Friday, May 3, 2013

Dress up!

We were at the Metro Expo Sale earlier and before we left, we saw a cart containing masks, wigs, hats, bows and many other accessories.

Hubby and I started wearing the masks but Rayyan was pretty scared and told us to take them off immediately. But he browsed through the cart on his own and saw coloured wigs. He then started putting them on! Hubby and I were surprised and encouraged him to try the different accessories. We then took pictures and showed the pictures to him.

He seemed pretty happy with his images and tried more accessories. He also insisted on seeing the pictures we took. So cute and funny this boy of mine!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Last Sunday, I was lying down and watching Rayyan eat one of his fav snacks, muruku. The muruku comes in tiny pieces and he was picking up and putting one by one slowly in his mouth.

Then I saw him 'sipping' the muruku! The muruku must be too tiny and he found an innovative way to have bigger, more satisfying mouthfuls! Haha!

Now, who says that kids with autism are rigid and not innovative?? ;)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not such a good day :(

Rayyan has been wanting to watch the Iron Man movie since it was featured months ago.  He kept immitating the Iron Man pose and will talk about Iron Man incessantly.

So we are super, super glad that Iron Man movie is finally here!  Rayyan was very excited too and told us that he wants to watch the movie at Downtown East.

Before I go on with my story, let me just explain a bit more about this request in venue.  We used to bring Rayyan to Kallang Leisure Park.  We love it there because it's not crowded and we were not so stressed when Rayyan became restless and noisy in the cinema.

However, the last time we were there, I realised that Rayyan held on to my hand for a very long time and kept jumping at the very loud sound effects (I then realised that the sound effects there was really loud compared to others).  It affected him so much that the next time we wanted to watch a movie there, he refused to go to the cinema and kept shouting that we leave the place.

But we knew that he really wanted to watch the show (we wanted to watch The Croods that time) so we tried to bring him to a different cinema.  We went to Downtown East to watch The Croods.  He followed us in willingly, no tantrums and all of us enjoyed the show.

For the Iron Man movie, I tried booking tickets at Downtown East but most of the tickets were snapped up so Hubby and I decided to get tickets at Golden Village Tampines Mall instead.  Rayyan was having his Brain Gym class then so he wasn't with us when we bought the tickets.

After fetching him from his Brain Gym class, we told him that we were going to watch the movie at Tampines Mall but he refused and kept crying.  We tried explaining to him, we tried enticing him with his favourite popcorn, we coaxed him but nothing worked.  His tears kept streaming and streaming and it just broke my heart to see him like that.  Clearly, that was not a boy out to purposely act difficult or defy us.  There was clearly something that was bothering him and he just didn't know how to tell us.

I then told Hubby to just forget about the movie.  We were frustrated at first because it meant that $30+ would go down the drain.  But seriously, I would rather waste the money then to force my son to do something that he didn't want to.

So the lesson we learnt is to make sure that he is ready to do something or go somewhere before going on to make bookings or arrange anything.  We must always, always prepare him for any upcoming activities.  Sometimes we just forget that he has autism and he needs certain structures.  We forget that he has sensory issues and things that are insignificant to us affect him greatly. That was indeed a valuable lesson learnt...

So that was our Saturday....  Hope yours was much better...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baby Sister

To get Rayyan to be more aware of the arrival of his baby sister and to get him involved in our preparations for his baby sister, we got Rayyan to help in whatever way he can.

Last Sunday, we were doing up the wall and we got Rayyan to help us with the painting. Hopefully he will be more ready to take on his role as the Abang or Big Brother! More importantly, we hope he doesn't feel left out or unloved!!

Hubby assisting Rayyan with the wall design..

So full of concentration! ;)

I really love this! 
Thank you Hubby and Rayyan!! Muacks!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spelling Test!

We are extremely, extremely proud of Rayyan today. He scored full marks for his spelling test!!!  

This coming from a boy who simply hates writing!! Few months ago, his handwriting was unintelligible and asking him to write was like asking him to go to the torture chamber!!! But Alhamdulillah (all praises to Allah!), with the help of teachers from Pathlight who placed great emphasis on penmanship, he has shown improvement.  Not only has he shown improvement in writing, he managed to spell all six words correctly!!  Yahooo!!!

So parents, don't give up.  With prayers, effort and patience, our kids will indeed show improvement. Insya Allah :)

PS:  I think I have not blogged about Pathlight but yes, he has been accepted to Pathlight!  One of our prayers was answered!  Thank you, Allah!  Will blog about his acceptance to Pathlight soon but in the meantime, I am simply a happy and proud mummy today! :))

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Looooooong Absence

When I logged into this blog of mine, I realised that it has been SIX months since I updated this blog.. SIX long months!  That is like half a year!!  The longest time that I go 'missing'!  I must admit that I miss blogging, I miss writing about Rayyan's progress.. Gosh, six long months and so much has happened!  Now I feel guilty coz the many things that have happened have not been recorded and I might just forget the important milestones.

And if you are curious, the very reason why I go missing for so long is the fact that I am now preggy with my second one!  Yes, I am in my third trimester now and we are all excited for the little one to make her presence into our world, including Rayyan (I hope!).  And yes, it's a 'her'!!  How much more exciting can that be?!

Anyway, this pregnancy is not as easy as Rayyan's during the first trimester.  I suffered vomitting bouts and just wanted to sleep and do nothing else!  I was so glad my first trimester was during the school holidays so it didn't really affect my work.  And as my tummy grows, we talk to Rayyan about it.  I told him that there's a baby in my tummy and during the early stage, everytime I asked him if he wanted a baby sister or baby brother, he replied 'baby brother' every single time!  So much so that I myself believed that I must be carrying a baby boy!

But when we found out that it's a girl, we told him about his baby sister and he will always come kiss my tummy whenever I ask him to kiss baby sister.  He knows that there is a baby sister in my tummy but I don't think he realises that the baby sister will be coming out soon!  I really, really hope that he will be loving towards his baby sister and accept her into our lives willingly and happily.  Every single day, I pray that both of them will have a loving and caring relationship, that both of them will look out for one another...

It took Hubby and I six long years before deciding to have a baby again.  We talked at length about having another baby, we raised our concerns and fears, we contemplated for so long before telling each other, "Let's do it!".  If we do not have a son with autism, this decision wouldn't be so hard to make, in fact, it will only be natural to have another baby.  Please don't get us wrong, we love Rayyan with all our hearts and we accept his condition.  But can we handle another child with autism?  Can we handle the heartaches, the worries?  Now that we have a child with autism, we know what to look out for, we know the interventions and therapies that we have to go for.  But can we cope financially?  Interventions and therapies cost a lot of money and already as it is, we are surviving on one income.  Can we really cope with two children with autism?

We have endless concerns and worries but at the end of the day, we told ourselves... we just have to leave everything to God.  There is nothing else that we can do.  If God wants to bless us with another child with autism, then we just have to be strong and brace ourselves.  We have to do our utmost to help the child and we will love the child no less...  We leave everything in your hands God...  And God, thank you for this miracle, my baby girl... And yes, thank you also for my other miracle, my baby boy, Rayyan :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Records (Part I)

I had this strong urge to record Rayyan's progress and areas for improvements (AFIs) yesterday. Searched my shelves for an empty book and I found this book where I actually recorded Rayyan's progress when he was younger. I had totally forgotten about the book and was angry with myself for not following-up with it!  It would have been so great to have consistent records of his progress!

Anyway, the first time I made a record was when he was 24months. That was around the time when I first found out that my boy is not like any other typical toddlers.

At 2 years old (24 months)
*doesn't respond when his name is called but responds immediately when we sing
*responds to songs by doing actions (eg wheels on the bus, itsy bitsy spider, ring around the rosies, once I saw a little bird, etc)
*difficult to maintain eye contact
*do not point at things of interest (if he wants something, he will take our hand and pulls us toward the object, if he wants to be scratched, he will take our hand and put it at the itchy area, if he wants us to open a container, he will bring the container to us and tap the container)
*loves to jump and flap arms (will usually flap when he is not able to jump, for eg, when he is seated)
*doesn't like loud noises like performances or animal shows or drilling sounds
*very attached to ears (especially his Daddy's ears, will touch when he plays with Daddy or when he's going to sleep)
*able to wave bye-bye but usually doesn't make eye contact
*likes to put things in mouth (eg toys, remote control, hands, etc)
*has started to make sounds (sounds like some sort of foreign language)
*understands certain instructions (eg lie down, take your shoes, don't climb, pass the bottle)
*likes numbers and alphabets
*likes to flip books (fast but focused)
*doesn't really like to play with toys (will fiddle with them for less than a minute, then throw them aside)
*given a phone, will place phone at his ear
*likes to play hide and seek (will look for us when we hide behind furniture or under blanket)
*knows how to play drums, shake maracas, shape sorters, throw ball through hoop
*likes to walk on tip toes
*likes to look at reflection in the mirror/glass (will do different actions)
*sometimes smiles or laughs at nothing and stares into space
*when he is scolded or instructed to stop doing something (eg putting things inside his mouth, he will throw the thing aside and 'throw' himself on the floor and whine or cry)
*doesn't like to stack blocks but will unstack blocks (pulls blocks down) that other people build
*doesn't shake or nod his head to indicate yes and no
*doesn't seem to understand what is being taught (eg shapes, parts of body, etc)
*doesn't understand feelings
*doesn't interact with children or other people (plays on his own)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brain Gym

It has been a few months since Rayyan attended Brain Gym. He goes there about 3 Saturdays per month and there's also a monthly one hour one-to-one session.

There are about 15 children per session and these children are taught to do various movements which are believed to be good for the brain. The children are also sometimes brought to the park, beach or a nature reserve to do some hiking or they are taught to climb, swing, balance on a log and many other movements. These movements, coupled with opportunities to interact and play with other children, will help the brain to grow.

The improvements that Rayyan made after attending Brain Gym are that his movements are more co-ordinated especially in terms of climbing and balancing. The trainers also informed us that he can follow instructions very well now :)

We are very, very thankful for all these improvements though I do note that he still doesn't interact and play with the other children. He is also still very hyper, jumping or running around the place.

I do hope that Rayyan will show more improvements, especially in terms of interaction and focus. Amin. If you are interested to find out more, you can go to this website..

Brain Gym

Here are photos of Rayyan's little escapades ;)
Btw, I wasn't the one who took the photos. The trainers will actually take photos and videos and send them to us..

Look who's leading the way ;)

Climbing and climbing...

It's all about balance :)

More climbing :D

Jumping Room

We call Rayyan's 'therapy' room Jumping Room.  Here, we have a crash bag, gym ball, trampoline, large tube and harness and therapy hammock.  Some parents have been asking me where I got the items from.

Here's the link (I have also included this website in my main 'links' list :

BackCare Resources Pte Ltd

This company is owned by a very kind man, Mr Richard Wong, who is very helpful and accommodating.  Do give him a call if you need to enquire anything.

Here's the full address and phone number :
BackCare Resources Pte Ltd
18 Kaki Bukit Rd 3
Entrepreneur Business Centre
Singapore 415978
Tel : 67496509

And some of you enquired about the cost too.  Well, here's what I paid for the items.

Therapy hammock $95
Cushion for the hammock $30
Tube and harness $110
Large crash bag $120
Strings and plates (the hooks which had to be drilled) $47

Please note that I bought these items almost 2 years ago so the prices might differ.  Also, I bought the trampoline and gym ball separately from a fitness store.

Here are some pictures of Rayyan's Jumping Room.  He loves it too much that we have to restrict the time he spends there!!

The tube, crash bag, trampoline and gym ball

Swinging good time!  
I used to worry endlessly that he will fall or knock against the wall but he's so good at it that I don't worry anymore now..

He loves his tube!!!

Rayyan and Irfan having fun in the hammock :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Irfan Syazuan

We know how important it is for Rayyan to be around kids his age, for him to have playmates. That will surely help in improving his social and interaction skills. I wish he has a sibling, one who can play with him and talk to him, someone who can just be a role model and influence him positively.

Since we can't magically produce a sibling for him.. Hehe..we decided to let him interact more with his cousin. This nephew of mine is two years older than Rayyan and is currently in Primary 2. Initially, Irfan was always jealous of Rayyan. He didn't like it when Rayyan got more attention or when Rayyan had a new toy.

We then decided that if we wanted to get his help, we must win his heart. We explained to him that Rayyan is different and that Rayyan needs his help. We answered truthfully when he asked us why Rayyan behaved in a certain manner.

And over time, Irfan has matured considerably. Although I know that he sometimes wish that Rayyan is more like his other friends or relatives, he carries out his role as 'older brother' very well. He tries his best to communicate with Rayyan and help Rayyan. When we go out, he will hold Rayyan's hand and get him back if he goes astray. And Rayyan is responding to him, not all the time, but he does enjoy having Irfan for company :)

So to my dearest nephew, thank you very, very much for being so patient and helpful. Thank you for trying your best to understand and help Rayyan. You will grow up to be a fine young man, Insya Allah :)

The wacky Irfan :P
Racing along the beach :)
Sharing the iPad in the car ;)
At the zoo
Splashing good time!!