Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Many parents have recommended that I give Rayyan probiotics, saying that they see improvements in their children after taking probiotics.  These improvements include better eye contact, better focus, less hyper, sleeps better at night, etc.  With all these improvements, I thought, why not?  No harm giving it a try, after all, probiotics is recommended for everybody...

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of probiotics as a natural way to restore the balance of friendly bacteria in the guts. This has many benefits including enhanced immunity, but also positive effects on mood and behavior. Many parents of autistic children have reported vast improvements in their children’s behavior with the use of probiotic supplements.
-Autism Nutrition

So, what kind of probiotics to give Rayyan since there are many different types and brands?  Many parents recommended those probiotics from Kirkman Labs (a very popular brand among ASD parents) but since these are difficult to get, I wanted to try something that I can find easily here first.  Went to GNC and found Multidophilus 12.  

I know some parents give this probiotics to their children and yes, their children show improvements too so I decided to read up on it a bit more before giving it to Rayyan.  I decided to give these probiotics to Rayyan during this holiday period so that I can monitor his behaviour closely.

I am really not sure if it will work on Rayyan.  We have tried GFCF before and unfortunately, it didn't work on him.  I was hoping that this will and gave him the probiotics last Saturday.  It has been 4 days and how is he so far?

I must say that his behaviour is erratic these 4 days!!!  He is more hyper than usual and he will also suddenly laugh non-stop!!  And this happens in the middle of the night too!  He has been waking up early these few nights!  He has been waking up at 2 or 3am and this is driving both my Hubby and I nuts!!  And when he wakes up, he will blabber to himself and laugh and laugh!  Goodness!  I am imagining those friendly bacteria fighting with the unfriendly bacteria in his body and wreaking havoc!

Yes, I have heard from some parents that this might happen.  That he will be out of control for maybe a week or so before everything starts to settle down.  I am praying very, very hard that's the case here!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Through My Eyes

This song was written by a lady, Valerie Foley, about what it can feel like when you are autistic.  It was inspired by the way her son, Billy, lives his life.

I truly love this....

'Through My Eyes'

See the world through my eyes
It changes shape and it changes size
 It's not quite the world you see
If you could find a way to look around inside my mind
Maybe you would understand me

Cause I'm not blind, but I can't always see
 I'm not deaf, but things can sound strange to me
 I'm not trapped, but it's hard to feel free
Imagine what it's like to be me
Imagine what it's like to be me

It's hard for me to try to think things through or talk like you
Everything can be a blur sometimes
But if you walk along beside me,
Hold my hand and guide me
Together any mountain we can climb

 (Repeat Chorus)

I’m dreaming of my future
And it’s brighter than you know
I’ll get there on a different road
When I’m ready to go

I don’t need pity
I don’t need tears
I just need someone to help me understand my fears
Show me that you believe in me
Let me know that I’m ok
Help me feel safe in the world
And I will find my way

(Repeat Chorus)


It's exactly 3am in the morning and I can't sleep.. I miss my baby!!  My sis is out on a short vacation to KL and I am at her place now, keeping my mum company.  My sis has been taking care of my mum all this while and she deserves this break.  

At first, my Hubby and I thought that all three of us would camp here at her place while she is away but from our past experience, we realised that Rayyan has difficulty sleeping here at night.  He just wants to play when he's here!  The fact that he has school early in the morning makes it more inconvenient so we decided that it's best that he sleeps with my Hubby at home while I stay at my sister's place to accompany my mum.

So what do I do here in the middle of the night, when sleep seems to elude me?  Well, I have been surfing the internet and found very touching videos and songs and yes, I am crying in the middle of the night watching all these video clips! 

Here's one that tugs my heartstrings..

Monday, December 12, 2011



A trip to H&M never fails to tickle us.  We went there yesterday to spend the voucher we received for Rayyan's birthday and Rayyan got excited when he saw.... another pair of footwear!

You know what he said when he saw these shoes??  He exclaimed, "The elves and the shoemaker!" lol

This boy's world is indeed full of fairy tales and nursery rhymes.  Tell me... would you think of 'The elves and the shoemaker' when you see these shoes?  Rayyan really sees things in a different light, different perspective.  And that reminds me of an incident at the zoo last Saturday.  We were at the lion's glass enclosure and were busy observing the lion when I saw Rayyan looking closely at something walking across the glass enclosure.  It was an ant, walking across, carrying a piece of food. 

Rayyan sees the little things in life, not just the big picture... He is indeed UNIQUE.  Wouldn't the world be so boring if all of us are the same????? 

Science Centre

We have been bringing Rayyan out almost everyday this holiday.  We brought him to the zoo (as usual..hehe), indoor and outdoor playgrounds, exhibitions and recently, we brought him to Science Centre.  There's a 'Dinosaurs Live' exhibition over at Science Centre where gigantic, almost-real dinosaurs are displayed.  These dinosaurs are able to move around, open their mouths wide, displaying their razor-sharp teeth and there are dinosaur sounds all around the place.  The sounds are quite scary I must say.. hehe

And because the place is dark, with scary sounds all around, Rayyan was TERRIFIED.  He asked to be carried all the time!  The good thing was, he didn't cry at all.  He held on to us tightly but his eyes were scrutinising the dinosaur.  Overall, I must say that the entry fees are too expensive for such a small exhibition ($23 for adults, $18 for children, including entrance to Science Centre) but I'm sure the exhibition gave Rayyan a whole new meaning to the word 'dinosaur'! lol

Rayyan enjoyed the Science Centre though.  Even though he didn't understand the science concepts behind each display, he had fun with the gadgets.

This is him having fun with one of the cool animations there..

At least he learnt how to activate the animations by pressing the button and stepping on the footsteps :))

Sunday, December 11, 2011


When Rayyan is in the shower, he has this habit of gargling his mouth with water and then throw back the water into the container where he sipped the water from!  At first we closed an eye to this because it comes from his own mouth after all but now, he seems kind of obsessed with it and it's a bit too much!  We have discouraged him from doing so but like I said, it has become a habit.

Moral of the story :  If he does anything undesirable, stop it IMMEDIATELY.

Anyway, since it has become a habit, when he drinks from a cup, he wants to throw it out too.  Most probably, he was recalling what he did in the shower.  He did it again after his dinner yesterday night and then wet his own t-shirt and the floor!  We were so mad that we made him clean up his own mess.  

Yes young man, you must learn to clean up your own mess!  He was crying but he still wiped the floor at the same time..

I felt like an evil stepmother....... But if this is the way to make him learn, so be it!

Friday, December 9, 2011


I have been at home with Rayyan for almost 2 weeks and these 2 weeks, I talk a lot to Rayyan, even if he doesn't seem to understand or even listen to me at times!  I realised that my Hubby and I talk a lot about his interest all this while, for example, since he loves animals and is always reading animal books, we always talk to him about animals.  But I realised the importance of talking to him about things around him.  For example, when we are on the road, I talk about the vehicles around us.  I talk about him as a person, family and school and recently, we talk about friends.  I don't think he knows what 'friends' mean yet but we just talk about friends that he is familiar with.

Here's our recent conversation... 

As you can see, it is very difficult to get his focus and he doesn't listen to our questions carefully so doesn't really answer our questions.  But it's ok, I am really, really happy that we can finally 'talk' to him...  

This is the boy, who one year ago, couldn't even say a single word.  This is the boy who we thought will never talk.  I am extremely proud of you my boy and I love you with all my heart.

Thank you God for finally giving him a VOICE.  Thank you God for the MIRACLE  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Book

I made another simple book for Rayyan, this time about our holiday in Kuala Lumpur.  He loves to read the book and I'm glad he can understand a bit more about holidays now.

Our conversation two days ago..

Me : Rayyan, you want to go to KL?

Rayyan : Yes!

Me : What do you want to eat when you are in KL?

Rayyan : Koko Krunch!

Hahaha... Never mind if he actually eats Koko Krunch almost everyday at home.  I'm just happy that he more or less remembers and understands what I wrote in the book :)

And well, if you notice, even though the event has passed, I still use present tense in this book because Rayyan doesn't understand the concept of past tense yet.  If for example, I change the word 'go' to 'went', I don't think Rayyan will understand.  So present tense it will be for now.

And oh yes, Rayyan loves it when we reach the last part... The End! ;)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Perfect World

Today is not such a bad day.  After we sent Rayyan to school, Hubby and I managed to catch a movie.. our first in a very loooong time!  And I'm really glad we went for the movie because we really needed that break, both of us are movie lovers and it felt good to be able to catch a movie just like old times, it kind of re-energized us :)

And at home, after fetching Rayyan, both of us worked together to keep Rayyan occupied.  While Hubby played with Rayyan, I did the laundry or the cooking.  We then let Rayyan do some painting and while Hubby cleaned him up after the painting session, I cleaned up the mess.  While Hubby read the newspapers, I watched television with Rayyan.  Accompanying Rayyan to watch television is so much better than leaving him alone because we got to do the actions together.  We were watching Go, Diego Go!  and I encouraged him to clap, do the actions and sing along.  And he did!  I was so happy!

It is really great that the three of us managed to spend quality time together.  It is really great that we could take turns to keep Rayyan occupied.  It will really, really help Rayyan.  I'm sure he will show improvement if we can do this everyday.  I wish that everyday is a holiday!!  That would be simply PERFECT!

Sadly, this is not a perfect world... soon, I'll have to go back to work.  I wish I don't have to work for the money, that money would just drop from the sky... that would be another perfect world.. haha!  Ok, ok, me and my fantasies!!  I really have to make full use of my holiday while it lasts!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Today is not so great after all...  After dinner, I wanted to do some Teach Time with Rayyan and proceeded to prepare some tasks for him.  After showing him the schedule, he sat obediently on his chair and eyed the 'treats' I have prepared for him.

He did the first few tasks well enough but later became more demanding, for example, when I wanted to proceed to the next activity after doing a few spelling puzzles, he protested and wanted to do more spelling puzzles.  I complied.  Then I took out one simple worksheet for him and gave him a pencil.  That was when he started crying and protesting.  At this point, my blood was boiling.  I can still understand if he at least tried but he wasn't even concentrating on the worksheet.  I tried to coax him.  I encouraged him to try and assured him but he cried louder and louder and at this point, I just snapped!

I took his palm and gave it a few slaps.. HARD.  He was shocked and in pain because he was rubbing his palm.  Then I scolded him and surprisingly, he kept quiet.  I think he knew that I was angry with him.  Then he started sobbing and my heart was in pieces when I saw the tears streaming down his cheeks.  But I was too angry.  I then pushed him away and told him to go to bed.  He wanted to come near me but I pushed him away again.

He then followed Hubby to the bedroom and I heard him cry for a while.  Then, after a few minutes, he was laughing and shouting happily and refused to sleep... Sigh... He has forgotten all that has happened earlier but I didn't... I was sitting on the sofa, feeling really guilty, reflecting on what happened earlier..  I shouldn't have given him those slaps on his palm.  I shouldn't push him away.  It was already his bedtime and maybe, he was just tired.  I should have done Teach Time much earlier during the day.  I felt horrible.  And I didn't want the day to end like this.

I went back to the room but I wasn't all mushy with him because even though I felt guilty, I didn't want him to think that he can get away with anything just by crying.  I told him that I was very angry with him for throwing a tantrum and since he was all hyped up, I brought him back to finish the task!  I didn't know then if it was the right move but I just wanted him to finish the task.  Surprisingly, he complied and finished the task within seconds!  The task was relatively easy for him, he just didn't want to do it!

Then I hugged him, told him that I was proud of him for finishing the task, reminded him not to be naughty again and sent him off to bed.  I didn't know if he understood but I felt so much better.  I really hope he did too.

I pray for a better day tomorrow.  Hope your day was better than mine... And yes, if you're curious, here's the worksheet that caused all the ruckus..

Fingers All!!

Another one!  I can't help but laugh when I see this video because he was so impatient and wanted to finish it quick.  He was supposed to sing about each finger one by one but well, he simplified it and went straight to the last part! hahaha

And he even imitated the way we sing it, especially the part, "Here we are!  Here we are!  How do you do???"  Enjoy!

Pease Porridge!

Like I said before, Rayyan loves to recite nursery rhymes and even though most of his speech is still not coherent, his pronunciation is improving :))

Here's Rayyan singing Pease Porridge... And oh yes, there's more rhythm in his singing now, last time, he was totally flat! lol

I love this video, hope you will enjoy it too! *wink*


Finally!  My holiday has finally started!!!  Been down with school stuffs and other official duties every day since school was closed and I finally had my holiday on Monday!  Hooray!  So what have I been doing?  Basically, the first few days I just SLACKED... and I mean totally slacked... I really needed that.  I was too exhausted and I needed to just do NOTHING!  Oh well, of course I helped Hubby with Rayyan here and there but I didn't really get down to the things that I wanted to do this holiday.

And after a few days of rest, I was ready to get down to business.  So what is in my checklist this holiday? Basically, I want to make use of this holiday for Rayyan, to do some planning, to put some structures in place (gosh, I really sound like a teacher) and to just spend more time with him.  I owe him that.  He misses me so much and I think that he is always afraid that I will disappear if he doesn't hold on to me because whenever we go out, he refuses to let go of my hand and doesn't want to hold Hubby's hand at all!  Poor Hubby...

Anyway, here's the detailed checklist...

1) Organise his play room.  

His play room is actually quite neat but I don't like the fact that toys are stacked on top of each other and there are many 'old' toys that he has outgrown and doesn't play with anymore.  Furthermore, he received many new toys for his birthday so I need to make space for that.  And I am glad that this has actually been done. Hehe.. I have added shelves, put away old toys and wiped clean each toy in the room!  Phew!  Took me one whole day and times like these, I wish I still have my  helper with me.

I like the fact that there are shelves now because that means, he can't reach for his toys and have to request and that gives him more opportunities to talk :))

And yes, a friend did comment in FB that I must consider the colour of the room because she is a teacher in a primary school and their special needs room had to be repainted because it was yellow and orange and a specialist recommended to the principal to change the colour as the colour can distract these kids.  Yes, yes, I actually knew that the colour of Rayyan's room is too bright AFTER I have painted the room.  And to think that before we painted the room, the room was light blue!  Sheesh!!  Rayyan is now used to the colour of the room but I still think it is better if we change the colour.  Hope we can change the colour of the room by mid next year...

2) Organise his gym room/OT room.

We have converted Rayyan's bedroom to his gym room@OT room.  His bed has been moved next to our bed as he still needs to feel our presence when he sleeps and he is not ready to sleep on his own yet.  We do hope he can sleep on his own soon so that Mummy and Daddy can have their very much needed privacy! lol  Anyway, we have a trampoline, crash bag and two different types of swings in the room.  It is a place for him to let off steam.  He cannot stay in the room for too long though because if he does, he will get more hyped up and will start jumping and laughing non-stop!!

This room needs a new coat of paint as the walls look pretty dirty and I want to decorate it a bit.  Not too much though, I've learnt my lesson with the play room... hehe

3) Do a comprehensive time-table/schedule for Rayyan.

Hubby has done a great job taking care of Rayyan but one thing is seriously lacking, he doesn't have a time-table/schedule for Rayyan, whatever he feels like doing, he will do.  I seriously feel that a comprehensive schedule is important because it requires planning and many considerations take place when you plan.  I want to make sure that all the important activities are included and that the activities are done at regular intervals so that learning can be maximised and whatever interventions that we want to do will be effective.  And to do this, I really need to observe Rayyan and then try out the time-table to make sure it is feasible enough.

4) Find a good occupational therapist for Rayyan

Rayyan is an active boy with good gross motor skills.  He doesn't have any problems with the playground but I do need help in other areas.  He still tip toes, still super active, jumping and flapping his arms when he is excited.  When he is excited and hyper, it is very difficult to get through him.  And the thing is, he is excited and happy most of the time!  This I think, hinders learning and communication.  I need an OT to help me deal with this and also, to help me improve on his writing skills.  Rayyan HATES writing!  Till now, he can't even do a straight line, as in a really straight line.  Whenever he has to write, he just do it in any way he wants, not concentrating, not putting in effort and sometimes, throwing a huge tantrum when he sees that he has to do some writing.  I am totally helpless when it comes to teaching Rayyan to write!

5) To start on Work Time.

We do Teach Time with him and Play Time but needs to start on Work Time where he does work independently.  He has Work Time in school but not practised at home and I think we need to get that done.  I have to start off by selecting appropriate materials/worksheets for him to work with.

6)  Spend Quality Time

And last, but not least, I just want to spend quality time with him.  Talk to him, play with him, work with him.  This is the time for me to strengthen my bond with him before school reopens and my hectic, busy life begins again.  I must make full use of this precious time...

This is the season to be jolly.  Happy Holidays!!!