A couple of weeks ago I went to Naidex which is the yearly disability exhibition. There is always so much to see and do for anyone with any interest in the innovations for the future of independent living.
I go because I like to look at new wheelchairs and accessible cars, but there is also a lot of new technology and information on holidays and disability sports. It can really be an eye opener.
One of the stands we spent a lot of time on was Touchpoints. I’m not always looking for things for myself, I also have autistic children and Star has physical disabilities too. The Touchpoints attracted me because they claimed to be of benefit to those with Autism.
I held two of the little devices while the lady on the stand talked to me about them. I took some information to look up when I got home, along with a purchase code as I was already thinking about buying some. While there I also filled in a competition form.
I received an e-mail shortly after the exhibition to say that I’d won the competition for a box of Touchpoints basic. This was the day after we’d been to the school to talk about the Little Man. He is now on the school’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities register, and we know he is autistic although we don’t have it in writing yet.
The Little Man was fascinated with the Touchpoints and was keen to give them a try at school. We talked to the teacher who allowed him to wear the Touchpoints on his wrists.
After just a few days of wearing them he is already much happier at school and getting on with his work. I’ll explain more later.
What Are Touchpoints and What Do They Do?
In the box you get 2 touch points, a duel charger wire(so you can charge them both at the same time) and carrying pouch, a set of wristbands and a sticker sheet. These are the Touchpoint Basics, there are other options to choose from.
To use the Touchpoints you press the button on one to turn it on and then choose between the three settings: blue for sleep, yellow for calm or purple for anger. Then if you turn on the other Touchpoint and face them together the second device should change to match the same colour as the first and begin vibrating in an alternating pattern. Then you keep the Touchpoints on either side of the body. You can use the straps, or put them in your pockets or socks. Anywhere you feel comfortable putting them.
Touchpoints work through Bi-Lateral Alternating Stimulation Tactile (BLAST) technology. This means, in simple terms, that alternating messages are sent to the brain to interrupt it’s current state and keep it more relaxed. I’m trying to keep it non science(y) here, but if you want to understand more it’s explained in detail on the website. Or you can see a scientific study here that shows that it really does have an effect on emotional and physical pain.
The noise made by the Touchpoints was one of the first things I noticed. It was noisy in the exhibition so this wasn’t something I’d noticed until I turned them on at home. However, when put in my pockets of my trousers the noise was considerably less noticeable. I guess if you put them in your socks, or down your bra, then you would notice it even less.
The Little Man wanted to wear them on the wristbands provided. I was worried that they would be too noisy for school, but he pulls down his sleeves over them and no-one notices.
The Little Man is the one who’s had the most use out of them but I did get to use them myself. I’d become upset over an incident which totally stressed me out almost to point of tears. I was in a right ‘flap’ not knowing what to do. The Touchpoints were nearby as they’d not long arrived and I’d been looking at them. So I tried them out. I put them on ‘angry’ as I really was that stressed out, then I popped them in my pockets. Within minutes I felt much calmer and I was able to make two phone calls which helped to sort out my problem. I can honestly say that the Touchpoints really helped to calm me down, and in just a few minutes. I’d have probably been stressing for a lot longer without them.
As I said before, the Little Man has been having problems at school. Nearly every day we were getting notes in his book about him not concentrating, disrupting the class and generally being silly. Then the teacher told us that he annoys the other kids so much that he had no friends and would often spend his break time alone, or annoying others. This really upset me as I know at home he is a sensitive well behaved little boy. He was like Jekyll and Hyde!
With the Autism diagnosis upon us I realised that maybe he was suffering from over stimulation at school which is why he was acting up. I hoped that the Touchpoints would help with that.
So now he wears the Touchpoints to school each day. He found out by reading the website how they work. He chooses what setting to have them on and uses them when he needs too. They have helped him a lot. We have had reports back that he is getting on with his work more and not annoying the other children as much. He has not disrupted the classroom and yesterday he came home from school and told me he had made some new friends!!
Touchpoints have not asked me to write this review although they did ask for some feedback on their Facebook page. I am honestly really thrilled with the Touchpoints. If I can get them off the Little Man for five minutes I might even have another try with them myself. Or, maybe I will buy myself a pair too.
Touchpoints have so many uses as well as stress and Autism. They can help you get to sleep, study, tourettes, negativity, Parkinsons, Social issues, fear of the dark, test anxiety, phobias, aggression and many more. You can find an encyclopedia of uses on Facebook.
When I gave Touchpoints my feedback they told me I could share a discount code with anyone who may be interested in trying Touchpoints for themselves. Here is a copy of the information they sent to me with relevant links and information.
There are two types of TouchPoints available:-
The Basics are manually controlled devices with 3 settings Sleep, Calm and Anger.
The Originals are app controlled devices which come with the 3 settings mentioned for the Basics but additionally with Focus, Performance and Craving. So you should consider what you need the devices for and whether you want to use your phone to control them.
Find out more on the link below:
Once you have decided which version is for you please visit https://www.touchpointeurope.com/pages/shop-touchpoints and use code AUTISM15 at the checkout.
This should give you 15% off.
Any other queries drop us an email to email@example.com or call us on 01531 820511, this line is manned between 9am and 3pm on weekdays.
The code Autism15 should be good for the whole of April, which is Autism Awareness Month. You can always call or e-mail for more details.
If you do try them I’d love to know how you get on.
The Birthday Party Meal
I’m a bit late sharing these photos, they are from my Sister-in-Laws birthday party meal a couple of weeks ago.
I love this selfie Graham did of us with the family having their party meal in the background. I’ve blurred the edges a bit because we managed to catch some strangers on the next table too. Graham always looks so serious in his selfie photos though.
At the other end of the table were the kids, this is only half of them and the middle one is not mine, that’s ‘Squidge,’ my Nephew’s youngest daughter. The lady turned away is my nephew’s older daughter…I really think huge age gaps are thing in our family (My Mum, my Brother, Me and My Nephew!) My Nephew’s older daughter is having a baby in June, so my nephew is going to be a grand dad!
Back to the photo, I was a little too far away to see what the kids were up to
(I didn’t take this photo.) It was nice to see them enjoying their food. However, when I viewed it I was very annoyed with Boo! Just look at her with her mobile phone on while she’s having a meal. That’s a big No No at home, and the same goes for when we are out for a party meal. I can’t really blame her though, she was only copying what most of the adults were doing.
When I moved into my home five years ago it already had most of the requirements for a disabled person because it was a newly built house. I had no idea that just two years later I would be so grateful for these. If my house had been older I may have had to make a lot of changes. This post is a guide to what changes may need to be made should a loved one become disabled.
Whether a disability is borne out of a chronic illness or unforeseen trauma, living with one isn’t easy. Many disabilities impair one’s capacity to get around, which is why it’s important for family members and loved ones to create an environment suitable for accommodating their unique needs. And although many new homes are designed to aid persons with disabilities, often, older homes need to be retrofit to do the same.
That said, if you have a loved one or family member with a disability, here are a few things you can do to make your house more comfortable and inviting for them:
1. Change your flooring
If you have marble floors or a carpeted hallway, it might be good to replace them with hardwood floors or ceramic tiles. These different types of flooring provide traction for wheelchairs, not to mention being easy to clean.If you don’t have enough money to re-floor your property, The Spruce suggests covering it with linoleum instead. Aside from being resistant to water and stains, it doesn’t hold on to dust and is good for wheelchairs. We have wood effect linoleum in our hallway and people often believe it’s real wood. It’s great for my wheelchair and makes exiting the house easy.
2. Widen hallways and doors
Your home’s doors need to be at least 36 inches wide for standard-size wheelchairs to fit through. A carpenter can usually complete this job within a day, as it is pretty straightforward.
However, if you want to make the adjustments yourself, you can install doors with swing-away hinges. You can also opt for dividers and sliding doors, which not only make access easier, but they can also make your home look more open and spacious. From the selection of internal doors on Screwfix, it is evident that your choice can impact the overall look of an entire room or home. This is why when choosing new doors, you need to make sure they are functional, as well as beautiful.
3. Add a downstairs toilet
If you find installing wheelchair platforms, stair lifts, and wheelchair climbers too expensive, you can renovate your home to make another bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor for your disable relative to sleep. This way, you won’t need to worry about how they will get up and down the stairs regularly.
1. Change door and cabinet knobs
Door knobs can be difficult to use if they have limited mobility in their wrists or hands. It’s better to use door handles that will allow your doors to be unlocked and opened using only one hand. Locks, bolts, chains, and peepholes should be placed between three to four feet from the floor, so they can easily reach it.
2. Add accessible accessories to your bathroom
Showering and sitting on the toilet can be challenging, especially if they have restricted in terms of their movement. Installing handy bathroom accessories like shower seats and sturdy handrails will be very helpful—and are easy to blend in with your bathroom’s overall design. If you have more resources, you can follow the designs featured on the Telegraph and overhaul your bathroom to turn it into a wet room. This means that it will have no moving parts or doors that need to be opened or closed. It’ll be turned into one seamless room that can easily be accessed even if your family member is in a wheelchair or walker.
3. Add sufficient lighting
Whether they are using a walker or a wheelchair, it’s important to make sure every nook and cranny of your home — including the stairs, rooms, and hallways — is well-lit. An electrical technician can help you improve your home’s lighting and make sure you leave no dark corners. Long hallways should have light switches at both ends and the switches should be reachable from a wheelchair.
Don’t forget to pay attention to your driveway and garage, too. Garden paths need to be wide enough for wheelchair access and the paving should be wheelchair- and walker-friendly, Lushome notes that some of the most important considerations you need to look at when it comes to your driveway are safety, access, drainage, and aesthetics. Once you’ve crossed out all these off your list, your home will be ready for any family member with a disability.
Overall, minor and major home improvement projects for the benefit of a disabled person are a welcome change. And while you’re at it, why not take into account your loved one’s style and preferences? For ideas on choosing a theme, have a look at our guide here on Raisie Bay
I hate driving in snow and ice, it scares me and I’ve had a couple of near mishaps. Once, I was coming out of an icy car park, approaching a busy road, when the car just wouldn’t stop. I was skidding towards the moving traffic sideways on. Eventually the car stopped just inches from the road, just as a bus went passed.
I avoid driving in snow and ice whenever I can, but sometimes it’s not possible. The weather stays bad for months and the car needs to be used so I’ve put together some tips for making sure the car is ready for winter journeys.
Do Your Checks
Make sure your tyres are in good condition, you may even consider changing to winter tyres. The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm but 3mm is recommended for a better grip in bad weather.
Car batteries have a life of around 5 years so it’s worth checking how old yours is, it’s going to take a lot of pressure over the winter months.
Check the amount of anti-freeze in your water and top it up if necessary. In winter it should be fifty percent water, fifty percent anti-freeze.
Clean your lights, windowscreen and wipers. Being able to see properly is a priority on darker days and nights. Check for chips in the windowscreen too as these can grow when it’s cold.
Always make sure you have a decent amount of petrol in the tank in case of delays in your journey.
It’s always best to be prepared for an breakdown or being stuck in traffic in cold weather. We all see it on the news, rows of cars stuck for hours in the snow, but we never know when it could happen to us. So it’s wise just to be prepared. A simple breakdown kit could contain, a shovel, torch, blanket, scraper, de-icer and a few food and drink supplies. That should help until you get moving again, or rescued. It’s always good to have a fully charged phone too.
Last but Not Least
Do make sure that your car is up to date with it’s service checks and MOT. According to the AA a lot of car problems in the cold weather could be avoided by regular servicing and maintenance checks. So, get yours done before it’s too late. No one does better VOSA approved MOT in Northampton than Calmac Tyres Autocentres. Get your car checked today!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post
Winter is quickly creeping in, and at this time of year we all feel the need to hibernate like the animals our children learn about at school; in fact, with darker nights and colder days, having a house that’s warm and cosy is imperative to creating a feeling of “home sweet home”.
There’s nothing less homely than being in a house that is cold and drafty, yet, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm and cosy bedroom that makes you feel all safe and snuggled up from the cold weather outside.
Indeed, winter can be a magical time, for as the snow begins to fall for the first time, the whole house will get excited about the prospect of building snowmen, going sledding and having the inevitable snowball fight. Of course, there’s the occasional Scrooge like character that fails to see the magic of this time of year and considers only the affect such adverse weather will have on traffic conditions… but for most people, and in particular, most children – the snow starting to fall signifies a time of magic and wonderment.
There’s nothing better, as a kid, than being wrapped up warm looking out at the snow falling from your bedroom; going to sleep, then waking up every now and then, peeking through the window to see if it’s still snowing and whether the snow has settled.
Now, in terms of making your child’s bedroom warm and cosy, the furniture in your kids bedroom is quite important. Cuckooland offer perhaps the coolest kids bedroom furniture to create a modern yet cosy atmosphere, though, a lot of making your kids bedroom more warm and cosy comes down to is related specifically to their bed and lighting.
Lighting is one of the most vital components when it comes to creating a warm and cosy space, and there are a number of things you can do to add to the feeling of warmth within your child’s bedroom, whilst also offering a safe “night light” glow that is conducive to sleep.
Many times, people put warm LED string lights into their child’s bedroom to emit a warm glow that is safe to stay on throughout the night (particularly if battery operated), whilst if you’re looking for something a little more fancy you could use a Himalayan salt lamp, as this will create a cosy glow in addition to providing numerous health benefits.
Then, when it comes to the warmth and coziness of your kid’s bed, it can be helpful to add a memory foam mattress topper to their bed, as this will provide much warmth and insulation whilst also making the bed feel more cloud like in that they will sink into it.
If your house is particularly cold, and electric blanket can work wonders in providing a constant supply of localised heat – or a hot water bottle provides a more specific heat source that can be nice to put in the bed prior to bedtime.