Approximately 24 hours before I was supposed to go on live television for a segment, I woke up with a horrendous sinus infection and no voice…not even a sultry Scarlett Johansson voice, just little raspy squeaks between hacking coughs. But the show must go on (as we “in the biz” say) so I pumped myself full of a dangerous amount of cold medicine, drank a vat of tea, and painted up my face like a french streetwalker. Because I’m a professional, dangit.
I was in the large news studio today rather than the morning show set so there was no live audience. I had an overwhelming urge to sit at the anchor desk and say things like, “How now brown cow. Unique New York. What is your name, Lanolin?” I resisted.
The people that work at KSHB are incredible. They are each so busy, but they all make a point to be warm and welcoming. I also get to meet a hodge-podge of cool Kansas City people on any given day. It’s like my childhood dream of being on The Muppet Show comes true every time I’m there.
The toys I showed for Autism Awareness month were especially awesome; read on for details and links of where to buy.
The Tree House Bed Tent Play House by Pacific Play Tents (PacificPlayTents.com)
Kids can use this space to get away from over-stimulation. The patented super poles make it extremely easy to set up (literally took less than 4 minutes) and it comes with a travel bag so you don’t have to worry about getting them out of their bedtime comfort zone when you’re staying away from home.
The Crayola Mess Free Stow and Go Studio (Target.com or Amazon.com)
The markers only show up on the page, not on skin, furniture or fabric. It comes with plenty of coloring pages and a durable case for travel.
Yookidoo Submarine Spray Whale (Amazon.com)
Studies suggest that sitting in warm water for half an hour will temporarily make children more sociable and less prone to repeating the same action over and over again. This toy is particularly great for kids on the spectrum because it discourages hand flapping and encourages hand-eye coordination while teaching them to wash themselves.
Playfoam by Educational Insights (Amazon.com)
This encourages creative, tactile play, which can help kids on the spectrum sit longer and improve their attention for learning and language. The carry case makes it perfect for on-the-go.
Primary Science Five Senses Activity Set by Learning Resources (LearningResources.com)
Since autistic children are often very visual learners, this set provides fun tools to teach the five senses. It comes with tubes that can be filled with water and glitter for a calming toy and an activity guide for the Tac-Tiles. My kids absolutely love all of the toys they have from Learning Resources and they are are well-made and well-priced.
Thank you to all of these sponsors for the wonderful learning tools and toys.