Toy Like Me

Toy Like Me

Have you heard of Toy Like Me? It’s a campaign for ran by parents of children with disabilities promoting change in the toy industry to better represent disabilities. And the toy industry better watch out because if there is a group of people who are patient, persistent, and willing to never stop fighting for what they want, it’s special needs parents! And what a great idea! According to an article on Upworthy, three parents came together and decided their children (one in a wheelchair, one who is deaf and visually impaired, and one who is blind) decided their children needed their assistive accessories to be represented in the toy world to make them feel comfortable and promote positive self image. They made a prototype doll with a cochlear implant, which they shared on social media. The image was shared enough that one week later, a toy company contacted them to take their idea and run with it! There are dolls and a current push for Lego to catch on to the idea. Read the full Upworthy article here. Both of my children, Chloe with special needs and Sam who has no special needs but has a sister with special needs and is exposed to special needs often, love to see pictures of children in wheelchairs in books or toys with special needs equipment (we have a teddy bear with a wheelchair), or when there are children with special needs on one of their favorite shows (Sesame Street does a pretty good job of featuring children with special needs in their episodes). Whenever there is something that reflects those unique aspects...
Toys We Love

Toys We Love

I know not all special needs children will want or need the types of toys Chloe loves, but I have been excited about a couple recent finds and wanted to share! This “Mirror Chimeabout” is Chloe’s latest favorite toy! It is reflective, noisy, and easy to spin. She loves to take beads or a keychain and use them to put it in motion and/or make noise. It was pretty expensive for a toy, but for us, it is worth it! This inflatable sensory tray is another hit at our house! I put anything sensory on it and let Chloe go to town. She especially loves things that make a giant mess like water, shaving cream, and rice. The edges come up just enough to keep things from spilling too much and the material doesn’t bother Chloe’s skin. And the price! You cannot beat this price. If you’ve looked up trays like this before, you will flip over the price this is on Amazon. Worth every penny! Another recent hit is this LED animated light show fan. I got this for Chloe to have for entertainment at a recent hospital visit and I was so glad we had it! At night, I’d turn the lights off, clip this on the bed rail, turn it on, and Chloe would go wild. We’ve also used this on evening walks and in her bedroom. It is always a hit! If your child likes visual sensory input, you can’t beat this toy for the price! Chloe fell in love with a bell carousel at a physical therapy session so I ran home to find it...
Gifts for Special Needs Children

Gifts for Special Needs Children

What do you buy a special needs child for Christmas? As we are right around the corner from Christmas and smack dab in the middle of gift giving season special needs parents have special considerations when it comes to managing present gifting to their special needs children. And for that matter, grandmas, friends and everyone else. Do you have a special need child to buy for? Here are some of our tips. Don’t worry about “fair”. This is a general rule in our family. Our seven year old daughter’s toys geared toward one-year-olds cost quite a bit less than those toys that are for her 5-7 year old siblings. If a toy that you have in mind for her only cost $10 but you had $20 in mind? Please… don’t. That toy is fine, don’t buy more, there is no need. We promise. We have had seven years of collecting toys for one-year-olds, you can imagine the collection we have going! We love the newest fun toys, but no need to over do it. Don’t know what to get? Ask! Dylan likes toys and dolls that sing and play music. But other children prefer cause and effect, maybe communication tools, sensory items. There are so many cool things on the market, their parents have probably been dreaming of several items and can give you great ideas! They know their children the best. I would much rather have someone ask than get something that won’t be put to good fun here. Consider adding to a savings account? Have extra money to contribute? Ask the parents if they are saving for...
Now That’s Fashion!

Now That’s Fashion!

People who have Down Syndrome have certain body features and characteristics in common. They tend to be a bit shorter than typical and have a wider build. Also, short arms, higher knees and a rounded tummy. As you can imagine finding clothes to fit “just right” proves to be a bit of a challenge. I personally have heard older men and women with down syndrome complain about having to shop in the kids section, forced to look for “husky” clothes that are often too long and don’t fit right. No teen wants to shop in the kids section! The truth is, finding clothes to fit perfectly will probably always be a challenge. With Down Syndrome affecting only about 400,000 people in the United States it’s far from lucrative for the fashion industry, so where does this leave us? Two companies are rising to the challenge. Ashley by Design and Down’s Designs. Ashley by Design was started by Ashley DaRamus (a former Special Olympian!) and her mother and they design very fashionable clothing that not only fit proportionately but they have ruffles and patterns to hid that rounded torso. Ashley’s goal is for everyone to be able to choose clothing that they look good and are comfortable in. Proceeds from clothing sales go to The Ashely DaRemus Foundation – which, from their description “was founded for and dedicated to the education, advancement and quality life-style of children and adults with Down syndrome. Through the work of Ashley and the foundation, our goal is to increase the awareness and enlighten others about the rewards and positive contributions we make.” Her clothing really...