*The content in this post is provided for general information and is based on personal experience of attending the event. The products bought on the day were purchased using my own money and are for my son’s use. I did not receive money or any other compensation for this post.
The Journey to ExCeL, London
My partner and I attended The Autism Show in London, on Friday 14th June. We decided to go on Friday rather than the Saturday as I knew that the train journey would have been a bit overwhelming for my son.
On Friday morning, we dropped my son off at school and then headed to the train station to begin our journey to ExCeL, London.
We reached our destination at London Bridge, where we then hopped onto the tube to Canning Town and then onto the DLR to Prince Regent Station. So, you can understand why I made the decision not to take my son.
On arrival, there was a sign clearly showing where the quiet seating areas were.
The Sensory Room, at The Autism Show, was created by Mike Ayres Design and OM Interactive.
I loved the interactive features and having features with a relaxing motion, which was very soothing.
There were also tactile panels on the outside of the room, which were both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Smartbox Assistive Technology
We headed over to the Grid for iPad stand, where I was intrigued by the app. Controlled by both touch and eye movement, which I thought was impressive. One of the representatives explained to me that you can personalise the images and tailor the structure of the design to individual preference.
The Makaton Charity
We then proceeded to head towards The Makaton Charity stand where we looked at picture books with Makaton. The Makaton Charity scanned the barcode on my ticket so that I am now signed up for e-mail notifications.
Orkid Ideas sell TomTag Kits, a visual support system. I was familiar with this product from one of my son’s Occupational Therapy sessions.
I purchased a TomTag kit on the day. This included:
- 7 TomTag button holders
- 50 blank buttons
- 2 attachment loops
- 2 sticker packs.
The sticker packs included stickers related to In the House and Out and About activities.
I always wanted to try this solution with my son as it will provide him with structure and routine but in a visual way. Also, it is portable and discreet, which at my son’s age is something that he prefers so will be more motivated to use them.
Previously, my son wanted me to buy some clay to use at home for his artwork. At school, he has been experimenting with different art material and has recently been using clay.
It was something that I was going to purchase for my son anyway, so it was convenient for me to buy some clay here at this event.
I played with some of the Jumping Clay, which was out on the table. I could tell by feeling it that it was light and easy to manipulate with your fingers. It would be something that is both creative and relaxing for my son. The clay would be ideal for sensory input and will help my son with his fine motor skills. The product is air-dry, which is a bonus.
The Autism Matters Theatre
We sat down and placed the headsets on ready to listen to the 12:05-12:45 professional speaker, Sharonne Horlock. Sharonne is the Strategic Leader at SEND, and she discussed the effective support for autistic children in mainstream schools.
Sharonne provided valuable insight and useful strategies, promoting inclusion and personal growth. So, if you are attending The Autism Show in Birmingham on 21st June or the show in Manchester on 28th June, I recommend visiting the theatre for this.
The Journey Home
I was mindful of the time, so we headed back to make it home in time for the school run. For part of our journey back, we had to run for the train. My partner cheekily commented that he has never seen me move so fast; funny, considering he was the one trailing behind.
After picking my son up from school, he couldn’t wait to open up and play with the Jumping Clay.
He loved the smell, in particular, which in the leaflet highlights that the clay is jasmine scented.
Here is one of his creations made from the clay: