Monday, 24 September 2012

Sasha isms part deux. Funny use of language?

So here goes with the latest instalment in the 'sayings of Sasha' - the unusual expressions and language use of our 5 year old ASD girl. Some funny, some a bit more poignant... you may need to read some of them twice. For a refresh of the first examples, click on 'Sasha-isms part one'!

'Dad, remember my rules. Don't go on the track else you might get flat and never come home. Be careful of it.'

'Would you like anything else to eat, Sasha?'

'A verde, verde, verde banana. But not an amarillo one.' (Spanish for those of you confused right now...)

'December is for Christmas, isn't it?'
(it's September the 7th at this point). 'Mum, will you come and see the Christmas song early?'
Me, confused but keeping the peace, 'yes of course darling.'
Sasha: 'Oh, that makes me SO happy.' 

Tamsin asked, 'is Daniel* a nice boy then?'
Sasha replied 'oh yes, he's my favourite boyfriend in the whole world!'
'Daniel's my best boyfriend. Daniel's always a boy.'
*name changed to protect the innocent ;)

Talking about snow and Christmas:
'I hope it won't be slippy at this winter time of year.'


After laughing too much and getting hiccups:
'I've got the jokes!' (she meant the giggles)
A minute later:
'Oh, now I've lost all my jokes. So now I'm sad.'

I open the door as we are about to leave the house to collect big Sis from a friend, and Sasha pulls her dress up to her neck.
'It's only my small boobies popping out!' she shouts to no-one in particular..
Into her car seat and the conversation continues:
'My boobies are getting changed into their pretend PE kit before they come out!'

'How are you today?' I ask Sasha as I come down in the morning.
'Busy busy busy! You know me, mum, always busy, lots to do! Now I'm ready for my Weetabix.'

Whilst playing a Pocoyo maze game on the computer:
'There's no moment to lose!'

When I asked Sasha if she had done the spellings test in class this week (I knew she hadn’t as the teacher told me, but I just wanted to see what Sasha said!), she said ‘I’m not very good at spellings’.  
So I said 'if you're not very good at it you should just try hard/your best. All the other children try and do their spellings.'
Sasha replied ‘But all the other children know how to do it.’

*the issue here is with the writing, not the spelling. She can spell any words she is given to learn just fine, and regurgitate them with magnetic letters, but she refuses to put pen to paper...
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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Chloe's Magical Dress Up Closet review

Sasha was thrilled to get the chance to 'review' (read: play with) Chloe's Magical Dress Up Closet from Golden Bear recently.

Chloe's Closet is apparently a TV series. I'd not heard of it myself before now, quite possibly because we must be the only family in the universe who still doesn't have satellite or cable channels (cheapo Freeview all the way here, just think how much we've saved!!).

So I looked it up, and it does sound like the sort of thing Sasha would love. Chloe is a four-year-old Welsh girl who loves going on adventures with her friends and her toys. The programme sounds like Mr.Benn (remember him?!?) for 3-6 year old girls.

Anyhow, Sasha was still keen to play with the toy despite not knowing who she was - it's a doll, girlie and involves dress-up, what's not to love?! The box contains the closet itself, a Chloe figure, three outfits and three scenery cards.

The doll and the outfits are a lovely stand alone toy - the outfits fit gently to the doll with little magnets, which makes them easy to remove but they do also stay on well whilst playing. Sasha has had great fun with these, and used them in great roleplay situations with some of her other toys. 

The closet has also been played with and enjoyed, although putting Chloe on her stand inside the closet is just too difficult for Sasha due to the fact the feet have to line up correctly, so I'm often called in to help.

From a parents point of view I can't say I fell in love with the product. It lost major Brownie points for me by not having batteries included and having a very fiddly battery compartment that needed a small screwdriver. It also has a fairly loud sound chip which plays only one noise (annoying after the 10th repetition), a couple of knobs at the bottom which don't actually do anything, and the doors to the closet at the side are actually quite difficult for little ones to work.

That said, I do think most little girls would love it, presumably more so if they're Chloe fans! This closet retails at around £34.99.... and you can find the Chloe doll with an outfit and couple of little accessories retailing at £9.99.

We were sent the above toy for the purpose of this review, but have not received payment. All the views expressed here are our own.
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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Funny Faces - show me yours!

This might be cruel, but I don't think he reads my blog very often so I may just get away with it....

My older brother, John.

I've just come across a linky titled Funny Faces, over at The Mummy Adventure's blog. Of course really it's meant for gorgeous babies like hers, and children too, but I couldn't help but think instantly of my brother when I read it.

Here he is:

He readily admits being the least photogenic of our family, and that's saying something. 

There are plenty more like this...... oh and little brother be warned too ;) 

I just had to update this with a pic of my two gorgeous funny face girls which flashed up as I found this....

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Little Cookies - all about food.

Well. The Little Cookies after school club was definitely a big hit with Tamsin. She came out saying it was better than Brownies - and that really is the highest praise ever! She can't wait to go back next Friday.

I was very impressed as she handed me something very large, and lovely and warm, wrapped in tin foil, to take home with us.

Here is the masterpiece:
Apple Strudel! Yum-meee!

I jumped at the chance for her to join in this after school club to be honest - food is not her favourite thing at all, and I'd love for her to be a bit more adventurous. I'm hoping she'll listen to someone else explain how the different food groups are important, because as the Lord knows, I've tried. It took a good 15 minutes of her running away before she agreed to put a mouthful of this in her mouth. She had a morsel and declared it was disgusting - but I tried, and it was actually rather delicious!

I'm linking this up to The Crazy Kitchen who is running a Foodie Foto Friday. Probably for the first and last time, seeing as, you know me, I can't cook to save my life. Although I am partial to a bit of baking....... so watch this space!

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Deadly 60 Board Game Review

Deadly 60 is a great programme, aired on CBBC. Steve Backshall is the captivating presenter who goes to find, and then tells us all about, everything from hippopotamuses to scorpions to crocodiles. It's the sort of programme I would have watched from behind the sofa when I was younger.

Fortunately, Tamsin seems to love it (despite her distinct girlie lack of love for creepy crawlies and flying things). So when we were sent the Deadly 60 Tracker board game to have a play with, she was definitely excited.

Quick and easy to set up and start playing with, the box contains a playing board, counters, dice, timer and lots of cards.

The idea is that it’s a race around the board tracking deadly animals and you have to take risks to beat off your opponents. The first player to successfully track down three of the elusive Deadly 60 wins the game.

We had fun doing this, although we stopped after tracking just one animal... I'd say it's a game that can take as long or short as you like, which is always a bonus! I would have liked to see information about each animal on the playing cards, as that's a prime time for children to take the facts in and become even more interested. That aside, it's still a great toy and will make a great Christmas gift for many. Suggested RRP is £14.99. 

There are a couple of other Deadly 60 options which sound interesting too, although I can't really comment on these personally as we've not seen them in action:

'Deadly 60 Ruckus Card Game - Ruckus is the quickest game around, no more boring turn taking, this game is the ultimate free for all. Games last between 4 seconds and 4 minutes. The idea is simple, with the cards in hand, lay down your pairs, triples, quads then look round at your opponents sets and see it match it steal it. Be first to get rid of all your cards. If you can’t go pick up another card, remember no turn taking so the quicker you are the more you will win. (RRP £4.99).

Deadly 60 Trivia Box - The Trivia Box is ideal for Christmas and a  great ice-breaker for parties where relatives or friends don’t know each other.  Either divide them up and get the teams competing or play as individuals to really show your trivia knowledge. Each box contains 400 multiple choice brain teasers and players have to try their best to answer as many questions right in a knock out style quiz. The more trivia you know the further you progress until finally there’s just one winner - the true Trivia Champ! (RRP £7.99) '

Imagination Games Deadly 60 Board Game is available from various retailers including Tesco, Asda and Argos.

We were sent the Deadly 60 Tracker Board game for the purpose of this review, but have not received payment. All the views expressed here are our own.
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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Show Me Show Me Slippers

For all my regular readers, look away now. Unless, like me, you're nosey.

This morning I stumbled across a new 'linky' (for those not in the know, it's a bit like a long list of different bloggers posts around a certain theme).

It's on Mummy Alarm's blog, check it out if you're a wee bit curious.

'I'm in!' I thought.

Not really quite sure why, maybe it was the lack of sleep I had last night.

Anyhow, here's MY slippers for you all to have a good laugh at. Along with a specially chosen pair of spotty pyjamas. Just because.

Top o' the morning to you all!!
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Monday, 10 September 2012

Sylvanian Family Campervan review.

It was like Christmas had come early in our house when Tamsin broke open the bag containing the Sylvanian Families Campervan from Flair.

Tamsin's grin was almost as big as the box as she began unpacking all the pieces!

The Ginger Cat Family arrived at the same time for us to review, and so they were immediately sent on their holidays, enjoying a light lunch in the camper van:

Tamsin absolutely loved this toy, and I'm sure any child (or adult collector!) receiving it would be thrilled. So much attention to detail, from the stickers to decorate down to the tiny bar of soap to go in the sink (cute!) provides endless hours of role play and fun. There are over 30 pieces in the box; as with all packaging though, you have to read carefully about what is and isn't included - Tamsin was a bit miffed that the toilet shown on the outside of the box wasn't there! Having said that, there really was plenty in the box to start playing with, and at £39.99 retail I do think this is a great value for money item. It is worth noting however that the characters are not included, and an average set of those retails at around £11.

Sylvanian Families is celebrating 25 years - although to me, it seems as if they have been around a lot longer. We've managed to amass a fair collection ourselves over the past couple of years, and I feel sure they are toys which will be staying around for quite some time. Top marks to Flair!

If you're interested in reading more, head on over to where there's lots more reviews and great advice.

We were sent the above toy for the purpose of this review, but have not received payment. All the views expressed here are our own.
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Friday, 7 September 2012

Time to think. What to do?

It's not very often that I sit down and have some relaxing time for myself, but that's exactly what I did yesterday at the Olympic Park. What a gorgeous place and amazing space they have crafted out there to welcome the world. Of course it helped that the sun was blazing and the skies were blue. Not exactly typical Britain, and it's a shame we don't get a summer full of that. Here's a couple of pics for anyone who couldn't be there:

The little extras made all the difference, and I have to take my sun hat off to the amazing volunteer games makers who were funny, friendly and motivating, and even came around with some free sun cream and baby wipes!

Sitting there all on my lonesome was lovely and peaceful, but also gave me the chance to think. I thought lots about my beautiful family and how lucky we are to all be together and happy. I also thought about how Sasha may be able to enter the Paralympic games in the future, and wondered what event she might do - running, swimming, jumping?! At this moment in time I can't imagine it at all - the crowds, the noise, the waiting around, the focus on training, having to accept that someone else might win, and not shouting 'Espera!' (which means 'wait' in Spanish, so I'm told by my little Dora) at all the others to stop so she can take the lead....

Since her return to school only a couple of days ago, I've been hit with the realisation that she is more 'behind' her peers than I thought. A list of 3-letter words came home this week which they are to get regularly as a spelling test, and it was a struggle to get Sasha to even look at it. When she did, she was still using phonetic sounds to try and sound them out. Take them away and ask her to write them down when spoken to her? Good luck with that, teacher! Not only the spelling, but the actual writing is going to be a huge challenge. The teacher gave us a talk this morning where she explained she knew they were easy words, but it was just to get the children settled and confident. It makes me sad to know that for Sasha they are not easy. Tamsin has always been naturally gifted, her work has come easy to her, and for that I am obviously very grateful. I also know that there is a wide range of ability in the class, but at this stage I'm sure it'd be true to say that Sasha is at the bottom.

Recently she has started struggling to get her words out - not a stutter or stammer, but the kind of repeating words and forgetting what to say that toddlers go through. This will undoubtedly hold her back even more. She's happy to chatter on about what she's interested in (the seasons being a particular favourite - she delights in telling me every day that it's autumn now and the leaves will fall from trees), but not so keen on two-way conversations, or passing information on.

I know, lots of children this age are similar in that. But it's just different with Sasha. The awareness is not really there. It's difficult for me to admit that, and knowing she could enter the paralympics does also bring a tear to my eye, much as I'll always be proud of my girls for anything they achieve. Sasha achieves so much more every day than some of her peers, as she struggles with the environment around her and making sense of things. Yet on the whole she is a contented, cheerful kind of girl, and I hope that will take her a long way.

Is the gap widening though, as I've always feared? Difficult to say, but what I am fairly sure of is that without some extra help, she is likely to fall further behind. A classroom environment where she is expected to listen and do the same as 29 other children is never going to be a winner for her. We are so lucky that the school is understanding and that they do their best for her, and there is some small group work involved. Only time will tell whether that is going to be enough.

I don't want to see her fail before she has the chance to succeed though. So what I think we need is a specialist individual, who 'gets' Sasha, and who can persuade her to learn outside of the school environment. Any ideas where we find that person? Answers on a postcard please!

Finally, because I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm generally sad, here's a pic of my beautiful little girl. How could I not be happy with this?!

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