Study offers potential breakthrough in care of children with autism

Study offers potential breakthrough in care of children with autism

Symptoms improve after parents are trained to better understand and interact with preschool children, researchers say

A new form of therapy has for the first time been shown to improve the symptoms and behaviour of autistic children, offering a potential breakthrough in care for millions of families.

Six years after parents were trained to better understand and interact with their preschool children, researchers found that the therapy had moderated the behaviour of those who had been severely autistic, unresponsive or unable to speak.

A child who might have run around a supermarket squealing, heedless of their parent, putting objects in their mouth and pushing past shoppers to try to press the buttons at checkout, might instead wait in the queue and even help load the trolley, the research found.

The success of the preschool autism communication trial (Pact) has surprised even the researchers who designed it. There are no drugs to treat the condition, which typically sets in around the age of two, and many families have tried intensive training of their children by therapists, with mixed results. Pact instead trained the parents to help their children.

Prof Jonathan Green at the University of Manchester, who led the study published in the Lancet medical journal, said they had not found the cure for autism, but he and his team believed it had great potential and hoped it would be widely adopted.

The advantage of this approach over a direct therapist-child intervention is that it has potential to affect the everyday life of the child, he said. Our findings are encouraging, as they represent an improvement in the core symptoms of autism previously thought very resistant to change.

This is not a cure, in the sense that the children who demonstrated improvements will still show remaining symptoms to a variable extent, but it does suggest that working with parents to interact with their children in this way can lead to improvements in symptoms over the long term.

The trial involved 152 children aged two to four. The families visited a clinic twice a week for six months, where parents were videoed with their children and a box of toys. Autistic children might not interact with their parents at all, but when eventually a child did offer a toy or made a noise that could be interpreted as a request, the incident was rerun on video and the parent encouraged to respond. If the child offered a toy, the parent reciprocated. If the child said a word, the parent repeated it and added something. The practice was repeated at home every day.

The therapy continued with the parents for the next six months with less intensity. At the end of the first year, the researchers could see the children had improved, but the most dramatic development was seen at the follow-up six years later. At the start of the trial, 50% of those in the control group who did not get the therapy and 55% of those who did were assessed as severely autistic. The children in the intervention group, though, got better. The proportion assessed as severe in the control group was 63% by the end of six years, compared with 46% in the intervention group.

Uta Frith, emeritus professor of cognitive development at UCL, said called the study a remarkably positive story. Photograph: Antonio Zazueta Olmos/Antonio Olmos

Other experts applauded the work. I can see why these researchers are excited, said Dorothy Bishop, professor of developmental neuropsychology at the University of Oxford. These results at follow-up are pretty consistent in showing the benefit of this early intervention for autism across a range of measures. My impression is that this is an intervention that reduces the severity of autistic symptoms, rather than curing autism. Nevertheless, for parents of children with autism, even a modest reduction would be worthwhile.

Dr Max Davie, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said it offered a hugely cheering message for families, while Uta Frith, emeritus professor of cognitive development at University College London, called it a remarkably positive story, because the intervention itself was neither intensive nor invasive.

The absence of any hope, as well as the very sudden regression in childrens behaviour, led many parents to believe in the discredited theory of Andrew Wakefield that the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine was the cause of autism.

Parents commonly tell us that they fight for a diagnosis but, when they finally get itthe cupboard is bare, with little information or tailored support available to them, said Dr James Cusack, director of science at the charity Autistica.Too often, parents fall victim to the false claims of charlatans who prey on desperate families. These results look promising for the many thousands of parents who want to find early interventions for their children based on solid science.

The researchers said childrens communication with their parents was improved at the end of the six years. The parents said there were also improvements in relations with other children, in social communication and in repetitive behaviours. But there was no change in child anxiety, challenging behaviours or depression in the autistic children and they would still need a lot of support while growing up.

About 1% of children and young people are affected by autistic spectrum disorder, which ranges from mild to severe. The lifetime costs to the UK, which include health, social care and education costs as well as productivity losses, are estimated at 1m to 1.5m per child and between $1.4m and $2.4m in the United States.

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Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016 will soon be upon us.
Key Halloween Products here at Silly Billy’s are:

Snazaroo Facepaints, we have all the colours necessary for good Halloween Face Painting and Snazaroo face paints are the best quality face paints used by professionals. As their tagline says “The World’s Favourite Facepaints”
For some ideas on how and what to paint for Halloween please take a look here

Here is an example review from a Snazaroo purchaser:
I work as a part-time face-painter at a zoo. We use Snazaroo facepaints on all our customers. Snazaroo facepaint can be used both professionally, for kids parties or simply for fun. The paint is designed for both young and old(er) skin, it is safe to use and easy to wash off. If you are looking for facepaint that is good quality without breaking the bank Snazaroo is definitely worth a look.

As well as Facepaints for Halloween 2016 we have Fake Blood; Spiders, Damaged Fingers and more from our jokes stand

halloween 2016

Halloween Blooh and Jokes Only 99p







If you would rather purchase a set of Facepaints we have excellent Galt Facepaints at only £5.99 a pack:

halloween 2016









Here is a video about painting a Halloween Face that you may find useful:

Halloween a Small History:

Halloween or Hallowe’en is now celebrated across the world on the night of 31st October. Modern day celebrations generally involve groups of children dressed in scary costumes roaming from house to house, demanding “trick-or-treat”. Fearing the worst, intimidated householders normally hand over vast amounts of treats in the form of chocolates, sweets and candy to avoid whatever dastardly tricks may have been dreamt up by these little miscreants. The origins of these celebrations however date back thousands of years, to pagan times.
The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Until 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived across the lands we now know as Britain, Ireland and northern France. Essentially a farming and agricultural people, the Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter. The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.
Massacre of the Druids
It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may also be at large. Celtic priests, known as Druids, would have led the Samhain celebrations. It would also have been the Druids who ensured that the hearth fire of each house was re-lit from the glowing embers of the sacred bonfire, in order to help protect the people and keep them warm through the forthcoming long, dark winter months.

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An exciting event in Hebden Bridge for Halloween is:

The Original Hebden Bridge Ghost Walk

Beyond the Veil of Calderdale is the all new Original Hebden Bridge Ghost Walk brought to you by Award Winning Storyteller Ursula Holden Gill.

Join her for 75 minutes of mystery, magic, murder and mayhem on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October. Meet at 4pm on the Wavy Steps (HX7 8EX). Adults £5 Children £3. No need to book, just turn up. For more information please contact Ursula on 07811 646 479 or visit

For more Hebden Bridge events please view

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Great British High Street Awards

Great British High Street Awards AN IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW:             Unfortunately I did not realise that entries are closed to this as it was not well explained by the organisers. Nonetheless, rather than delete the post I would like to illustrate the shops you can vote for using the Method [ ] The post Great British High Street Awards appeared first on

New Lego & More Exciting Products

New Lego & More Exciting Products at Silly Billy’s this week

The Christmas stock is growing and the shop shelf space and storage space is becoming tighter than the proverbial Gnat’s bottom. So for your delectation and excitement we have new Lego products in the shop and some other exciting new products that are not Lego as well

TY Teeny’s or rather Teeny TYs are now replenished and our Teeny Ty stand is full, we have new Teeny TYs that you can add to your existing TY collection, stack em and rack em, Teeny TYs are proving to be amazingly popular this year.
Teeny TY








Back by Popular demand are the Hot Wheels play sets previously described in this post about Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels







And most notably we have some new and exciting Lego Products for you. We have extended our Lego Technic Range with the Mine Loader 42049 and the Hydroplane Racer 42045


Mine Loader 42049






We have for the younger audience some Lego Duplo, My First Tractor 10615 and Baby Animals 10801

Duplo 10801

Duplo 10801









Also for all you Minecraft fans out there we have the all new Wither 21126:



Lego 21126








Lego is one of the most popular toys here at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop and we are stocking one of the most diverse ranges of Lego outside of a Lego Shop itself, in fact we might even argue that Silly Billy’s Lego range is even more diverse than the ranges you may see in Lego Stores

If you are looking for Christmas Presents then please come and shop with us here at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop and keep  Independent Shopping alive.

Don’t forget that Hebden Bridge is a Finalist in the Great British High Street Small Market Town award and you can vote here:
Also please remember you can vote each and every day once with the same email address up until the close of voting which is happening soon.







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Great British High Street Awards

Great British High Street Awards








Unfortunately I did not realise that entries are closed to this as it was not well explained by the organisers. Nonetheless, rather than delete the post I would like to illustrate the shops you can vote for using the Method illustrated below:
The Artery, Banbury, Oxfordshire – @thearteryshop
Fleetwood Beach, Lancashire – @Fleetwoodbeach
Heart Gallery, Hebden Bridge, Calderdale, West Yorkshire – @HeartGallery

You can NOT vote for Silly Billy’s Toy Shop in the Great British High Street Shop Awards unfortunately and instead we suggest that you vote for the local contender around the corner:
it is very easy to do, although you do need a Twitter Account. The instructions on how to vote via Twitter are below

Hebden Bridge is also listed in the small market town category of the Great British High Street Awards and you can vote for Hebden Bridge via this link:

So we would really appreciate it if you could take the time to vote for Heart Gallery in the Great British High Street Awards, as we, like many other businesses in Hebden Bridge, are striving to make a great comeback after the devastating floods of 2015

Voting for the best shop category is available from now until 19th November 2016 and further details are here about the #BestGBTwitterShop

We would be very grateful if you could take the time to vote forThe Heart Gallery in the Great British High Street Awards Best Twitter Shop.
Hopefully next year Silly Billy’s Toy Shop will be a finalist !!
You can follow us on Facebook via:

On Twitter Via:

On Pinterest via:

If you follow any of the links above you can see how active we are on Social Media, all Social Media is Managed by Robert A Williams

It is very simple to enter The Heart Gallery into the awards. All you need to do is create a Tweet similar to this:
#BestGBTwitterShop has to be, without any question, @HeartGallery #BE_WELL
Please #share #retweet

Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to vote. 



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Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts

The corporate’s have been punching Christmas 2016 for some time now. We have placed many of our orders for Christmas already here at Silly Billy’s and we have Christmas Gifts from as low as 50 pence to as much as £79.99. Lego is one of ourprime lines for Christmas 2016 and we would appreciate it if you would shop for your Lego products from us here at Silly Billy’s rather than the likes of Amazon or another global corporation.
Shopping with Small Businesses helps to keep diversity in the High Street and also helps the small business to continue trading. Independent Toy Shop’s have been culled by corporates and internet shopping and Silly Billy’s Toy Shop is one of the last Independent’s standing so we would really appreciate it, if your Christmas Gift’s could be shopping with us:
What do we have in stock for Christmas you may ask?
Well here are some things that might entertain you,:

Stocking Filler’s from 50p, these might include the ever popular Lego Minifigures at only £2.49 a packet
Lego Minifigures Series 16





Our 50 pence range includes bouncy balls and much much more
Christmas Gifts







We have Four Types of Advent Calendars in Stock although they are running out fast


Lego Star Wars Advent £24.99






Playmobil Advent Calendar £19.99

Playmobil Advent Calendar £19.99








Christmas Gifts

Playmobil 1.2.3 Advent £19.99








bayala advent calendars

Bayala Advent Calendars £24.99










Other Christmas Gifts include our Fantastic Lego range with all new Lego Star Wars Rogue One
e have Hex Bugs in stock and plenty of wooden toys for our younger shoppers, including a Wooden Brio compatible train track at only £19.99 and we have the best range of Schleich collectible horses and animals of any Toy Shop in the North of England.

Did you know that we stock the all Original Metal Slinky’s as made in the USA

Christmas Gifts

Slinky £4.99







We also have lots of Toys and Gift’s for Babies here at Silly Billy’s including Sophie, La Girafe, one of our most popular baby ranges to date.

So come to Silly Billy’s Toy Shop today and shop for all your Christmas Gifts and other Toy Shopping needs.


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Building Up To Christmas 2016

Building Up To Christmas 2016

The period leading up to Christmas is always very busy for us here at Silly Billy’s and this year is our first Christmas in our new Retail Unit at Old Gate House, Old Gate, Hebden Bridge, HX7 6EN. Logistically in our new space we have less storage than we used to which means that we have to be quite prudent with Christmas orders and delivery schedules.

Since our last post we have increased the amount of Playmobil we have and we also have Playmobil 6624 Advent Calendars to compliment the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendars, and for the first time we have Playmobil 5497 Advent Calendars suitable for our very young shoppers.

Advent Calendar 5497

Christmas in the Forest







Other Playmobil new in are the Playmobil Summer Fun Campers

Summer Camper 6671

Summer Camper 6671







Here at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop we believe we have the best range of Playmobil anywhere in the North of England, and this has been verified by customers in the past who have complimented us on our range. So if you are looking for any Playmobil then please give us a call as we can always look to get products in from Playmobil which we may not have in stock.

Hex Bugs are back

The Hex Bugs range is new to us here at Silly Billy’s and has been hugely popular, we were running low and have recently been re-stocked with Nano’s, Nano V2’s and track, everything you need for great Hex Bug Fun and Chaos, more on Hex Bugs here

Orchard Toys

We also were running low on Orchard Toys and now have been fully replenished, Orchard Toys are a great learning and play toy for the younger audience and we are really happy to stock this great British Manufactured product.


The little furry fellows are back to full force and to compliment the Sylvanian Characters we have the awesome Sylvanian Treehouse, Sylvanian Cosy Cottage Starter Home and the Sylvanian’s Toy Shop
Sylvanian's Toy Shop








We have some Schleich Bayala Advent Caldendars, if you are interested please ask about them as Stocks are limited and they are not on display in the shop.

bayala advent calendars

Bayala Advent Calendars









We also have Schleich Horsebox and Trailer 42346 in stock now

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