I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of play and toys lately, probably due to the Conference and watching all the children play! Saw this posted from the American Girl Company, and absolutely loved it! Amazing that children with differences can now play with toys that represent some of their experiences. They also have a doll without hair for kids with cancer and alopecia – I love that manufacturers are paying attention to customer requests and adding on different options for kids with medical issues. Although I never wore a hearing aid, I would have probably been so excited for this.
As a child (and especially an only child!) I played constantly – and many of my doctor’s office visits, surgeries and therapies inevitably made it into my play. Playmobil hospitals and American Girl dolls in hospital gowns were highlights, but I sure would have loved this, too.
We probably won’t get a customized doll with Moebius syndrome unless we somehow network with a very charity-minded doll company to create a mold (which would be utterly amazing!) but these little things can go a long way in helping children play through some of their problems and questions. I’m excited that companies are choosing to forgo profitability and really think about how much of an impact having a similar doll to play with can make!
And for craniofacial-related toys, the Cleft Palate Foundation has adorable bears with cleft lip repairs, and the Moebius Syndrome Foundation has bears with an “I’m Smiling on the Inside!” t-shirt.