Our Life ~ Episode Two

Information for my family!

Nick was diagnosed with...."the neuro-developmental disorder of Autism Spectrum Disorder with co-occurring verbal, oral and motor dyspraxia. A person with dyspraxia has problems with movement, coordination, judgement, processing, memory and certain other motor related activities. Nicholas also has low muscle tone, no speech and requires assistance with motor planning, although he is able to walk unaided and move independently".

Quite a thing, hey?

He can't ride a bike or write with a pencil. Stairs are a problem and he really battles with walking on uneven surfaces. He can use a keyboard and type out quite a few words (singular). We are not sure of how many words he can read, although I have a feeling that we need to presume competence in this area!

I recently bought Nick an app for his iPad, called AbiTalk Sentence Builder. It has a library of sentences that can be constructed with a relating picture. It also has voice output. The aim is to listen to the sentence and then construct the sentence. The beauty of this app is that you can also create your own personal sentences and pictures.

The following were created by me and Nick. We chose a picture of the dog, then Nick typed the words as I called them out. I then added my voice to the sentence and each individual word. Nick had great fun helping me with the recording.

This second picture spotlights the problem Nick has with creating sentences. He can listen to the sentence and read each individual word, however, he finds it extremely difficult to follow the sequence and plan how to construct the sentence. #dyspraxia

With some guidance, Nick was able to create the sentence correctly. I called out each word, one by one, and Nick was then able to get them in the correct order.

This app really spotlights Nick's dyspraxia and it is a good reminder to be mindful of what to say when speaking to him or making comments. He will hear all that you say BUT what will stand out for him are the last words that you speak. For example; if I say to Nick, "I need one orange". By the time he goes to the fridge and finds the oranges he has lost the context of the sentence and invariably brings me two oranges!

Anyway, enough of the teen. Let me give you just a little taster of what you might see when you come to visit. Some words of warning ~ the weather at Mbona is unpredictable and it is possible to have four seasons in one day! In fact, if the weather is the pits, we will be spending the time huddled around the fire, glass of wine cup of tea in hand, moaning at the whiny dogs! Bring your walking shoes just in case the weather works in our favour!


  1. That app looks useful and watching the zebras was amazing, for me like being in a real life "Madagascar"


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