Teaching my toddler. What apps are we using?

I wish the iPad was around when Wes was a baby. It is a educational teacher, with millions of amazing educational apps, that can keep a child’s attention. What more can you ask for.

SAM_0965It is the perfect tool for Little Z. I have been using the iPad and the iPhone with him since he was a toddler.

We started with apps like Little Reader Touch, that allowed us to play Little Reader lessons from out apple devices. I found it a lot easier to sit cuddled up with him and the iPad instead of sitting at the computer doing the same lessons. We also did the app Baby Doesn’t Count. This app is based on Glenn DOman’s method of teaching babies math by using baby’s ability to perceive quantity intuitively

After a while we introduced Little Z to the wonderful world of Preschool Prep apps. With these apps he had an educational explosion and learned so many things, and in such a short amount of time.

So what are we doing now on the ipad?

2014-11-05 13.26.09

Brain Pop Jr: This is a paid for subscription. However if you are a member of Testingmom.com, you receive assess to this program for free. You select which topic you want to learn about that day and there are tons of videos where Annie and Moby teach your child about that topic in a short 4-6 min clip.

Reading Eggs: We were doing Reading Eggs, however my subscription ended. As much as I love the program and I know it did wonders for Wes. I think its a little too repetitive for my busy 2.5 year old Little Z.

2014-11-04 13.27.132014-11-04 13.27.422014-11-04 13.28.00

Teach Me Kindergarten: Now this is a favorite of Little Z’s.

This program teaches printing, Sight reading, Spelling, addition and subtraction.

While you’re working through the program, the little teacher mouse gives you green checks for items you got right and yellow checks for things that may have taken a few tries. In the parent settings you select how many green checks your child needs to earn a coin. We do the max with Z and have him set to 10 coins. AFter you collect coins you can select things to buy in the virtual stores.

Honestly Z doesn’t understand the coin system. He plays because he loves it. We use the coins to indicate when we have done 10 questions.

I believe this program has helped Z get a real good grip on his math skills and spelling skills.

2014-11-04 13.25.15

Splash Math(Grade 1): I bought this app a while ago when it was on sale. But Little Z was not ready for it at that time. Well a month or so ago I was trying to do MathSeeds with him, but it was too slow and too easy. So I heard people on my Early Learning Facebook group talking about Splash Math again, and I decided to try it again with Z.

Well turns out he was ready. At first he would only sit for a couple of problems. Now he can sit for a good 5-10mins doing the program.

I should also mention, we use this as an INPUT program, as I do with many of the apps I use. I sit him on my lap and guide his hand around and talk to him about how we work out the problems. After a while I feel his hand start going to the answers before I guide it there. I follow his lead, if he goes for the correct answer I allow him to. If he doesn’t move, I guide him to the right answer and talk about why its the right answer and how I got to that conclusion. If he could to the wrong answer, I redirect him and explain why.

Overall a great program that records your child’s progress.

2014-11-04 13.26.27Memory 4 U: This is an app that was used with the NACD up until this week. I believe they made a better app, but seeing as I paid for this one already, and its serving our purpose, I’m going to continue to use it.

Basically it is designed to help your child work on their memory skills. You can set the levels and buy extra packages to change the icons. For us we use the preset icons. I have never felt the need to spend the extra money.

2014-11-04 13.25.50Classical Conversations Cycle 1: This is an input only app for us. We go through the material for each subject once a day for a week, and then we move onto the next subject.

This app was on the pricey side at $14.99. But for the amount of information in it, I believe it is worth it to us. farfaria1

FarFaria: This is a subscription based online library for kids. We use it to read books. Want to learn more about this product and maybe win a subscription for yourself? Go here to sign up, the winner will be drawn on Friday.

 

What apps do you use with your children??

Toddler Tula Vs Ergo Carrier. My Experience with My Favorite Baby Carriers.

Testing out our new Toddler Tula

I love babywearing! Well I guess you can’t say I babywear any more, so I also LOVE toddler wearing. 

I reopened my home daycare when Little Z was 4 weeks old. I can’t imagine being able to care for a newborn, on top of a few toddlers without babywearing. 


I started babywearing back when Wes was a 4 month old. I had gotten myself a stretchy wrap called the “Peapod Creations CuddlyWrap” I have been told it is almost identical to the more popular Moby Wrap Baby Carrier. While this is an awesome wrap for small babies, Wes was not a small baby by any means of the words. Then winter came, and I never baby wore him again. 

Cuddlywrap while Hiking

This time around with Z, I wanted to make babywearing work. For the first 4 months of his life he lived in the Cuddly Wrap. He was born weighing in at only 5lbs 15oz, so it worked great for us. 

Chilling in the Cuddlywrap



Then I experimented with a few other structured carriers, until I was introduced to the Ergobaby Carrier. Honestly I thought I was in heaven! 

Napping in the Ergobaby

The reasons I loved the Ergobaby so much were:

  • Unlike the CuddlyWrap, it did not alway need to be tightened.
  • Easy to take off and on, which made it ideal for quick trips to the store. 
  • For the first 2 years of Little Z’s life it was super comfy!


Shopping in the Ergobaby
Then earlier this year, I started to notice a lot of people talking about this Tula Carriers. I didn’t get it. They looked so similar to the Ergo. Ok well except the prints were a lot cuter. But I didn’t get WHY people were so crazy about them. The Ergobaby was comfortable too and cheaper.

Then a month or so ago I noticed, I was not as comfortable wearing Little Z as I use to be. He hit that 25lbs mark and if I wore him longer than 10-15mins, my shoulders would start to hurt. 

I kept hearing about Toddler Tulas on our local Babywearing Facebook group. So while waiting for our Cranio Sacral appointment, which happens to be attached to our local cloth diaper/ baby carrier store, I tried on the sample and it was like HEAVEN! The only thing is he seemed to swim in it. Since the store was actually closed there was no one to ask. 

So I started to debate, maybe I should get a standard Tula. Well he is almost 2.5 years old, maybe I should stick to the toddler. I was just going to order the standard and someone suggested going back and trying on both when the store was open. 

So I went and tried the Standard Tula. It felt great to me too! But then the shop lady pointed out to me that Little Z’s legs were not sitting as M shaped as they should be. So I tried on the Toddler Tula and he looked so much more comfortable. Because of the wider base his legs were tucked in nicely in the M shape. 

Now that Little Z is sitting more ergonomically, baby wearing is more comfortable for him. But also, because he is in the proper position, he is more balanced, making him easier for me to wear. 

This last week I wore Z to go vote for our local Mayor elections, then woke him for a bit at a playdate(ok this one was to show my friend how awesome my Tula was LOL), and then I wore him at the YMCA after he ran on the track. 

It is like night and day! I’m sold on the Toddler Tula now. Even though the Ergo and the Toddler Tula are designed for up to 45lbs, and Little Z only weighs 25 lbs, I can’t imagine using the Ergo for much longer. 

Can TV Teach Your Young Child? Powerful tool, or Gateway Drug to TV addiction?

I know there has been a lot of debate over the years about screen time for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Each camp has their points and beliefs. As a parent you have to make that decision for you and your child. 


My personal point of view is screen time can have its benefits. As long as you are very selective on what you let your kids watch. It is also better if you watch these DVDs together with your child, but even if they spend 30mins on their own while you get dinner on the table, I believe these videos will help educate your child while entertaining them. 

Just remember, DVDs don’t replace one on one time teaching your child. Its a tool, not a complete method.

My Top DVD Picks for Young Kids:

1)LeapFrog: LearningSet, Volume Two (Three-Disc DVD + CD)and basically any video created by LeapFrog are time tested and true series in my family. We prefer the original ones before Tad and Lily were twins. But over all these DVD’s helped solidify some concepts I had been working on with my boys, like letter sounds, word building, numbers, skip counting, etc. 


 2) Sparkabilities : Sparkabilities is a developmental media series for birth through preschool. You and your child can enjoy smart-fun designed to develop essential learning skills with Sparkabilities 4 engaging and educational DVDs. Introduce your baby, toddler or preschooler to early concepts in math, reading, art, music, emotion, language and motor skills.

Z loved this series from the time he was just a tiny baby. When he was just a month or so old we realized that he had a condition called right torticollis. It is when the muscles on the right side of his neck are tight, causing him to lean to the right. Because of this we had to do tons of tummy time and exercises. 

Problem was tummy time was a nightmare since his head grew from the 10th to the 97th percentile within months, but his body was behind in the 3rd. Sparkabilities offered him a educational distraction, and encouraged him to lift his head. 

 3) MonkiSee and Memoflix DVDs
 MonkiSee is a fun and entertaining collection of baby DVD’s that expose babies to upbeat music, original poetry, lovable puppets and real world images.  The MonkiSee collection teaches your baby to identify their body parts, colors, shapes and more, all while learning to read.  The Monki See series is rich in language and has been proven to increase your baby’s vocabulary


My kids love these two series. The songs are catchy in the MonkiSee videos and most of the children in them are Krista(the creators) children. Its a family affair, and its fun to watch the kids grow as we watch each new DVD.

Memoflix are awesome flashcard presentations. I feel no guilt when I put these on for Little Z. He loves to watch them and they are basically a Doman Style flashcard presentation. Except that I can play them on my 55′ TV and don’t have to stumble around with huge clumsy flashcard. Nor to I have to spend time finding pictures. Its a bunch of great lessons put together for me.




4) Your Baby Can Learn(Formerly known as Your Baby Can Read):

This is a series that was created by Dr Titzer, who used this same method with both his daughters with great success. But in recent years, the FTC has been after them stating they are making false claims. This breaks my heart because I know through personal experience and from many other parents that I personally know who have used it, it works!

There are others awesome series from the company.

  • Your Child Can Read
  • Your Baby Can Discover
  • Your Child Can Discover
If you can get your hands on any of these, they are awesome learning tools. 


5) Suzie’s Piano Primer – Piano Lessons for Kids!

This is a popular DVD in my house. I believe it is one of two reason Wes skipped a level in piano(the other reason was BrillKids Little Musician). 

I would play it for him everyday before school. When he sat down for his first piano lesson within 5 mins she said “This book is way to easy for you!”. She bumped him to the next level because he knew the basics. He went on to complete that book and skipped one more level before we found which book was the correct level for him.

To this day his piano teacher is always complimenting him on his awesome Musical Sight Reading. I always say, “Its thanks to Suzie’s Piano Primer!”

 6) Signing Time Full Collection 1-13

My kids alway liked this series. I found it was able to teach them so much in the 30 mins. Rachel the host teaches your child the names of animals, actions, parts of the house, feelings, etc in a multisensory approach. 

First the word comes on the screen. For many kids, especially children whose parents are teaching them how to read, will learn to read the words in the show because they are shown in large, clear print. Then Rachel or the children Alex and Leah will teach your child how to sign the word. Afterwards videos of other children signing the word and pictures of the word will play in a little clip/video. 

My oldest who was speech delayed, learned a large part of his signing vocabulary from Signing Time. Now my youngest has the speech thing down, but these DVDs helped explained his vocabulary.

 7) Rachel and the Treeschoolers:

This is a new series that hasn’t been out long. Rachel Coleman from Signing Time created a series based on a  comprehensive curriculum for preschoolers. 

I purchased this series during the KickStarter campaign they ran early this year. Basically Rachel had approach some TV studios, but they turned down the series because it was “Too Educational.” So these DVDs have been completely funded by 2.400+ people who disagreed with this statement. 

Rachel Coleman and her TreeSchooler friends will actively engage your child in learning reading, math, science and social skills. 

I’m quite amazing with how they are able to teach more complex topics to young children. My barely 2 year old was running around the house singing ” Photosynthesis, Photosynthesis, Photosynthesis.”

8) Preschool Prep Series Collection
This is an awesome DVD series for kids 0-3 years old. The videos are very simple, yet educational. 

They teach:
– Letters           – Sight Words
– Numbers        – Phonics
– Shapes
– Colors

The one thing about these DVDs are they might not be very entertaining to children that have been exposed to a lot of mainstream kids TV shows like Dora or Spongebob. But for younger kids, it grabs their attention and will teach them all these subjects. 

My youngest learned all of the contents on these videos, with exception of the blends and digraphs by the age of 16 months! The nice part is that Preschool Prep also makes apps for the iPad, iPod and iPhone. I was able to use the videos to teach him, and the apps to give him time to practice what he learned. 

So again, its up to you as parents if your going to allow your child to watch TV. But from talking to many parents, TV is a part of their children’s lives. So if you do allow your children to watch TV, make it educational. 

Do you allow your kids to watch TV? If so, what shows do you allow them to watch. 

Disclaimer: I have done reviews for Sparkabilities and MonkiSee in the past. Beside receiving their DVDs for other past reviews, I have not received any other compensation.   



Does NAET help ADHD? Autism?

So last month I wrote about how Wes was doing with NAET. You can read about it HERE, but basically to summarize, it has worked WONDERS for him, when it comes to foods that were once an allergic trigger to him. Foods like gluten and dairy. We were also able to reset his body when it came to damages caused by heavy metals from the vaccines he had as a young baby. 

 How NAET Has Helped My Oldest Son

He is more focused at school. Able to participate in treat days at school and birthday parties without having to bring a gluten free/dairy free alternative. He is now able to participate in activities at the Y without a one on one adult support. He is not really utilizing his level 2 support worker at school either. Also if things keep going this way, next year he wouldn’t even need one. 
 

Can NAET Help Hyper, Young Children With Autism?

The biggest difference I have noticed with NAET is in my 2 year old. He didn’t have food allergies that we were aware of. However he was diagnosed with Autism and we were also told he most likely has ADHD, but will not get the ADHD label till just before he starts school.
 
Three and a half months into NAET he is a different child. I finally feel like I’m caring for a typical 2 year old. Not the Tasmanian devil in a 2 year old’s body. 
 

When Did We Start To See A Change?

We really started noticing a difference about 2 months in. Once the changes started happening, it was like a snowball effect. And literally we would have a treatment done and the next day he would start doing something new. Or stop doing something old. 
 
We went from a child that was only safe in a playpen, to us packing up and putting the playpen away.
 
A child who would not make eye contact, to a child who is making eye contact way more.
 
To a child who didn’t care whether someone other then mom was around. To starting to show interest in extended family members. 
 
From a child who just runs back and forth all day, to a child who will sit down and play with toys or watch a show. 
 
I feel like I’m getting my little boy back. And I know this would not have happened without NAET.

How Can You Learn More About NAET For Kids With Autism?

If your interested in reading more about this, check out the book,Say Good-Bye to Allergy-Related Autism NAET

Dr Phil Show Mom Attempts to Take the Life of Her and Her Daughter. Is She a Monster or a Victim?

I got a message last night from my friend, “Did you watch Dr Phil today?” It was 11pm when I saw the message and things were very busy all evening in our house, so I just shot her a message back saying “No, but I have it PVR’d.”

Then I got a call from her this morning. She told me I had to watch it, because it was about a woman who tried to commit murder/suicide. She couldn’t handle her autistic child’s violent attacks on her younger daughter, she felt had no resources available, so she tried to take her daughters life and her own. 

She also told me, “I get it. I would ever kill my autistic daughter, but I get the extreme hopelessness when your autistic child is beating the crap out of your younger child.”

So when nap time came around today, I watched it and I had so many emotions running through me. I knew as soon as my boys were down for the night, I would be watching part 2. 

After watching both shows I felt for this mother who felt this was her only answer. I don’t believe it was the right answer, nor could I image myself ever doing the same to my child. However I don’t lay the blame in her lap, or her husbands. I blame the medical system and the government. When parenting leaves you with brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder there is something terribly wrong. 

Parents are left to the wolves on long waitlists. They don’t have the skills to deal with these situations or the resources. Anything worth doing with children with Autism either has a REALLY long waitlists that you can age off, or a huge price tag. Insurance companies cover some cost, but just as it starts working, you hit your max for the year. Which seems to be what happened to this family on Dr Phil. 

When I found out the waitlist that my son would be placed on I remember speaking to Wes’s service worker supervisor. I told her, mark my words, some poor family with no resources will snap under pressure and a child will be hurt. Little did I know, this had already happened. 

I have been blessed to have found alternative therapies that are working amazing for my boys. Early Learning, naturopathic/homeopathic therapies, diet changes, NAET, ABA therapy, just to name a few. But I should also mention, this puts saving for our retirement, family trips, our children’s educations, etc on the back burner. These therapies help and they are worth it, but the financial burden on the family is extreme. 

However, I have hope. My boys are amazing children. I know in my heart all our efforts are helping. I know in my heart my boys will be awesome members of society. I know they will have careers, and wonderful lives. I pray everyday they will find love and have families of their own. 

I have hope. I don’t care if the debt keeps adding up. I will find the money to keep fighting. 

After watching these two episodes, I hope Dr Phil can help everyone involved. I hope he can raise awareness. I hope we can start finding answers. I also hope that the people in power can look into these alternative resources and treatments. They have been life altering for my family. I wish they were available to everyone. 

So my opinion, Kelli(the mother in this story) is as much of a victim of autism as her daughter Issy. So are Issy’s siblings and father. Lets hope though that through this and with the help Dr. Phil offers, they can be no longer victims, but survivors.

5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe in Their Car Seats. Learn From My Mistakes.

Sitting forward facing, and was injured in a
minor car accident. (Whiplash)

When Z was 18 months old, he hit 20lbs and was getting too big for his rear facing bucket car seat. So I thought, well the rules are if a child is 1 years old or older, can walk, and is over 20lbs its ok to change them to a forward facing car seat. Z met all these requirements so I thought we were good to switch him. Besides Wes was 13 months when I switched him(He was a big boy). Z got 5 more months rear facing, he must be ready.

4 months later we were in a car accident. An emergency vehicle was passing and I had slowed down with traffic to allow them to pass. Once they were passed I began accelerating to the speed limit, when out of nowheres, a woman went from the left turning lane, right into my lane. It was physically impossible for me to stop in time and I nailed her passenger side door. As we slammed into her I saw a 10 year olds eyes staring at me from the van’s passenger seat. As soon as I knew everyone in our car was ok. I backed the car up a bit so I could open my door. I ran to the car and the child in the front seat was ok, and the woman was finishing her conversation on her cellphone!! Talking on the phone while driving is illegal in Manitoba, so to finish your conversation after you caused an accident is unacceptable. So I grabbed my phone and started taking photos. 

Although my car was badly damaged, in the end everyone was ok, and she accepted responsibility. Luckily I wasn’t going the speed limit as we had just slowed down for the emergency vehicle. Because if I had been doing 80km, a lot more damage would have been done.

 

I hit the door during impact and got a pretty mean whiplash. Also because Z was forward facing, he sadly also suffered from whiplash. It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized, if Z had been rear facing, he would not have likely gotten whiplash. 
 
Needless to say he got turned around that night. 
 
How can you keep your child as safe as possible in the car?
 
1) Buy a car seat that allows for your child to stay rear facing as long as possible. Don’t change to the next stage until your child reaches the maximum height or weight.
Picture from
http://www.besafe.com/en/i-size/rear-facing-car-seats-are-safer

Oh but they look so squished rear facing. My child’s legs are too long. They don’t like being rear facing. Well this is what I have to say to you. Have you ever seen the positions a child will get into while playing? Trust me they are not squashed. Would you rather your child have a broken leg or a broken neck? Also if they didn’t having a bath would you not give them one?
 
 
 
2) Make sure your child’s chest clip is where it should be, at the chest, not on the stomach. 
Photo from http://csftl.org/a-chest-clip-goes-on-the-chest/

According to Car Seats For the Littles website, if the strap is too low they risk being ejected from their car seat, and its too high they risk neck injury. 

 
3) Make sure your child’s car seat straps are tight enough.

Do the pinch test. If you can pinch the strap, its not tight enough. You want to make sure to have the right fit, otherwise your child could wiggle their way out of the straps when you are not looking, not be held in tight during an accident and be thrown around in their seat, or worse case be ejected from the seat.  

 
 
4) Make sure your child’s car seat is strapped tight enough to the seat, and it is in the proper spot. 
 
Make sure you cannot move your child’s car seat more than 1 inch front to back, and side to side. While learning how to properly install car seats in my own vehicle, I found this Youtube video very helpful. 

5) Puffy snowsuits are a big no-no.

This one was news to me! Puffy snow are dangerous to wear in a car seat. This was hard to swallow for me, someone who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Heck our city’s nickname is Winterpeg for crying out loud. 

Basically what happens is a bulky coat, will cause the straps to fit the child too loosely, making them less effective. 

You can read HERE, to see if your child’s jacket is too big, and what you can do if it is. 

Please ignore the fact that my son is forward facing in this photo, However you can see that he is wearing a two piece fleece suit over his clothes. I always prewarm the car and cover him with a blanket once he’s strapped in. But 9 times out of 10, he doesn’t need the blanket and bunches it up to cuddle with.We also alway bring along his warmer puffy jacket in case we hit a ditch or the car breaks down.

Disclaimer: I am not a car seat tech, or car seat specialist of any sort. I am just a mom of two, sharing with you my discoveries through my own research online and while talking with insurance approved car seat specialist. If in doubt contact your local automobile insurance company and ask them where you can contact a car seat specialist in your area. Many times local fire stations also have trained car seat techs. 

What does a parent do while they are wait for ABA services?

What does a parent do while they are wait for ABA services?

Here in our part of Canada ABA services are covered by Manitoba Health. While this is awesome because most US residents have to pay thousands, if not hundreds of thousands a year.

This is a wonderful blessing! However, the only downside is the long, long waiting list. Right now people are looking at 18 months to 2 years. IF you child does not age off the list at 5 years old. This is very stressful for parents, and it wasn’t always that way. Back in August of 2008, I signed up then 3 year old boy up for the program and his first visit with his ABA Senior tutor happened in January of 2009. 5 months. That was it! Totally doable for anxious parents. However this time around I signed my youngest up for services in February 2014, and we will be LUCKY to have our first visit in September 2015. 19 months. More likely January 2016, 23 months. Terrifying for an anxious parent. 

Sad part is ABA is most effective if started EARLY. Hence the title, Early Intervention. So parents CANNOT wait for services. Since the government doesn’t seem to understand the seriousness of this, parents have to step up. This can be so scary for parents who have not been through this before. So I decided I HAVE to blog what we do in our home. Now while this might not apply to your situation, I’m hoping the resources I mention might have things that can help you. 
The BIG Book of ABA Programs :I call this book the ABA bible. It has a program written for each step of the ABBLS-R.
“The BIG Book Of ABA Programs After the ABLLS®-R has been completed, educators and parents are often left wondering how to transform the results into empirical IEP goals and quality ABA training programs. With the BIG Book of ABA Programs those concerns are a thing of the past. Each detailed program can be used with dozens of different children. Each program contains specific instructions for data recording and implementation for baseline and ABA teaching. Each program is customizable for different children and their unique settings, teachers, reinforcers, and steps pertaining to each program. Benefits Why pay a behavior analyst to write your programs? Why spend hours writing your own? The BIG Book of ABA Programs contains more than 500 precisely written, photocopyable, ABA program protocols for every teachable step in the ABLLS®-R. Each of the more than 500 photocopyable teaching programs contains: A well-written IEP and program objective A complete baseline implementation”

This book will help you get ideas of things you can do now to help your child while you wait for ABA services to start. 

I highly suggest buying an 

Assessment Kit for ABLLS®-R, with Manual from Different Roads. 

 
I know it looks pricey. I will admit to ship it to me, but the end my bill was just shy of $1300. But that being said, during your child’s three years in the Preschool Program, and three years School Age, this investment will be worth it. 

I wish I had know about it when Wes went through the program. 

I dreaded every clinic meeting because I knew I would be given a list of items, pictures, etc to find. And that program could not be started until I did so. So I spent thousands of dollars on dollar store items, ink for my printer, photo printing, things from the teachers store. Not to mention hours of time on the computer finding said pictures, and gas driving from store to store. I can’t image how much easier it would have been to say, “Lets the bins and see what we have.” Then been able to start the program that day! Instead of waiting till the next time the Senior tutor or Consultant came. 

I was talking to another ABA mom a few days ago. When I told her about this kit that I had bought for Z, she told me she wished she had know there was something like this available for parents, she would have likely made the investment too.

And lets say this is not an option for you to purchase outright, right this second. I highly suggest figuring out how many months you have on the waitlist, subtracting a few months in case you get in early, and figuring out how much money you have to put away each month to buy this kit. But if you can swing getting it ASAP, you will have more tools in your pocket to start working with your child NOW.

You might be thinking, there is no way I can run a 35 hour program on my own. I don’t have the money for that kit. I work full time. Remember, every moment you work with your child it will pay off. Making time during meal times, before bed, in the car to daycare, every moment counts. So don’t give up because you can’t put in 35 hours a week. Yes 35 hours is the best. But 5 hours is better the zero hours.   

Activity Ideas:
– Verbally label everything.
– Do house tours labeling what each item is. 
– Make large clear written labels for things around the home. 
– Count everything. 
– Practice dressing skills. 
– Playing with Shape Sorters. 
– Puzzles

Flipping through The Big Book of ABA Programs will give you ideas on what skills your child might need to work on. 

Another thing worth suggesting is to start following through with everything. This is one of the hardest things for me to adjust to when my oldest was in ABA. Sometimes after a hard busy day, its just easier to give in. If you start following through with everything now, this is one last adjustment you and your child will have to make. 

Waiting for services is so frustrating. Trust me, I know, I’m there. But don’t let your child rot waiting for services. Everything little thing you can do with them now, is one less thing your ABA term will have to do. Leaving them able to focus on the really tough stuff.

Also check out BrillKids programs. They are such a power tool as well. They work on labeling and reading at the same time.

Good Luck on your journey!

What resources did you find helpful while you waited for services?

NAET Allergy treatment… Does it really work??

Before There Was NAET In Our Life:

As some my long term readers might already know, Wesley has been gluten and dairy free for as long as I can remember. Before we knew what NAET was, we actually eliminated dairy from his diet when he was 15 months after a series of allergy test at the allergist. Then on suggestion of his naturopathic  doctor, at the age of 2.5 years old we removed gluten.

Well once you get use to reading ingredients, figuring out secret industry names for gluten and dairy, it’s completely do able. Especially if they are removed before your child really knows what they are missing. 

Social Problems That Allergies Cause:


The problem comes when they are older. Birthday parties become a nightmare, play date, family gathering. Well meaning family member or friend try and get something your child can have, only to find out that they don’t know the secret code that the industries use to hide these items in our food. Now you have to tell them, even after all their efforts your child can still not eat it. 

Next thing you know, no one is inviting you over for meals anymore. Your child is not getting invited for sleepovers or birthday parties because the parents are worried they will feed your child something they shouldn’t. I had one family member confess to me she was worried she was going to kill him by accidentally feeding him the wrong thing. No one wants to be the parent to have to call an ambulance to pick up someone else’s child right?

The Book That Changed My Sons Lives:

7+ years later, I stumbled upon somethings very interesting while I was reading a book called Naturally Better: Dramatically Improve Your Child’s Life Naturally. I was introduced to something called NAET, aka NAMBUDRIPAD’S ALLERGY ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES.

Instantly I was on google learning as much as I could about this technique. Oddly enough, it seemed to have way more positive reviews than negative. Could it be true?

Could It Be True?

I started chatting about what I had discovered with my youngest son’s craniosacral therapist. She told me one of the woman in our Facebook Attachment Parenting group had done NAET with her child. From what she heard it worked. So I decided to contacted that woman via Facebook. I chatted with her for a little bit and everything she said seemed promising. Her son could not have any dairy or citrus, otherwise he’s get terrible blistering diaper rashes. After a few treatments with this woman he could eat both triggers and had no reaction. 

Making The Phone Call That Changed Their Lives Forever…

So I made a phone call. As soon as I started talking to her, I was instantly reassured. Little did I know that this woman would would become my friend. The way she explained everything made total sense to me. This sound like the real thing. So I scheduled both boys for treatment.

And So It Began

At our first appointment we tested the basic 15 items. To my understanding, these items have to be cleared for the body to run properly. Before any other specific treatment to trigger allergies can be treated effectively. This does not mean you have to have 15 treatments first before starting, each person is different. Z reacted to 8 of the 15 and Wes reacted 6 of the 15. 

In order to tell if your body reacts or doesn’t react the NAET practitioner did muscle testing on me while I held my son’s hand and he held a vile of the allergen. At first, I thought this was to much to believe, until my boys were holding a trigger for them and my arm turned to jello and I could not keep my arm up when the practitioner was pushing my arm.

You can read more about what NAET is and the process HERE.

2 Month Update. Will We Continue?

Since starting our NAET sessions two and a half months ago, Wes was cleaned for his 6 of the Basic 15 he tested positive for. Then we started working on Gluten and Dairy. Gluten was a tough one. The first time we treated him for it, he had to avoid ANY contact with it for 25 hours after the treatment. This was fairly easy since he was gluten free already. The following week we retested and he was not clear, so we would do a boost. When we do a boost we are also able to treat something new as well. Gluten took one treatment and 2 or 3 boost. Wes had tested positive for casein, whey, cheese, milk protein, basically anything dairy related. We treated him for casein and then did one boost and he cleared it. Best part was, we retested all the other dairy related items and he cleared them too. 

NAET and Immunizations

We are also working on treating Wesley’s reactions to immunizations, heavy metals, etc. He seems more focused now and is loving the freedom of trying new foods. This evening we attended a family birthday party. It was the first time since his 1st birthday he could participate in birthday cake. He was so delighted and everyone there was so happy to see him allowed to live! Auntie Kathe even negotiated him a second piece. 

Wes enjoying his first chocolate bar

 

Have you tried NAET? If so please share your experience. Is this a new concept to you? Let me know what your think about it now. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What to Learn More About Doman International?
Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE 30-minute consultation.

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.

Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!

Babies are smart! Newborns, Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, learn faster and easier than you and I.

What can you do to help your little ones learn right from birth??

#1 Sing to them!

Yes I said sing to them. Sounds so simple, but it really is! But don’t feel you need to stick to the basic Row Row your Boat or Mary Had a Little Lamb. Of course use these fun songs and what ever song your Mom or Dad sung to you as a baby. But lets get creative! Sing the ABCs, count to 100, count backwards from 100, skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

By doing this you are bonding with your child, comforting them, loving them and educating them. My now when Baby Z was an infant, he hated car rides. Our whole family would sing to him, “The A says ahhh, the A says Ahh. Every letter makes a sound, the A says Ahh!” and so forth throughout the whole alphabet. This helped calm him, but it also helped him learning the letter sounds (phonics) at a really early age.

#2 Label EVERYTHING

Little Reader, MemoFlix and Wink to Learn English helped expose Baby Z to so many words. But you don’t need to buy DVDs or computer programs to do this if you don’t want to. (Though it does help a lot.) Label your house and do little home tours pointing to all the words as you walk by with your baby.

When your out with your baby talk about what’s happening. “Oh look! Its starting to rain. Do you feel the drops on your head?’

#3 DVD and Computer programs
Technology is not bad. It can be used for the wrong reasons, yes. However I believe it can be a powerful tool to help educate our children. I know what the AAP’s stand is on screen time before 2. Thing is I’m not one to let to government tell me how to raise my children. Yes, I follow car seat safety rules to the tee, but we don’t vaccinate. I choice to educate myself, and make a decision for my family. Not blindly follow like sheep.
My personal experience is, if you choose high quality, educational materials, screen time can be very helpful in educating my children. It’s something you will have to look at for your family. I should also point out I am talking about real educational materials, like Your Baby Can Read, Little Reader, and Monki See just to name a few. 

#4 Tablets
If you have access to a iPad, take advantage of it! Baby Z learned so much from several apps. Even though many of them were WAY beyond his ability, we did them for him and had him watch. Input, input, input! When he got a bit older I took his hand and made his little hand operate the app. (with his cooperation of course.) Then eventually he was able to operate several of them without my help. This is an awesome way to teach your young child colors, shapes, numbers, letters, letter sounds, sight words, etc. 

Stay tune! I am compiling a list of AWESOME IOS apps for babies and toddlers.

#5 Carefully picked toys
  
If you step into the toy section at Walmart or dare to enter Toys R Us, you can easily see there are many, many options for toys for your young child. Not all toys are created equal. But there are certain brands that are usually a pretty safe bet like Leap Frog and Melissa & Doug. But the best places I have found GOOD quality toys are thrift stores and garage sales. With a little soap and water they are good as new and a fraction of the price.

Letter blocks, matching games, stacking cups, etc are all great toys for little hands. These toys are perfect for little hands to explore on their own when you are making dinner or need two seconds to eat the said dinner. Also they a great to play together with your child.

Watch for an entry about great education toys that we love!



#6 Flashcards


 This is where I might get some grief. Yes there is a place for flashcards in an infant, toddler and preschoolers life. My boys LOVE flashcards. But its because I do not drill them with the flashcards. I show them to Zakari the same way as I would show him a book.

A few books with looking into at the library or Amazon would be:
How to Teach Your Baby to Read (The Gentle Revolution Series)

How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop and Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential (The Gentle Revolution Series)

These are good reads too, but I would focus on reading the first two listed. Then read these if you have time.

How to Teach Your Baby Math (The Gentle Revolution Series)


How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge (The Gentle Revolution Series)

Now it should be noted that Doman’s method is a lot of work. I did not follow Doman’s method to the tee. I did make many flashcards. I also used multimedia, little Little Reader, DVDs, etc. 

There is also no need to make the flashcards as large as Doman recommends. Yes bigger is better, but I found 8×11 works well too.  

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

You can teach your baby to read, count, know basic kindergarten knowledge in toddlerhood. I know this from experience! The best part is they love it! Children are little sponges, and the younger they are the easier they learn. Why not teach them to read when they are able to do so with less effort at one or two instead of waiting till they are 6 or 7 years old. 

Oh but I know what some are thinking. Monique just let them be babies. Tiger mom! Why rush them to grow up? Let them be kids! 

My reply to this is, why hold back our children? My two year old loves to read. He gets excited at the grocery store when he can read the words on the wall. He reads what’s in his fruit pouches first to see what flavour he is about to eat. I have by no means forced him to learn. I just enriched his environment. Carefully selected only highly educational programs to expose him to during screen time. Used car time, waiting rooms, potty time, and bedtime to expose him to good quality apps or books with large words.

What did this do? It helped my son who is now 27 months be able to:

  • read any 3 letter word he is presented
  • know all his colors
  • know all his shapes, including shapes like octagon, oval and 3D shapes like cylinder.  
  • know all his basic farm and zoo animals and their sounds
  • knows all his letters and letter sounds. Even is starting to figure out letters like c and g have two sounds.
  • know how to read more words then I’m able to keep track of. (we were in the hundreds not including 3 letter words a while back, my guess is we are now in the 1000s)
  • understands phonics and can sound out new words he has never seen
  • Counts to 20 by ones forwards and backwards(has gone higher but usually only goes to 20 because he loses interest
  • Counts to 100 by 10s and 5s
  • Counts to 30 by 2s
  • knows his days of the week and months of the year
  • and much much more
I’m not listing this to brag, nor do I think my son is special. He has just grown up in an enriched environment and was exposed to this stuff in a fun way. ALMOST ANY CHILD CAN LEARN THIS STUFF TOO! Even children with special needs.

When people asking me, “Why teach them to read?” I ask “Why not!” It opens a whole new world to them. 


A few weeks ago we were at Shoppers Drugmart, and I was wearing Baby Z on my back in an Ergo carrier. We were waiting in line when he noticed the words over the cooler and started pointing at it and yelling, “Water! Water! Water!” I walked up to pay for my items and gently said “Yes sweetie there is water in the cooler.” The older woman behind me said with her jaw dropped, “No! He’s not pointing at the water in the cooler, he is pointing at the word. I think he just read the word water. Can he read?” I just brushed it off that he knows a few words because I didn’t have time to have a conversation. But if I had time I might have gone into details if the woman was open to it. Who knows maybe she has grandchildren. 

The point of this story is, instead of Baby Z just being able to look into the items around the store and try and figure out what they are that way, we have given him another piece to the puzzle. The ability to read what the words are. 

Sound Beginning Review

Well here is the first review I have ever written with the help of Baby Z 🙂

We have all heard that baby’s can hear in the womb, and hear of mom’s that put headphones to their tummy’s and play classical music. Often at night Dad’s to be will talk to their partner’s tummy and be able to feel the kicks when the baby hears their voice. I know that Baby Z knows when his daddy is home because he will be quiet all day and as soon as hubby comes home and we are chatting, he will start kicking and moving like crazy.

 Well now mom’s don’t have to lay still and try and position headphones on their tummy’s. Nor do that have to worry about playing the music too loud. There is a great product available called Sound Beginnings.

There is a safe product that allows busy mom’s to simply load up their MP3 players full of music they would like their baby’s to listen to, put on the comfy soft fabric band with built-in high quality speakers and they can continue with there day. Or if they like that can use the splitter that comes with the band and plug in a set of their own headphones and listen to everything that baby is hearing.

Overview

Safe

Sound Beginnings’ ® high quality speakers are designed to keep the volume to a level that is safe for baby in the womb.

Comfortable

Sound Beginnings ® is comfortable enough to be worn all day and even on the go.

No batteries required

Just plug in any MP3 device/IPOD® and play.

No assembly/disassembly required

Sound Beginnings ® is machine washable on the gentle cycle using cold water. Just tuck the wire into the convenient front pocket, secure the Velcro® and wash on gentle using cold water. Air dry only. Do not machine dry. (See enclosed instructions)

Headphone splitter included

Allows mom to listen along with baby.

But what if dad is often out of town, or deployed and on the other side of the world. Why should these little ones not be able to hear their daddy’s voices in the womb. Now they can! Sound Beginnings offers a service called Sound Delivery.

“Sound Delivery offers parents, friends, and family a simple and unique way to bond with an unborn baby through the sound of loving voices. All you need are a telephone, a quiet place to record, and a love message to baby-to-be; it’s that easy.”

So now dad, can call from where ever he is in the world and record baby a message. He could read a story, sing a song, or just tell baby how much he loves him/her. Mom just uploads the MP3 file on to her MP3 player and plugs it into the Sound Beginnings belt.

Why stop at just dad, Grandpa parents, aunts and uncles can also leave your baby a message!

Now what do I think about Sound Beginnings?
I really love it! I spent a few month researching different sound delivery systems to use with my baby, and this one stood out to me.

What I like:
– I like that it is sleek and I can wear it under my hoodies and no one can tell. (Obviously if I wear it under neither a tight shirt you can see the bump of the MP3 player)
– I like that it’s very comfy. Actually it reminds me a lot of my belly belt that I have been wearing under my  regular clothes to cover my tummy.
– I love that I can put it on, and still run around after all my daycare kids and it doesn’t get in the way, and it stays in place!

I know that baby can hear it! I feel him moving around while the music is playing. I also know when he doesn’t like a particular song, he will send me hard kicks and I know its time to remove that song from the line up.

Now Sound Beginnings recommends to start using their product in the third trimester of pregnancy. However I have been using it starting around 21 weeks. Now I’m sure baby cannot hear the exact words or sounds, I know he is picking up the gentle vibrations. I know through other research the brain grows by use, and I believe that this product can be beneficial to babies in the middle of the second trimester. However this is my opinion only be sure to check with your doctor.

Also you don’t have to limit what you play to just music and messages from family. You can also expose your unborn baby to foreign foreign languages!

Here are a few related studies that the people at Sound Beginnings have posted on their Website.

“Fetuses may have memory, studies suggests”
“Memory Forms at 30 Weeks in the Womb”
“Research Shows Babies Recognize Music in the Womb”
“Study suggests babies get the beat at birth”

Right now I’m playing a mix of classical music, French and Spanish lullabies, and Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Cd. Every week or so I change the music keep some, delete others, and mix up the order.

Overall I think this is a great product for expecting mom’s. The options are endless and I’m so excited to see how this will benefit my son.

Thank-you to the people from Sound Beginnings for allowing me to review your great product!!!

Disclaimer: I received one Sound Beginnings System in exchange for my honest opinion. The views posted here are mine and results may vary.