Autism Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Autism Father’s Day Gift Ideas

With Father’s Day approaching, there are plenty of places to find gift ideas. What about Autism Father’s Day gift ideas? I’ve not seen anything specifically aimed at us, especially if you want something “autism themed”. If you are happy with the normal gifts then that’s great, but what is there on offer autism themed?

I’ve had a look about, and found the things I would most like to receive as a gift. I will be honest, though I don’t completely hate the jigsaw piece. It’s not for me, and a lot of the stuff out there has the jigsaw on. I have found some nice bits that don’t though, and here they are. For the record these are just things I personally like, I’m not being paid to advertise them.

My autism Father’s Day gift ideas

Autism parent slogan mug

There a lot of autism themed items over at www.zazzle.co.uk, this mug is my personal favourite. There’s nothing I like better than a cup of tea, so this would be perfect for me, and any other big tea or coffee drinker.

You can get one for £16.55

Dad of an Autistic Jedi t shirt

You can get these t shirts on Etsy, starting at £17.70, and in a variety of colours. Obviously a great gift for any Star Wars fan, and would be very apt for me. Jack likes to tell everyone he is a Jedi!

I.E.P logo

Autism Father’s Day gift ideas

I absolutely love this IEP logo. Over at Red bubble you can get it on numerous things, that are great Father’s Day Gift ideas. Ranging from stickers, prints and canvases, too cups, notebooks and t shirt. Loads of really cool gifts.

They are my favourite Autism Father’s Day gift ideas, like I said they 3 websites all have plenty more to offer is these 3 aren’t for the Dad in your life. Do you have a favourite? Do you know of any other places selling autism related items. I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Dad Does Autism

Top 5 board games to play with young kids

Top 5 board games to play with young kids

As the title says, today we are looking at board games. As chosen by Lily, her top 5 board games to play with young kids. Jack and Lily are 12 and 8, both being autistic what they like is some areas can be younger than their age. This is one of those areas, so we are looking at this from a younger child’s perspective. Lily really enjoys board games, and we’ve been playing quite a lot during this lockdown. Sometimes Jack will play as well depending on the game.

Lily picked the 5 games, we played them and each gave them a score out of 5. I will do a quick review with each game too, and leave a link to where you can buy each game from amazon. These are affiliate links and I will get a small commission if anyone does make a purchase using the links. That will help me with the upkeep of the website, for more information, you can go to my Donations & Adverts page by clicking this link. So let’s get started on our list of top 5 board games to play with young kids.

Kerplunk

Top 5 board games to play with young kids Kerplunk Lily

The aim of the game is to take the straws out one at a time, and try not to make any of the marbles drop down. The person with the least amount of marbles at the end wins. Setting up is as much of an event as playing the game itself, especially if you are all trying to put the straws through at the same time. It’s a good idea to make the set up fun, you have to do it at the end of every round, and can become tedious otherwise.

Once you are ready to go, I really like Kerplunk. The tension and anxiety rises every time you take another straw. I mostly enjoy the reaction of the kids when the marbles drop, especially if a lot go at once. They laugh every time, especially if it’s on my turn. We normally play 5 or 6 games, if all 4 of us are playing maybe a few more.

Top 5 games to play with young children - Kerplunk

Rating – Dad (4) Lily (5) Click here to buy Kerplunk

Jenga

Top 5 board games to play with young kids - jenga tower

The aim of the game is simple. Build a tower of 3 blocks in a row, then take it in turn to take one block out. If you knock the tower over during your turn you lose. I do enjoy jenga, but I find setting it up a bit of a pain. It comes with a cardboard sleeve, the theory is you pull it out of the box, and the tower sets straight up when you slide the sleeve away. That has never worked once for us.

When the game starts it’s pretty fun, you get the same tension as Kerplunk. You need more skill for this game, as one wrong move and it’s game over. You need a steady hand, which is bad news for me. When I inevitably end up knocking the tower over, the kids are laughing at my misfortune again. Another fun game, but the setting up loses it points from me.

Collapsed jenga tower

Rating – Dad (3) Lily (5) Click here to buy Jenga

LOL surprise Monopoly


A classic game, we have the LOL surprise version. Admittedly I’d probably enjoy it more if it was the original, or less of a “girly version”. But it was a present for Lily and she loves it. It does mean Jack has absolutely no interest in playing it. If you’ve got a lot of time to kill, then this is the game to play. Playing until everyone goes bankrupt and there’s one player left, must be a marathon. I don’t think I’ve ever done that ever, we normally declare a winner when someone is clearly leading and everyone’s got bored.

Top 5 board games to play with young kids

This isn’t a very competitive game in our house. Lily gets upset if you buy any of her favourite cards, which seems to be most of them. We tend too just play until Lily gets bored, and we declare her the winner. For those reasons, this is my least favourite of the 5 games, but Lily absolutely loves it.

Rating – Dad (3) Lily (5) Click here to buy LOL monopoly

Hungry Hippos

You have to connect the hippos to the game board every time you play, assuming you disconnect them and put them back in the box when you finish playing. I find the hippos quite stuff to put on, the kids certainly aren’t able to do it, which is a downside. Once it’s ready, it’s an easy and fun game to play.

Top 5 board games to play with young kids - hungry hippos

You can play with 2 people, though I think it’s best if you have 4, one person for each hippo. The aim of the game is to swallow as many of the little balls as you can, with your hippo. The person with the most balls at the end, wins the game. If you are anything like us, things are likely to get a bit manic. It’s no holds barred, and the more aggressive the game gets the funnier Jack and Lily think it is. They absolutely love it, we can play up 10 times, before hands start to hurt from hitting the plastic levers, and we stop.

Rating – Dad (4) Lily (4) click here to buy hungry hippos

Don’t take Busters Bones

don’t take busters bones

To start you need to connect the dog to the tray section, and then push it back to set it. It’s not to difficult, the kids struggle with it but can do it without my help. To play you take turns picking a card, that has a number of bones that you have to pick up out of the tray. You have a pair of cat paw tweezers to pick the bones up, this is to keep hands out of the try. As the dog lurches foward, as if to bite, when you set him off. If he bites on your turn you lose the game.

Whilst Buster is sleeping, an audio of snoring plays through some speakers. Which is a great little touch that definitely adds to the experience of the game. It’s another game of tension, and waiting for “something bad” to happen. Im guessing by now you’ve worked out these are the type games we like to play. This one is my personal favourite.

Rating – Dad (5) Lily (4) Click here to buy Dont take busters bones

Conclusion

To conclude our top 5 board games to play with young kids list, a look at the combined rating from both myself and Lily, Kerplunk and Don’t take Busters bones get the joint highest score with 9. Which is pretty much what I expected, I think these 2 are a little bit better than the other 2. Have you played any of these game? What are your thoughts on them? Also, are there any board games you would recommend us to try? If so leave a comment below, thanks.

Dad Does Autism

FGTeeV giant TeeV review

FGTeeV giant TeeV review

Something different today as I’m doing a FGTeeV giant TeeV review. I’ve been feeling much better since my last post. The weather has been decent, and a bit of time in the garden has been good. But today I want to talk about the fact that, Lily loves FGTeeV, if you don’t know what that is, it’s a channel on YouTube. As seems to be the way with kids these days, YouTube is where Lily finds her entertainment, and her favourite celebrities.

We decided at the weekend to get Jack & Lily a treat each to cheer them up. Like I’ve previously mentioned, we’ve all been finding it hard. So a little treat to boost morale, I felt was a good idea. For the record I treated myself to 3 bottles of beer. I don’t drink a lot, but I do enjoy an occasional beer.

FGTeeV giant TeeV

Jack chose some add on pack for a game on his Xbox. Lily wanted an FGTeeV giant TeeV set. She has wanted it since Christmas, but it wasn’t on sale in the UK at the time. So she had been saving a voucher she got for Christmas, which she used for this. As this was more expensive than what Jack got. The delivery man came calling this morning, a lot sooner than I expected. It’s safe to say Lily was super excited.

She finally calmed down to take that photo, at first she was running around shouting “oh my god, oh my god”. It’s safe to say that Lily loves FGTeeV! Next of course came opening it. As is the fashion at the moment, you open the big box to find lots of little surprises inside each in their own package to open. Lily has had similar things for Ryan’s World (also on YouTube), my initial reaction was you get more for your money with this one. This costs £39.99 in Smyths at the moment.

A review

As you can see above, you get a big figure, a smaller figure, a small plushie that makes a noise and a keychain plushie. You also get a little squishy , a little flashlight and some stickers. You get the TV box to keep the toys in, with the added aspect of the enjoyment of opening each one. There are different ones to collect, with smaller and cheaper option to get more figures.

Lily was over the moon with it. Which is the important thing. She needed cheering up and it certainly worked. This was a nice and quick little blog post to write. It’s not the easiest time to be doing this, but for my own sanity I’m desperate to keep writing. Finding the time has been challenging, but I’m just about managing. Even if this was not how I’d planned things originally. It’s important for everyone to find things to keep you going in these difficult times. Stay safe everybody.

Dad Does Autism

Delayed processing as part of autism

Delayed processing as part of autism


So we are into the second week of the kids being at home. Since my last post things haven’t been going quite so well. Jack has delayed processing, understanding delayed processing as part of autism, and how it effects Jack, was something that took us a long time to get our heads around.

To put it in broad terms, an autistic person may experience a delayed response to sensory stimuli. What this means using Jack as an example. When I ask Jack a question, there is usually no response. It’s as if he hasn’t heard the question. I normally ask again, as Jack usually has a TV or some music on. Just in case he didn’t hear. But it is highly likely he did hear the first time.

Echolalia and learned responses

He just needs a lot more time to process what has been said, than you would typically expect from a child. Jack can give immediate responses, but these are what are called learned responses. Which is where his echolalia comes in. Jack can learn a conversation, and repeat it the next time the same situation comes up. But this is like someone on auto pilot. You are not getting his true thoughts and feelings. We have had many “disagreements” with “professionals” who have worked with Jack regarding this.

Getting Jack to express those true thoughts and feelings, hasn’t been an easy process. We are getting there slowly, and Jack is much better for it. Learning ourselves when to use social stories and PECS took time. They are so important and have been vital to Jack’s progress, and his ability to communicate.

Visual Aids - a picture exchange communication system folder
One of Jack’s PECS folders

As a parent it’s not easy to always remember this. Sometimes you can forget that a simple question like, what do you want for dinner? Is not so simple for an autistic child. Jack has to be given options to choose from, otherwise you just get a blank look and maybe a “don’t know”. Start with options of food he knows, even showing him the options, and he can give you an answer fairly quickly. Even in a situation of high anxiety or meltdown, though it’s likely he will respond with nods of the head rather than words.

Delayed response to situations

This delayed processing as part of autism, also comes into play, with situations that happen. Which is why it comes as no surprise to me, that Jack was fine with the sudden change last week. But this week he is finding it very difficult. His anxiety has gone through the roof, and he’s become tense and argumentative. It’s like it has taken him a week to process what is happening, and everything that has changed.

We are now prepared for this, and a week isn’t actually a long time. In the past Jack has had spikes of behaviours that stemmed from an incident that has happened months before. Which left us and everyone else baffled, until we finally worked it out with Jack. Knowing about the delayed processing, and just how long the delay can be has certainly been a great help. Now when Jack is unhappy, we know to trace back for months to find the solution if necessary.

What’s happening now?

Jack finding things difficult this week, in one sense can be a good thing. It’s only taken a week for him to start to process what’s going on. So we can now work on bringing his anxiety down, and getting him in a happy place. 

The one issue with that of course is these are unprecedented times. We don’t have the answers to the questions he wants answering. When can he go back to school? I don’t know. Will respite be back soon? I have no idea. When can we go and see his grandparents and their dog Mack? I don’t have clue. Just like I have no answers for him when he asks about going bowling, or to the cinema.

He is getting frustrated that I don’t have any answers for him, and he’s becoming very argumentative at times. To be honest I’m getting frustrated myself, the last two days have been hard work. There’s no break from it either, no chance to recharge. The outlook isn’t looking good for that break coming any time soon either.

Jack was fairly calm and relaxed Tuesday evening, so hopefully that’s a good sign. When his anxiety has been down he’s been really good. He’s been playing with Lily more than usual, and spending more time out of his room than usual. I guess being at home all the time, staying in your room all day gets a bit dull. One positive of this coronavirus stuff, is we are doing activities together more than we would usually, which is nice. 

Free sensory guide

Lastly I would like to point you in the direction of autismspectrumteacher.com where you can currently get a free 12 page guide to “Meeting Sensory Needs” by clicking here.

It is aimed at teachers in the school environment, but having read it there is certainly value in it for parents as well. As we know only to well with Jack, and are beginning to learn with Lily. Meeting a child’s sensory needs is so important. Get that right, and everything else will start to fall into place.

There’s some great information and ideas in the guide, which is the first chapter of an upcoming book. Though it’s based in the classroom, you shouldn’t assume your child’s school is always aware and doing these things. So arm yourself with information to take to them, that’s what we have always done and will continue to do for Jack and Lily.