Shopping for children with special needs ...
Hi all! How is everyone doing with their holiday shopping? I was out today for the first time and was able to at least get a small dent in what I will need for family & friends. I have to admit, even for me without too many major sensory issues, it was a bit over whelming - the crowds, the loud music, the overly warm stores, the lines.. I can see how some kids can get to the point where they throw a tantrum if they are made to stop at just "one more store". I use to do quite a bit of my shopping on-line. I wanted to share a few sites with those who still may have some shopping to do.
The first site was forwarded to me by it's owner, the parent of an adult with autism who focused her store for adults and older children with autism and aspergers. She carries toys and books for fun - but that also happen to work as rewards, sensory tools, and relaxers. Her store is called OZMO. Have a look - she has a wonderful variety of toys and they are actually very reasonably priced!
Another site is the Toys.R.Us site where they have a section of toys for "differently abled kids". I like this site because you can look for toys based on the skills you want to work with your child on (auditory, creativity, fine motor, gross motor, sensory, etc) and also by age level. Even if you don't purchase the toys through Toys.R.Us you can at least make a list of the toys that you would like to get and look else where.
Another excellent site is the Discovery Toys website. The toys here are well made and fairly well priced. I have purchased several Discovery Toys for my kids when they were younger and they were well loved and well used. You can purchase on-line or look for a "hostess" in your area.
Next is AblePlay - they have designed an easy to understand rating system that focuses on the developmental areas of cognitive, sensory, communications and physical abilities of a child. Every play product is rated on a scale of 1-5 in these key categories. Visitors can also search by specific disabilities. They take the guess work out of wondering if a certain toy would be appropriate for your child and the challenges they may be facing when it comes to playing.
Fisher Price even has a site that where they have listed toys and activities for children with special needs. They have developed a partnership with experts from the Let’s Play! Projects, a federally funded program that supports family play experiences and activities for children with special needs. Their site has an section for you to pick out what areas you are looking to work with your child on and what toys/activities would be appropriate.
Another site I have used often is Beyond Play. Another great site that allows you to search by keyword or by what area you want to work with your child on (visual stimulation, tactile stimulation, etc).
If you find a toy you like on one of these web sites don't hesitate to do a search to see if you are getting the best price (remember to include shipping in your calculations - several places will sometimes offer free shipping during the holidays). If you know of any other shopping sites or local stores that might be helpful please share - it's always good to have as many choices as possible.
I hope everyone has a successful shopping experience. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again next time!