Friday, February 27, 2009

Listing of Games from Twitter Party

There was a party on twitter Friday, Feb 27, 2009. The topic was board games with #timetoplay the hashtag. This was a sitewarming party for Time To Play Mag. "TimetoPlay is a site about family entertainment/toys"

Many twitter members were sharing their favorite games and I wanted to keep track of those being tweeted so I have compiled a list of them. I will begin first with the ones I posted on:

1. Kerplunk
2. Battleship
3. Connect Four
4. Uno
5. Checkers
6. Topple It
7. Air Hockey table game
8. Leap Frog Memory Mate
9. Leap Frog Spell & Match
10. Lego Bionicle
11. K'nex
12. Parcheesi
13. Pegboards
14. Operation
15. Chinese Checkers

Now the list of games that was tweeted on:

Banagrams is a word tile like Scrabble

The great thing about Banangrams is that since each person has own grid, 6+ can play.and you can handicap for kids #timetoplay

Sequence by Jax is a great learning game

Rummikub is coming out, FINALLY, with a Jr version

PERFECTION has the weird shapes and timer

Wild Planet, who makes Hyperdash, makes a version for younger kids called Animal Scramble

Best part of Stratego..placing the bombs

Card Games from GAMEWRIGHT, they have the best card games for kids 6+


Battling Tops

Wig Out

Hottest toy this Spring: Skimboard Surfer. Boogie Board for the backyard

Sidewalk Crayons washes away just like chalk

Best Game EVER that didnt make it: Shout!

Guess Who

Scene It

Wait to you see the new Candy Land, in which you build your own path


the new Chicken Limbo is called Giraffalaff - similar game, new character, lots of fun

they added two new characters to Candy Land this year - the game is celebrating 60 years

Hungry Hungry Hippo

Wack a Mole


Hasbro's coming out with a new Game of Life based on extreme reality - should be fun

Twister Hopscotch

Chutes and Ladders

Uno Flash

Uncle Wiggly Game

Apples to Apples Jr

Guillotine card game


Old Maid

Caterpillar Color Race by Discovery Toys


Barrel of Monkeys

Hi Ho Cherry

Rummy Royal





Mouse Trap


Battle of the Sexes

39 Clues best for 8-12 somewhere around that age





Tic Tac Toe

Pic Up Sticks

Simon Says

Qwitch is a card game w/ numbers & letters, you each get 1/2 the deck and the here are + - & = cards, it's fast moving & fun

another GREAT game for the little crowd that gets them moving is Hyper Dash or Hyper Jump






Go For broke


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Comparing Differences Between Verbal and HFA Sons

My two sons are on opposite ends of the autism spectrum with totally different personalities. They both are in Middle School. One is homeschooled with the other in special education. One is verbal and one is not.

My son Matthew is 12, in special ed with an aide. He is nonverbal, not toilet trained, drinks only rice milk and has a limited diet. He is on an anti psychotic called Geodon. He gives good eye contact, screams and yells a lot and bangs the walls constantly. His finger prints and marks are evidenced on the white walls. He is a sensory seeker, loves to play with strings, belts and ribbons. You can hear him a block away.

My son Nicholas is almost 14, homeschooled, obsessed with the cat and perseverates on animals. He is high functioning with some social deficits and going through the puberty stage with his voice cracking and catching up to me in height.

These are the obvious differences, but in the home there are some that might surprise the average person. The computer is in the kitchen giving me an open walkway to the living room to see where Matt is, plus the bedroom is off to the right before the table here so he goes in and out there.

He follows me around the kitchen - I cannot sneak anything out of the refrigerator without him noticing and looking in my direction. He is fascinated with the whip cream can that I use to spray into my mouth at times. No one else in the house uses the whip cream but me for my hot cocoa or ice cream. I have to open my mouth so he can see what is happening. The same is true when I remove my dentures to clean them and he all of a sudden is at my shoulder trying to get a glimpse of my mouth.

He helps out quite often in the kitchen. He will stock the rice drink containers in the cabinet, pull apart the string cheese and place on shelf, he will get out the butter and salt when requested and can distinguish between maple and chocolate syrup. He will put away the egg carton and when done eating his fast food fries will shake out the paper bag into the garbage before disposing of bag in the paper bag for recycling can outside.

If he uses the last paper towel he will toss the cardboard roll into paper bag and retrieve another roll from under the sink. If he cannot open it he will hand it to me. Nicholas will toss out the empty roll but not attempt to get a new one out for the next person. Nick will not tear the string cheese apart but lay it on the shelf. Nick still gets confused between two paper bags in house in opposite spots. One is for the recycle bin and the other is to take to get money for recycling since we pay a fee at the store for these.

Matthew gets five cases per month of Huggies Goodnites. They are delivered and left in the living room and we bring them into the kitchen. Matthew will carry a box and drop it on the floor or on island table and try to open it. He will hand me each diaper bag to place in a top cabinet where I stand on foot ladder. He helps in tearing down boxes.

Sometimes during the day while I am cooking I will forget it is Nick and ask for things and he is not receptive, plus usually either doing school work or playing with the cat.

Matthew knows where everything is in the house. Each morning I ask for a washcloth to wipe his face and hands before we leave to go wait for bus. He will put videos and books back where they originated. He is all about order and very organized. He drops the jacket down as he enters the house, goes in bedroom and removes his shoes and puts back in spot, grabs out his homework and gets a crayon to scribble on homework page before handing back to me to place in backpack.

I need to teach him to remove his socks the correct way and not inside out. His aide is working on teaching him how to zip his jacket and we discussed tying shoes this morning.

These are just somethings that make them unique in their own way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Advice sought for teenager wth autism who has cat obsession

My son turns 14 in March and is in his second year of homeschooling. We are doing the homeschooling during the Middle School Years. He is considered high functioning with deficits in comprehension, social cues, idioms and obsessions. For about 17 months now a former feral cat from outside has been inside. This is because he broke a leg and I invested a lot of money in this cat.

My son is fixated on the cat - considers the cat his best friend. The minute the cat wakes up my son is right there following him around. In the morning the cat goes in for about 15 minutes since my nonverbal son on the spectrum needs to catch a bus and gets up earlier.

He follows the cat around the kitchen when they retreat from the bedroom. He gets on his knees and rubs his face on the cats face. Yesterday I caught him with his cereal bowl on the floor and milk container being held for cat to sniff. He tells me that he was showing the cat his breakfast.

For dinner I allow him to eat on the couch since other son touches food, stands at the kitchen island watching you eat, makes noises and is loud. So to keep the peace he eats in the living room. This is usually the time the cat wakes up and is sniffing the plate. Tonight my son could barely move on the couch because the cat was lying down and he did not want to disturb him.

The latest accommodation my son has made is to put the volume on low or mute so that the cat is not disturbed and to use the closed caption. When the cat is sleeping my son looks lost, aloof and sullen because he seems to have nothing to do or he is crying because he thinks he hurt the feelings of the cat. When I bring up this is a cat he says I don't know if the cat has a memory or not. Seems my son feels bad that he yelled at the cat once and wants to make sure the cat is ok.

This is beyond my comprehension. We have books galore on cats and they do not seem to be helping. He is in a rut and cannot get out. He will talk randomly about the cat or other animals like I have a clue what he is talking about. It is this cat 24/7!

I try not to make a big deal about it since he is here day in and day out doing homeschooling with numerous breaks to pet the cat, play with the cat, feed the cat, blah blah blah.

If something were to happen to the cat I believe he would go ballistic and need to get counseling. If his brother were to do something to the cat I would have to protect my son. My nonverbal son runs throughout the house plus the cat does this several times a day. An accident is waiting to happen.

My son is not interested in music or sports. He hardly plays his games anymore and books he reads is on cats or the drawings are of cats. I recall reading over the years how parents have some sort of system in place where the child on the autism spectrum can only speak on a certain topic so many times a day. I am thinking this would be good, but then I feel I need to compensate since he is home schooled and not going anywhere or connecting with other kids.

We cannot do functions in the afternoons due to the bus and my other son. The same thing with weekends. He thrives at the summer autism daycamp and has many friends there, but they really do not do well on the phone.

Is this just teenage angst or an obsession that needs to be modified? Today when driving another Mom home from a meeting she told me that she was considering finding high school kids to play with her son and paying them. I thought the idea was interesting and said we could post on craigslist. Our sons were in Kindergarten together but they are at opposite levels of development.

I need to motivate my son. We plan on going to the Zoo next week. We usually do a visit once every month if possible.

Would some sort of system where he can only talk about the cat certain amount of times per day, or at specific times and then the spending time with cat - does that need to be adjusted?

Maybe this is depression or just hormones and he can only relate to the cat at this point in time? I am open to ideas and suggestions.
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