Blog Strategy

My blog focuses on alternatives to medication and expensive products in order to help children with autism and other autism spectrum disorders. I have chosen this topic as our client produces sensory toys for children with special needs, with the same mantra – that it is suppose to be an alternative or additional support for the children.

When researching the subject I came across a number of blogs focusing on different aspects of the topics. The writers of the blog have varied backgrounds, which makes them eligible to write about the topics. Those are mothers to autistic children, therapists or teachers. As I am neither, I had to have a different approach to my writing.

The bloggers that have inspired me would be loveplayandlearn.com littlebinsforlittlehands.com and leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk.

The two first blogs are very colorful, which is especially appealing for the toys, but I believe that it is also useful when writing about food. However, their blog posts are a lot more lengthy, while I have gone for a shorter version like the last blog. On the last blog, the posts are rather informative and they refer to other sources, which is the same approach that I have used for my posts.

While many of the other bloggers have been able to write lengthy posts about the different topics, I chose to write shorter posts focusing on giving little insights and ideas for further investigation. As I do not have the practical or theoretical knowledge of the subject I have linked research papers, think pieces and other bloggers to my posts, so the reader is able to get the correct and more in debt knowledge elsewhere. Additionally, I have kept it short to make sure, that the reader gets enough information without being bored of repetitive writing.

The target audience of my blog is parents of children with special needs, specifically parents who are new to the subject and needs an easy read to understand how they can help their children. It is also targeted to others who are interested in alternative learning for their children or has other disorders that might benefit from sensory play and alternative diets.

For my SEO tactics, I have used keywords in my headline, text and in the tags. these would be words such as autism, sensory, diet and DIY. These keywords should make it easy for the target audience so find my post.

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Get your hands dirty – DIY sensory toys: Sensory Bins

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In addition to the three main difficulties autistic children face, communication challenges, repetitive behaviour and social interaction, many also have difficulty with posture, coordination and motor planning. However, there are many different ways for a child to help develop their motor skills and their senses, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money buying expensive toys to stimulate your child – you can do it yourself with materials that you already have right on hand in your own kitchen.

One very popular homemade toy is the SENSORY BIN! These are super easy and super fun to make, and can be made exactly for the purpose that you need and exactly how you want it to look!

So what is a sensory bin you might ask? Well, simply put it’s a container filled with your preferred filling that you can use for a tactile experience.

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To make a sensory bin, you will need the following:

  • Some kind of container such as a cardboard box, a roasting pan or a Tupperware container.
  • A textured base. For this, you can use stuff like rice, sand, water or coffee beans. To make your bin extra fun and colourful, you can add fruit colour to your base
  • Materials that goes with your theme. This can be toys, figures, natural materials and other bits and bobs that matches your theme.
  • Different tool and instruments to play within the bin. Here you can use tongs, spoons or other

There are a lot of benefits coming from playing with sensory bins. It allows the child to think critically and creatively, help strengthen the fine motor skills and can introduce new vocabulary. If your child needs extra support in a specific area, you can make your bin in a theme that helps explore that challenge. Does your child have problems with math? Make a number-themed one. Does your child have a difficulty learning the alphabet? Add letters to your bin. Every bin is unique and can be tailored to your child’s needs. As I mentioned earlier, most of the materials can be found in your very own home and the children can help making them!

For more ideas on how to make sensory bins, go visit Sarah’s blog. She has a ton of good ideas on how to make them and what to put in them. Jackie has also made some amazing ones!

Food for thought – How a change of diet can help your autistic child

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Many swear that a change of diet can help manage autism and other autism spectrum disorders. And it’s not just autism that can be improved with a change of diet. A lot of different kinds of disorders seems to be positively affected by cutting out certain types of food. The most popular diet seems to be the GFCF-diet, which stands for Gluten-free and Casein-Free diet. It basically means you should cut food that contains these two kinds of protein. Cause that is exactly what gluten and casein is – protein. Gluten is a protein that can be found in most grains including wheat, rye and barley, while casein is a protein in dairy products. This means that in order to avoid the two types of protein, you have to avoid some pretty basic food types such as bread, pasta, milk, cheese and baked goods.

While many parents have reported that their child’s behaviour has improved since changing the diet, there isn’t a 100 % clear evidence that it’s true. This study found that the 20 children who participated in the study changed significantly in their behaviour over the year they were on a GFCF-diet, while this one shows that the diet has no effect at all. Either way, I don’t think there is a harm in trying the diet and see how it works for your child. It is important to remember that the diet does not work every child and to have patience when trying out the diet. For some it takes up to a year to see an improvement.

Another alternative treatment that parents sometimes opt for is Omgea-3 fatty acid. The good fat, which can be found in fish or in pill form, is suppose to have a positive effect on brain development and function. However, it has not been proven that the omega-3s  has an impact on behavioural problems.

If you do decide to put you child on the GFCF-diet, make sure to consult with you GP or a nutritionist or dietician to make sure that your child still gets the right amount of vitamins and minerals to secure normal growth and wellbeing.