Saturday, June 26, 2010

La La Love it!! AMC Sensory Friendly Films

Little Man LOVES Toy Story. I mean all out perseverative love. It is all Toy Story all the time and he has the word ANDY written in sharpie marker on his foot to prove it. About two months ago we saw the first coming attractions for TS3. "MOM!!! Is it June 18th yet????" And so it started. June 18th circled on the calendar, June 18th written on his chalkboard, June 18th talked about incessantly to strangers on the street. You get the picture.

Except, June 18th came and went. We had tried the movies once before for Alvin and the Chipmunks and it was a bust. I had brought noise cancelling headphones and tried to prepare him for the dark, but it was just too much. Too dark, too loud, too many people. So I was nervous about Toy Story 3 at the movies to begin with. But then I realized it was also a 3D movie that required you to wear glasses. And it got fantastic reviews which were sure to pack the theaters. Now I was sure this was a recipe for disaster. So this epic event, June 18th, the NEW Toy Story that was LM's greatest wish came and went without us. How do you explain to a 5 year old that it's just too much for him to handle - that he won't really enjoy the thing he enjoys the most? To quote a neuro-typical 5 year old ... IT'S NOT FAIR.

Luckily for my family and the 1 in 20 other families who have children with SPD, the Autism Society of America and AMC have come to our rescue. Once a month they team up to offer a Sensory Friendly Film. From the AMC website - "The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down, and the audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing." In the case of Toy Story 3 the film was also shown in 2D so no glasses were needed.

So we just got back and it was absolutely everything I had hoped it would be. LM had his hands over his ears for the first 5 minutes, but from then on he did GREAT. It was Bear's first movie ever also - and a great experience for him as well. Best of all, Rob and I were able to truly enjoy a family outing. No worries about disturbing others, just able to delight in the awe of our children. Better than any date night we've ever had.

So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to AMC for being so sensitive to our children's sensitivities. And of course a big shout out to the Autism Society of America for putting together another great resource.

For more info visit:

Sing and Play the Sensory Way!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tales of a Literal Child: Pizza Bones

As a self proclaimed "foodie" I'm very proud to say that LM's food choices are finally expanding. He was the baby that ate homemade baby food - mangoes and avocados and edamame ... and then he turned two, and sensory issues hit full force. We went through a year of waffles and yogurt with the occasional chicken nugget. And of course, there was always Pizza. (He is his father's child after all!)

But slowly with age and sensory integration therapy he is trying all sorts of new foods. Hooray! I won't say he's head over heels happy about this, but he is compliant and trying new foods daily. Lots of vegetables now - all steamed for softer texture, he can't chew the raw yet - and new meats daily. Twice this week he had meat on a bone. He tried some grilled steak that I had cut up for him and then he tried a chicken leg. I was hovering a little - telling him to careful of the bones. Of course that was followed by his new favorite question of all time - BUT WHY???? "Because we don't eat bones. They'll hurt your teeth and are very bad for your belly if you swallow them."

SO tonight for a treat we took the boys downtown to our favorite pizza place. LM has a few bites of salad and then dove into the pizza. He ate about 3/4 of the slice and then reached for a new one. "Hey Little Man - finish the slice you have before you get another one." But Moooommmmm .... THOSE ARE THE BONES! They'll hurt my teeth and belly! I'll have to admit the crust was on the well done side ....

There are so many of these little quips that make us laugh and give us a peek into how his mind works. Glad for the opportunity to document a few of them. Do your kids have any funny name for foods? Sketties anyone?

Sing and Play the Sensory Way!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sensory Saturday: The Laundry Basket

There's probably not enough room to write about all the things you can do with a laundry basket. We have several types - from the small square shaped box type to an extra large Rubbermaid tote, and of course the typical white plastic with holes in it. Oh! the possibilities! ....
Confined Space: Both my boys like to sit in a small basket while watching tv. There's something very cozy and comforting about folding up into a small space. I pull a basket out when we have company over watching a movie - it really helps solve personal space issues.
Heavy Work: Nothing is better than loading up a basket with heavy objects (or another child) and pushing and pulling it around the room. This one is a 2 for 1 activity - the child pulling gets heavy work input and the child being pulled gets vestibular input. I tied a terrycloth belt to the handle to make pulling easier.
Pretend Play: Use your imagination! LM pretends the stand-up hamper is an elevator. He stands up and ducks down and pretends he's in the Empire State building. The big rubbermaid bin is usually a boat (with Daddy rocking it back and forth like waves). A regular laundry basket is often a Social Circle prop - sometimes the firetruck, sometimes a train. Pull out some fireman hats and start pretending!
Laundry Toss: Chores have never been so much fun! Practice tossing clothes into the basket. Notice the difference between throwing a shirt and tossing a ball of socks. You can hold the basket up high or keep it on the floor. And every once in a while I let LM "dive" into a basket of laundry that's still warm from the dryer. Heaven!
Block Bath: (see photo above) Saving the best for last - this is my kids' all time favorite. Go ahead - bury your kids! I use this a lot during clean up time. The boys start filling the basket with their toys, then I let them jump in and I finish filling it up and burying them. The kids get the confined space feeling again, but even better - lots of vestibular and proprioceptive input.
Go ahead - think outside of the basket - and let me know what you come up with!