Bright Tots ~ Information on childhood developmental disorders, including autism, attention deficit disorder (ADHD),
behavior disorders, bipolar disorder, cerebral palsy, childhood disintegrative disorder, depression in children, diabetes in
children, down syndrome, emotional disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder , selective mutism, separation anxiety
disorder, speech and language disorders and spina bifida.

Resources, articles and information on autism including Asperger's syndrome, assessing autism, autism and tantrums,
autism in childhood, autism therapies, characteristics of autism, discipline strategies, early signs of autism, echolalia,
fragile x, hyperlexia / dyslexia, immunization worries, oral care and autism, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), Rett
syndrome, savant syndrome, and more...

developmental disorders - Find Early Intervention in your area.

Information and articles on
autism therapy and autism treatment including: ABA therapy, autism diets, chelation therapy,
cognitive behavior therapy, key to learning, medications for treating autism, play therapy, occupational therapy, physical
therapy, sensory integration, signed speech, speech therapy, TEACCH Method and more...

What is a learning disability? What are developmental domains? Tips on teaching a child with autism, age appropriate
behavior (milestones), parenting rules, oral care and autism, baby tooth decay, is your child over weight? For those hard to
understand terms, visit our

Bright Tots - Helpful information for picking the right toy for Babies, Toddlers and Preschool kids
What to look for in developmental baby, toddler and preschool toys. Read on the importance of choosing the right
educational baby toys, educational toddler toys, educational preschool toys that will

"Make Learning Fun"

Choosing the right Baby Toys | Toddler Toys | Preschool Toys | Special Needs
Hello and thank you for visiting Bright Tots.  This site was created in an effort to educate and spread awareness on the many
different childhood disorders that affect our children, particularly, autism.  Through our experiences, and networking, Bright
Tots also offers helpful advice for dealing with you child as well as where to seek assistance.  Bright Tots was started in New
York in August 2003 as an information site as well as an Online Toy Store but moved to Ocala, Fl in 2005.  The online toy
store was discontinued at the end of the 2007 season to focus our attention on providing helpful information to others and to
guide parents in the right direction in finding the proper help their child requires.  Besides that, who can really compete with
the likes of Wal-Mart and all the other super-stores that are out there?  

We have fraternal twin girls, Arianna and Tianna age 9, and a boy, David age 7.  Bright Tots is family owned.

Our story began about seven and a half years ago.  Our girls were 14 months old and our boy was on the way.  All seemed
fine, the girls were trying to walk and trying to talk, tasting new things and exploring with their imagination.  However, we
noticed Tianna was developing faster cognitively.  At the time we thought ‘no big deal’ but having the twins progress
simultaneously proved to be crucial in getting Arianna the help she needed at an early age.  We began noticing how Arianna
would lie patiently with a blank look on her face as if she was unaware of her surroundings where as her sister Tianna would
be babbling, squirming and trying to touch everything within her reach.  Again, we thought, ‘no big deal, they are still
developing’.  A few months went by and then the speech kicked in, but only for Tianna.  While her vocabulary expanded
Arianna picked up only a few words, mainly yes and no.  As time went on, we began noticing odd behaviors in her everyday
routine. She would rock her-self as hard as can be on our sofa and her high chair, spin around profusely, play obsessively
with certain toys or objects, pretty much all of the tell-tale signs of
autism, but at the time we did not know what autism was.  
Our ignorance led us to question everything and because we did not know of autism we did not know where to begin.

We went on the Internet looking for some answers.  The more we looked, the more questions arose.  The more we read, the
more worried we became. We took it as a shock instead of taking it in stride; we went into a denial phase.  We thought, ‘how
could this be?  Why is this happening to us?  Boo-hoo, right?  

The denial was brief because ultimately the fact remained that something was just not right with our daughter.  My wife and I
became more determined to find out what was happening and what we could do to help than to just hope for the best.  
Eventually, all of our searching led us to the same result; it appeared the Arianna had autistic markers.   
Autism, what is it?  
We were about to find out after months of searching. Arianna and Tianna were now two years old and David was just born.

Our search led us to a program called
Early Intervention.  We called, explained our situation and made an appointment.  Early
Intervention provided us with the resources we needed to help our daughter. They came to our home to evaluate Arianna, to
see where she fell on the autism spectrum.  At the age of two she was diagnosed as having
PDD (Pervasive Developmental
Disorder).   She began Early Intervention (therapy through play) soon after. She started receiving aba therapy , occupational
therapy and speech therapy at home almost immediately. There methods varied, but one constant was the toys they were
using as a gate-way. I recall hearing her aba therapist Tim saying ‘look at me’ over and over and how a reward or treat would
help move along the session.  The results were astounding, for the first time in a long time Arianna held eye contact.  After
searching so long for answers that were not readily available, we found this program that turned our dismay into hope.

Arianna received therapy a few times a week for about a year and had shown major improvements in her development
throughout the sessions.   In fact, she seemed more ‘normal’ as each day passed.  On Sept 4, 2003, at the age of 3 almost 4
she began her first day of school, a school that provides her with therapy scattered throughout the day, thus preparing her for
integration to a normal classroom.

Arianna's improvement throughout her first year was very noticeable to those who do not see her frequently. It surpassed our
imagination as to how well a structured environment can help in her progression along with receiving
ABA and Speech
Therapy.   Her aba therapist has contributed to Bright Tots with a few tips on a structured environment, Teaching Play-skills
Learning to Learn.

She attended for almost two years and graduated Pre-K.  In the summer of 2005, we decided to move for a better life for the
kids.   The schools were becoming overcrowded so we decided to look for a small up and coming town with good programs
offered to children living with autism.  Our choice was
Ocala, Fl – Horse Country.

Arianna entered Maplewood Elementary that fall because her zoned school did not have a program in place for children with
special needs.  She was put in a classroom for special needs for the first year, because of the move and date of birth she had
to repeat pre-k.  Her second year, it was decided to integrate her into a ‘normal’ classroom where she excelled.  She
graduated from kindergarten in the summer of 06 and attended the first grade also in an integrated classroom for the 07
school year.  

In 2008, Arianna started the second grade in regular classroom with therapy spread out through the school week.  She seems
to have adapted well although she is still lacking in social skills.

Currently, Arianna is attending her zoned school which added a program for children with special needs. She is in the second
grade in a 'normal' classroom setting with therapy spread out through the school week.  Since starting this new educational
program her language is much more diverse, it has become more natural. She is able to understand who, what, where, when
and how questions. Her social skills have shown a big improvement and best of all, even though she is still lacking in social
skills, when she sees children of the same age she can interact with them without looking so uncomfortable.

Arianna has come a long way in a short time.  In her latest evaluation, she was found to have speech impairment with a
developmental delay. We're amazed at how her diagnosis has changed through the years. Although she still shows autistic
markers, overall she has exceeded our expectations.

The drastic change in her behavior throughout the years has made us believers in a structured environment and therapy
through play. Through play, children with disorders can learn and develop many crucial skills used in everyday life. Through
structure, they will show more discipline in their behavior.  Remember, almost every toy or game serves a purpose, believe it
or not.

Our goal at Bright Tots is to help those who are not as familiar with the different types of developmental delays, as well as
those who are. Bright Tots also offers a guideline on how to choose the right toys for your child.  

Children are like sponges; they absorb everything, which is why parents need to provide children with everything possible for
them to reach their maximum potential.
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For more information and articles on autism visit:
Choosing the Right Toy for :
Babies      Toddlers      Preschool
World of Autism

What is Autism?  Frequently asked questions on autism - What causes autism?  What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA
Therapy)?  Autism Diagnosis - What are the Types of Autism, What are the signs of Autism?  Medications used in
treatment of Autism - A Genetic Clue to Why Autism Affects Boys More - Autism and Vaccines - 1 in 68 Children
affected with Autism - Autism: To Cure or Not to Cure - Speech and Language Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders -
Research Points to Genetic Link in Autism - Challenges Siblings of Children with Autism Face.

Autism Articles

Inspirational uplifting news articles on Autism / The Downside of Autism in the News
Mom Wins Fight for Autism Insurance
Autism Resources

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