Some handy ideas we picked up - mainly from other parents - on our journey.

Life was made easier thanks to a simple digital camera and a cheap laminator. We took pictures of people and places we would visit regularly, and arrange them on a calendar, to give Mr. D. a sense of control over daily life. We also took photos of things like a pot of vegemite, peanut butter or humous, and then showed these to him when we was choosing what he wanted on his sandwich.  Laminated pcitures were also very handy to carry around when his speech was still very unclear -with the visual backup, people would be able to understand what he was talking about. They were the size of a business card, and he would simply carry them around on a keyring.


In the days that Mr. Determined could not speak, we would get him to choose by offering him our fingers. For example, we would say "Do you want to have a mango" and hold up our index finger "or a banana" and hold up our middle finger. He would then point to either finger to indicate the fruit he wanted. This was a handy way of giving him choice when we were out an about and did not have out laminated pictures with us or had no signs.

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Other parents have made a "yes" and "no" bracelet for their non-verbal kids who do not have sufficient head control to nodd but can move their arms

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Here is a list of books you might find useful - both for you as a parent, and for your child.

In order to explain Mr Determined to the other children and their parents at preschool, I wrote an introductory letter to them.  I found it saved my from endlessly explaining Mr. D., and some parents comented that finally they understood what CP is all about. Feel free to copy and adapt this letter for your child, but please do note that the second part (explaining CP to young people) is copied from a book, so please include the credits given at the bottom. Whe he moved on to "big school" I added a paragraph explaining why he was at times pulled out of class, explaining which therapies he attended in those times.

Finding appropriate toys  is a constant battle. While Mr. Determined is able to use most toys, he has very little interest in them - he just doesn't "play", or at least not like other kids seem to do. He has very little interest in toy cars or trains, or puzzles, or games. This made it difficult for us to buy toys, and especially for friends and family buying birthday presents. Now, he likes mainly books and dress up toys - and stuff from second hand shops, silly hats and wigs, or cheap shiny fabrics provide endless hours of entertainment.


 When he was small, we focussed on toys that were easy to grab or had sounds and lights- and many of them are still popular with Boo Boo. :