Saturday, April 23, 2011

Live and Learn

Little A loves the iPad. Many mothers tout it as the ultimate electronic babysitter, keeping children quiet in restaurants and such, but we appreciate it even more than the average parent, because it is shaping up to be an excellent communication tool for autistic or nonverbal children.

This month is Autism Month and in honor of this, there are numerous free apps available, all of which Big A has downloaded. Little A enjoys learning, and some of our friends have asked about these applications as their children only use the iPad to play games.

As with anything, we limit Little A's time with this gadget, and he has learned how to ask for it, and how not to be angry if it isn't his turn. While traditional teaching methods may still be the most effective, there's no denying that these modern tools are a great help. We're very glad for this one.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Skills Test

Ah, summer. Here indeed, just in time for Easter. Sweltering days and still evenings, but so far the temperatures have not soared to the heights of last year, thankfully.

What is called Holy Week in the Philippines are the few days preceding Easter Sunday. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are always holidays in this predominantly Catholic country, and unlike other holidays, on these two days shopping malls are closed. Hooray! This means a real holiday for me.

Little A picked this week to fall sick - probably good timing since it was also his week off school and therapy. He had an unexplained four day fever that had us worried, but finally (fingers crossed!) disappeared last night.

Otherwise, he's been having a busy summer - swimming every day after morning class or therapy, and keeping active indoors. He's into alphabet letters, reading and words now, so I recently tested his skills by writing animal names in crayon on the floor and had him put matching figures by the words by reading them. He did every one correctly, with no help or prompting.

He's also becoming more communicative with his gestures. Tapping on my cheek with his fingertip now seems to mean "please" as well as "sorry", and prompting me to smile and say "it's okay" tells him that I've accepted his apology.

Speech still to come, but this is improvement, and we are glad.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Normally, this time of the year in this part of the world is unbearable. We can hardly step outdoors for fear of being fried, and the electric bills soar with air-conditioning units going full blast, all day long.

This year though, whether it is due to climate change or La Nina, summer is perfect. Admittedly, the sun has only come out this week (when we are usually sweltering by mid-February), but it is not as intense as April sun usually is.

Little A is in school at lunchtime thrice a week, so I use those two hours to work, walking to and from the little shop. If it was a "regular" summer, the walk would be akin to crossing a desert at high noon. But now, it's pleasant. Sometimes sunny, sometimes overcast.

As soon as we get home from school, into the pool we go. I can work on my summertime Ts - toning and tanning - while towing Little A around the pool. Then comes late lunch, naptime for Little A, and back to work for me.

Summer is shaping up beautifully. Hope yours is too.