We were able to get a list of helpful tips from parents who have gone to Developmental Pediatricians.

  1. 1.       Get a referral.  

Sometimes it’s easier to get referrals from parents/schools/teachers  who have are familiar with Developmental Pediatricians . It gives you can idea of what to expect during the meeting.  If you don’t know anyone, try searching parent forums and check out comments of parents on doctors.

  1. 2.       Call up reputable hospitals to get a listing of their doctors

 

  1. 3.       Pre-screen

a). Ask about the doctor’s availability.

Are you going to be waitlisted? How long is the waitlist? Ask yourself if you are willing to wait that long.  There are more developmental pediatricians now than before.  If you really suspect a problem with your child, try getting the 1st available slot. Follow up if you have to. Remember,  early  intervention is still the best.

b). Ask about the doctor’s rates

This is tricky. Some doctors charge per hour. Some doctors don’t.  I know one clueless parent who got carried by away talking about her child.  Her eyes literally bugged when she saw how big her bill was.  It pays to know if you’ll be billed by the hour or if you’ll be billed a fixed rate.  It also helps to ask about rates, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

c). Ask whether the doctor issues reports

This is another point of contention.  Some doctors do and some doctors don’t.  Better be upfront.  Make it clear to the doctor’s secretary that you need a formal report/diagnosis before you make an appointment whether it  is  for the school or the therapy center.

The reports are  often  handwritten one pagers.  Some doctors’ may provide a 1 to 2 page typewritten  assessment. Please remember to ask the doctor’s secretary as to what kind of reports you can expect to receive and how much time it takes on average for them to release a report-  before confirming your appointment.

Don’t forget to ask how much the doctor charges for the additional report.  Note, this used to be free of charge, but a number of doctors now charge for their typewritten reports.

  1. 4.       Choose your Doctor

Referrals are important. It pays to do research. It pays a lot to know about your doctor’s attitude towards clients. Is he the nurturing and empathic type? Or does she come across as traditional and blunt to a point?

How the doctor communicates the problem to the parent is very important.  Good feedback from other parents is critical.  It saves you both time and money.

If you don’t have a referral from a trusted person, do your research. Check reviews on doctors. Call up doctor’s secretaries to get the availability, rates and find out about the doctor’s willingness to issue reports.

  1. 5.       Don’t be late for your appointment. 

You’ve waited long enough. The last thing you want is to get bumped off your slot because you didn’t make enough allowance to arrive on time.

  1. 6.       Keep notes and file reports

Make sure to list down what your doctor advices you to do for your child.  It will form an essential part of your child’s records in the future.

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AIT Experience of an 8 year old boy with Speech Delay and Sensory Integration Issues

Nicky’s AIT session

Interventions: Gluten free cassein free diet, ABA, Medium Oxalate Diet, OT, Biomed, HBOT (105 Dives last dive being December 2009), Speech Therapy and mainstream SPED class.

Nicky  came here because of issues with poor eye contact, delayed auditory processing skills, delayed expressive and  receptive language, and delayed verbal reasoning skills.  He also has short attention span and hyperactivity. He also has some sensitivity to sounds and hates the song ” Happy Birthday” being sung.

On our first meeting, Nicky had very little eye contact and would be selective as to who he would have eye contact with. He also did not like trying AIT and was very irritated and upset at the headphones and the sound of the music.

Nicky ‘s mom hopes that with AIT, Nicky’s attention and focus will improve. He will have less issues with sound sensitivity and he will be able to communicate better with his peers.

AIT Sessions:

Initially, Nicky disliked his AIT sessions a lot. He was often irritated during the sessions. He would remove teacher’s hands or even the headphones without warning.

On the 2nd day, Mom noticed that Nicky’s voice became stronger and less high pitched.  He could also finish reading a storybook whereas before he couldn’t even finish a book.

On the 3rd day, Nicky is excited with his sessions and tries on the headphones by himself.  He even wonders aloud what the music will be.  He is restless and constantly has to be reminded not to keep moving or removing his headphones.

On the 4th day, Mom and Nicky got home late after AIT. Nicky decided to work on a  Google Sketch 3D rendering of a Potato Corner booth. He worked for 20 minutes before Mom ordered him to turn off the computer and rest. Mom was surprised that Nicky obeyed.  Usually Nicky is very attached to his 3D and would continue working and ignoring Mom-  until he was able to achieve his desired look.

On the 5th day, Nicky starts behaving better. He’s quick to remind teacher that the music has stopped.  For the first time, Nicky actually fell asleep during an AIT session.

Nicky attended Sunday school during his weekend break.  Mom noticed that Nicky seemed to be relaxed and more comfortable mingling with the other children. Normally, he would just find something else to do and just stay in a corner by himself.

Nicky was  able to concentrate on the teacher’s instructions and join the group activities. He did art during one activity and was so proud of his work that he wanted a picture taken. This is the first time he’s done this.  Unfortunately, Yaya didn’t have a camera that time and he cried.

Mom noticed Nicky crying and went up to him that was when she found out the problem.  After Mom took the picture of his work. Nicky started calling all the kids in the room to take a picture with him.

He said  ” picture with me. picture with me.  kids with balloons.”   The kids weren’t paying attention to him. So he asked his Mom for help by saying “Mommy, get kids with balloons to picture with me.”  Mom then asked the other kids to join in the picture with Nicky in the center of it all.

Nicky was given a balloon which he brought with him to the car. Upon seeing the balloon, his brother Benny started to cry.  Nicky pitied Benny and ended up giving his balloon to him.

The trouble only started when they got home.  Nicky wanted the balloon to pop. He tried throwing a thumb tack at it because he wanted it to pop. The boys started arguing because  Benny wanted to just see the balloon safely floating in the air.

Mom had to intervene in the end.  She solved the problem by hiding the balloon from Nicky.  Benny could only play with the balloon if Nicky wasn’t around.

6th day onwards till the 10th day

Nicky was more behaved and would ask permission to remove the headphones.  He would often greet teacher now.  We also noticed improved eye contact at the end of the sessions.

Mom related one more incident before the last day of AIT:

Mom: Nicky you have to sleep it’s very late.

Nicky: Okay Mom.  Ten more minutes.

Mom noticed later that Nicky did as he promised and closed the computer.  Before, it was difficult for him to immediately comply.  Mom noted that the lights were open.

Mom : : Nicky, you forgot to close the lights.

Nicky closed the lights and  said : ” I want to sleep with my Mommy.”

Nicky’s mom was very thankful about her son’s AIT experience.   We are happy to have been a part of his success story.  Nicky would not have made it this far without his parents’ unconditional love, perseverance and  prayers. Their family is a source of inspiration for us.

Thank you for allowing us to share Nicky’s story. 

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Autism and Advice from the Well Meaning But Not So Knowledgeable Friend

I’m sure most of you have met that “particular” well meaning friend  or  “aunt” whose closest experience to dealing with autism is watching a cousin or a relative grow-up and sharing those experiences.

Nothing wrong with sharing, but I do beg to disagree when that well-meaning friend tries to convince me that  I didn’t really have to work so hard for my speech delayed son to start talking.

She proceeds to tell me about a relative (grown up now) who outgrew autism to finish college at a good private university. She told me that the mother didn’t really do much, but the girl now grown, had no friends and just stayed at home after university.

Since that must have been years ago,  I realized that the mother probably did not do much because there weren’t that many forms of intervention available during those days apart from the typical OT or Speech therapy the typical doctor would normally prescribe.

Not everyone though is as lucky as that mom in the story.  Not everyone just “outgrows” autism.

It got me thinking about all the things a lot of the wonderful hands-on  parents  I have been blessed enough to meet.  Here are a few things that these parents’ have done over the years since we’ve all been together:

  1. Research
  2. Join a support group with a more open view of autism
  3. Study about allergies and diets and the connection to gut
  4. Visit alternative doctors
  5. Try various forms of therapy
  6. Integrate a home program for our kids.
  7. Change the diet. Gluten free. Cassein free.  Get rid of processed foods.
  8. Visit a special education doctor and get a long list of things to do.
  9. Detoxify
  10. Make our homes as chemical free as possible
  11. Meet and interview  parents whose children had recovered.
  12. Address sensory issues i.e. auditory AIT
  13. Experiment with visual teaching methods that are suitable for the child
  14. Compare notes on schools and therapists with other mom friends
  15. Ask to observe your child’s therapy sessions.

It  also got me thinking.  No matter how bad it gets, we parents today are luckier than the parents who had to go through this same issue 10 to 30 years ago.

There are more opportunities for the children  and more alternatives for parents out there. Parents also have more access to information than before.  People are also more aware of autism.

Always remember to do your research.   Don’t let anyone stop you from doing something that you believe will benefit your child in the long run.

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