Name: Debby Elley
Title: Co-editor AuKids magazine
Age of children: Twins aged 13
Product Testing: Magic Moves® Electronic Wand
“Debby is the co-editor of AuKids magazine, a parenting magazine for children on the autism spectrum. She is also mum to twins Bobby and Alec, 13, who have autism. Alec also has complex learning difficulties as a result of an acquired brain injury he had when he was two. She writes a column about Bobby and Alec in AuKids magazine.”
What were your first thoughts when the product arrived?
Firstly I was very glad that batteries were included, that was a real bonus.
I was dreading opening the wrapping; the stiff plastic on those things is very sharp when torn and even with the perforations it was difficult to open.
How did you use the product?
I gave it to Alec and showed him how you switched it on.
What are the educational benefits of the resource?
Simple, lively and easy to understand instructions mean that the actions are easy to copy. This is great for developing listening skills and vocabulary. Also, with music and lights it’s a very good sensory toy.
What did you like/dislike about the resource?
I like the fact that it is really sturdy and I really like the fact that it has a ‘repeat’ button so that children can hear the instructions again. The music is lovely and it’s just a very attractive thing to play with. Also, it doesn’t try to do too much. This means that an autistic child won’t get too overwhelmed by a range of activities.
I thought it was a bit expensive – would like to see it for under £15.
Alec has so far enjoyed it purely on a sensory level – looking at the lights, listening and pressing the repeat button. It’s quite a good joint attention resource; by this I mean that an adult can demonstrate the moves being described and be a part of the game. I started doing the moves and Alec was laughing, so it was good engagement.
What is the long term appeal of the resource?
I think the fact that it works on different levels for special needs children is good. Even if they don’t quite get the idea of copying, they might enjoy watching an adult do the moves and learn language through it. On a basic level it is a very nice sensory toy.
Is the product unique?
I haven’t seen one like this before.
Would you recommend this product to a friend?
Yes, especially if their child was developing copying skills, which often happen late in autism.
*For more advice on autism, sign up for AuKids magazine for £16 a year at www.aukids.co.uk