Easy Indoor Activities for Children With Autism

 

As April is upon us and the promise of rain (or snow!) is imminent many days will be spent indoors. For parents looking to fill the day we at Best Buddies Rhode Island have put together a list of 5 great activities to keep your little one busy!

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month we have geared these activities towards those on the autism spectrum. These activities will help improve motor skills, communication, and will provide new sensory experiences for your child. Depending on your child’s age and symptoms some activities may not be recommended.

  1. Puppet Show

Have any old socks lying around the house, of course you do! Decorate sock puppets with your child and then put on a show. This activity can improve socialization for when your child begins attending school.

  1. Shredded Flower Bouquet 

Have your child rip up colored paper and make it into a beautiful Spring bouquet. The child will be able to manipulate the paper and turn it into something new, a great sensory experience. A perfect gift or decoration!

  1.   Finger Painting 

Beware of the mess! Your child will love watching the colors swirl together as they manipulate them on the page.

  1. Scented Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is not only fun but it can help develop motor skills and will provide a sensory experience for your child.  Get right into the fun yourself and blow different sizes of bubbles and then see where they go!

  1. Dance Party!

Put on their favorite music and get the whole family involved! Dancing is a great way to get up and moving while having a lot of fun! This activity can help with socialization and coordination.

These activities will be great for any child on a rainy day regardless of whether or not they are on the autism spectrum. At Best Buddies we recognize all intellectual and developmental disabilities and believe these would be great activities for any child. Let us know which activity your child liked the most and if you have any other idea we would love to hear them!

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Meet The Staff

Matthew Netto is the state director of Best Buddies Rhode Island. As the state director Matthew is responsible for the growth and expansion of Best Buddies across the state.

Matthew took the position in 2013 and has since overseen several successful programs. In correspondence with the program director, Jessica, the pair took Rhode Island by storm in 2014 holding the Buddies Ball, the Friendship Walk, and Champion of the year. These events were very successful for the organization promoting Best Buddies Rhode Island but also promoting the mission of the Best Buddies International Organization.

For more information on Best Buddies Rhode Island visit their website and to get involved with upcoming Best Buddies events listed on their Facebook page which is updated frequently with what they have going on!

 

Quick and Healthy Recipes

As some may say food is the best medicine or maybe its the key to your heart. What better way to show someone you care than with a home cooked meal?

HD patients may have a hard time getting adequate nutrition from the foods they eat. Involuntary movements and slow eating can make it difficult for a person with HD to get through a meal. In later stages of HD swallowing can become difficult for your loved one so softer foods will be needed.

I have put together a list of great nutrient packed easy to eat foods for your favorite patient! Regardless of what stage of HD your loved one is in these recipes will provide the nutrition they need and the soft texture will be easy to swallow.  Click here for more recipes and facts about the relationship between food and Huntington’s Disease patients.

The first recipe is a crowd favorite…Guacamole! The avocados in the dish are densely packed with nutrients and have been labeled as a super food! Depending on what you like substitute the jalapeño for a more mild pepper like green chillies which can be found in small cans at your local grocery store. The soft texture of this recipe will go down easily if your loved one has trouble swallowing. Guacamole will be great on its own, on salads, or served as a condiment.

Guacamole

Total Time:1 hr 20 min
Prep:20 min
Inactive:1 hr
Yield:1 batch
Level:Easy
Ingredients

3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
Directions

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
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Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/guacamole-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

 

Another great soft food is soup! Soup may be messy for the patient but providing a larger spoon with a rubber handle can help with grip and avoid spills. Squash is a great resource of essential vitamins and minerals and has a low quantity of saturated fats and sodium.

Squash Soup

Total Time:50 min
Prep:10 min
Cook:40 min
Yield:6 to 8 servings
Level:Intermediate
Ingredients

3 to 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, approximately 2, seeded and quartered
Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the quartered squash onto a half sheet pan, brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the white pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender.

Scoop the flesh from the skin into a 6-quart pot. Add the broth, honey and ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture until smooth*. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2003
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© 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/squash-soup-recipe2.print.html?oc=linkback

These recipes are not only easy but they can also be made ahead of time and eaten later in the week for those of us who just run out of time at the end of the day. Check back on Friday for my #FridayFavorites where I will be sharing more of my favorite recipes!

 

Clinical Trials

I search for clinical trials all the time. I know that sounds insane but I do just for a shred of hope that this terrible disease could just disappear. I am frustrated and upset that this particular trial will take so long to complete because I want answers NOW. I feel as though that in the medical field data such as clinical trials, research, or experimental cures are related to give people some type of hope when they need it. From a public relations standpoint this looks great for the company who puts out this content because it will keep people checking back every fews days in hopes that the results are posted or that new information is being released. Being on both sides I think that it is important to keep families of those affected in the loop but I also think it is important to be sensitive to the issue and what you are representing. Getting a lot of traffic on your social media may be great but I think it is better to be sensitive to the families rather then get the most likes.

 

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT02519036?view=record#contacts

Rare Disease Day?

Rare Disease day was February 29th, a day that only comes around every four years dedicated to all of those who are affected by rare diseases. Though having a day dedicated to rare diseases is great there should be more than just a rare day to focus on these rare diseases. As public relations professionals we should work to make the causes and companies we care so deeply about relevant to our publics every day. While I fully support rare disease day and what it stands for I am hurt that these rare disease are recognized so infrequently. In my future position I hope to make Huntington’s Disease as prevalent to people as any other life threatening disease out there. Medical problems are real and affect so many every day continuously. Many people will sign up for events and walks and will donate when it is made easy for them, I want people to care and want to help when its not the trendy thing to do because this disease happen and people with them need our help. http://blogs.plos.org/dnascience/2016/02/29/rare-disease-day-2016-huntingtons-disease-update/

Rare Disease Day?

Rare Disease day was February 29th, a day that only comes around every four years dedicated to all of those who are affected by rare diseases. Though having a day dedicated to rare diseases is great there should be more than just a rare day to focus on these rare diseases. As public relations professionals we should work to make the causes and companies we care so deeply about relevant to our publics every day. While I fully support rare disease day and what it stands for I am hurt that these rare disease are recognized so infrequently. In my future position I hope to make Huntington’s Disease as prevalent to people as any other life threatening disease out there. Medical problems are real and affect so many every day continuously. Many people will sign up for events and walks and will donate when it is made easy for them, I want people to care and want to help when its not the trendy thing to do because this disease happen and people with them need our help. http://blogs.plos.org/dnascience/2016/02/29/rare-disease-day-2016-huntingtons-disease-update/