Friday, March 23, 2018

Swimming as therapy


Like most children with autism, Arif has always been drawn to water. It could be cups or bottles, a tap or water dispenser, a bucket or a pool. If there's water, he'll play with it or in it.

Of course, this can be a source of anxiety for me. Unaware of danger, and not yet able to understand what we're saying, Arif can spill water near electrical devices, appliances or sockets (lost my last mobile phone this way), or play with taps and water dispensers in public places like restaurants and clinics, much to other patrons' chagrin.

We also need to make sure that any buckets of water in our bathrooms have to be secure and when we're at the pool, we're extra vigilant.


But this year, we're embracing Arif's love for water. Earlier this year, Arif joined a community-based rehabilitation programme and one of their activities is swimming, which is held at the Kelana Jaya Municipal Pool. I love taking Arif to swim here, because he loves it and I can clearly see that he's becoming more confident in the water.


Going into the pool not only provides him with sensory play, but water also soothes, comforts and  provides gentle exercise. Most importantly, it boosts his happiness :)

When my eldest, Amir, is on school holiday, Arif gets to play with his big brother at the pool. Amir does an awesome job at pretending to be a dolphin, so that Arif can ride on his back around the pool. After swimming, Arif usually enjoys a bottle of his chocolate camel milk and a light snack.


After a few hours of swimming, my boys are ready to head home. I call for an Uber and then we wait patiently for our driver to arrive! Here's to more pool fun, especially with big bro!


You can learn more about the benefits of swimming for children with autism here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Kids and cornflake cookies


Last week, at KAMI Playgroup, we did something special - the kids made honey cornflake cookies! It was the first time that we tried a cooking activity and it was a lot of fun. The kids really liked it, so I'm planning more "cooking" lessons in the future. Our playgroup began, as usual, with circle time, where we recited Alfatihah and did some brain button exercises. Arif usually doesn't want to participate in circle time, but this week, he sat with me for a little while.


After a few action songs, we pulled out the equipment and created an obstacle course for the kids using preschool equipment. The kids navigated the course while holding balancing sticks.


Then, it was time to make our honey cornflake cookies. First, the children mixed cornflakes with melted butter, brown sugar and honey. Then, they spooned the mixture into paper cups. Lastly, they decorated their cookies with sprinkles. Finally, we sent the cookies off to the cafe to bake them and make them crispy!



While the cookies were baking, we did an arts and crafts activity. This week, the children made a traffic light collage using glue and coloured paper. This simple activity isn't just good for fine motor skills and sensory input from the sticky glue. But it's also great for visual motor skills.


Last, but not least, we cleaned up our tables and sang a goodbye song. Then, everyone got to take home their honey cornflake cookies to snack on later!


Check out this video I compiled of the day's fun times :) See you next time at KAMI!


Welcome 2019: Time to Grow

Happy New Year everyone! I'm so so excited for 2019 and everything that it'll bring. I'm starting the year with gratefulness for...