By Gus Alexiou: For Complete Post, Click Here…
Parents buying toys for children with disabilities this Christmas are likely to have to think twice before completing their purchase.
The toy market for children with special needs is fraught on two levels. Firstly, in relation to imagination-sparking and role-playing toys like dolls and action figures, disability depictions have historically not been easy to come by.
Kids with disabilities rarely get an opportunity to see themselves reflected in their toy box heroes and this lack of representative toys also has a knock-on effect on able-bodied children, who are deprived of valuable lessons in normalizing disability through pretend play from a young age.
Additionally, many mainstream toys may be inaccessible to children with a variety of impairments such as limitations in dexterity or sight preventing the location and activation of buttons.
Simple button-activated toys, which might sing, light up or spin around, are crucial for child development as they provide some of a child’s very earliest lessons in cause and effect.
Toys in early years additionally help develop a child’s fine and gross motor skills, offer opportunities to experience sharing and foster creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Fortunately, slowly but surely, representative disability depiction is something that mainstream toy manufacturers are beginning to identify as increasingly important.