I have yet to begin my holiday shopping. Truthfully, I haven’t even thought about it. I’m one of those people who can be found roaming the stores at the 11th hour, desperately searching for that perfect gift while hoping not to hear the store closing announcement. Unfortunately for last-minute people like me, sometimes it isn’t possible to put off shopping for adaptive toys for children with special needs, for they may not be available during a quick trip to the mall.
Most battery-operated toys can be adapted with a capability switch for use by children with special needs. Instructions and kits are available online for a relatively low cost. If you aren’t technologically adept or don’t own soldering equipment, there are many retail outlets that offer adaptive toys.
For a local, in-store option, the Toys R Us Guide for Differently-Abled Kids offers 60 pages of toys that promote development in areas such as motor skills, tactile function, social skills, language, and self-esteem.
Many online options are available, too. EnablingDevices.com features toys and activity centers with an emphasis on the needs of children with physical and developmental disabilities. FlagHouse.com offers an online holiday gift guide that includes a variety of options for stationary, active, and cognitive play for both children and teens with special needs. Sew-Dolling.com provides a line of 18” vinyl girl and boy therapy dolls with prostheses and equipment. These are just a few of the many options available.
If you are shopping for a child with special needs this holiday season, regardless of age, gender, or ability, there is such a variety of toys and games from which to choose, especially on the Internet. By considering your options ahead of time and selecting the perfect toy or adapting it yourself, you can share a memorable gift with your child without frantically racing from store to store like me.