If you are searching for a milk alternative for your lactose-free diet, you might want to give almond milk a try. My kids love it! They prefer it over soy milk. The flavors I have found are vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened vanilla, and original. I use it in my cooking, too, and no one can tell the difference.
If your child is lactose intolerant, we have found a cheese alternative that is lactose free. It’s called “Veggie Shreds” and is kept in the produce section in the local supermarket. Our daughter loves it and I honestly couldn’t tell a difference when I tried it. It melts well, too.
I do my best to make sure my son does not go more than a couple of minutes without some type of interaction. Even if it’s just calling his name, I do something to get him to focus on me so he stays attuned with his environment.
I found that engaging my son in structured activities helps him to have a better day (if he can handle the interaction). Engaging him in activities that are similar to what he experiences in therapy helps to reinforce what the therapists are doing with him while providing quality emotional experiences for the both of us. We will work on puzzles, stringing beads, completing the shape sorter, pulling apart pop-beads, handling play-dough, or calling out the name of pictures on flashcards. These activities also will usually settle my son down if he becomes over-stimulated.
Our toddler has major food aversions and will not eat most foods. I try to keep a bowl of dry cereal, graham crackers, or grapes with his reach during the day. On some days I can’t get him to the table to eat, so this method ensures that he will at least snack during the day. We supplement with a pediatric vitamin drink to provide him with the calories and vitamins his body needs.
My son does not like to have water on his face and he won’t tilt his head back when I wash his hair. I found that when I put head-to-toe baby bath on a washcloth and rub it into his hair, I have less of a problem with him being irritated by the water and shampoo. I still haven’t figured out an alternative to rinsing out the shampoo, though, and he gets irritated with that. Any suggestions?
If your child craves pressure, try surf shirt and leggings. Our toddler is almost constantly searching for input from his body. We found that putting a 'surf' shirt and leggings on him helps to calm him down a bit while providing that extra input he needs. I bought the leggings a size smaller so they would fit more snugly. They are tad short but that usually does not bother him and, when it does, we just put socks on him to cover his exposed skin.
When our toddler gets into the dishwasher, we use it as a learning experience by having him help to empty the dishes (plastic dishes only!). We also have him help load or unload the dryer, clothes basket, etc. This seems to help him to feel important on days when he can tolerate the interaction.
If you have any tips, we would definitely like to share them! Please contact us with anything you would like to share.
If you have a hard time keeping your child in the bathtub you might try adding some bubble bath to the water. Bath-time has been more like a wrestling match with my three-year-old. The bubbles distract him long enough for me to bathe him. If you’re concerned about ingestion, there are brands of natural bubble bath available online and through local drug stores.
I have found a solution that works (most of the time) when it comes to keeping a pull-up or diaper on my Autistic three-year-old. If I put on a pair of underwear over his pull-up, he is less likely to pull it off repeatedly. I don't know if it works because it makes the pull-up/diaper less accessible or because of the added pressure on his body-I just know it works on most days.
If you have a helpful hint to share, please let us know!