Toys Representing Disabilities and Where to Purchase Them
Earlier this week a post was made by SGF on their Instagram about a famous brand that is now selling dolls with different disabilities and it inspired me for this blog post!
When shopping for toys as a kid I would try to find dolls that had similar qualities to me. I’m brunette and while I loved Barbies and owned the original blonde hair dolls I was more drawn towards the Barbies with brown hair because they looked like me. The SGF post got me thinking about kids who have qualities that are not as typical or common as hair or skin color and I wanted to look into different companies and see what is available for our kiddos.
As I was searching I found multiple companies that offer dolls with a variety of abilities and extra unique qualities, since most of these have to be ordered online a lot of parents may not know they are available so I did the hard work for you and attached links below for you to shop from here!
Additionally, be sure to check out this mom, who has two children that are on the Autism spectrum, and wrote a children’s book celebrating differences. Read More.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TOYS REPRESENTING DISABILITIES
These toys can be SO BENEFICIAL to not only the specific child it relates to but also by educating others about diversity! As a therapist working in the school system I work with children from ages 3-21, what I have noticed is that the younger children rarely notice they are different, but as they begin to get older they sometimes become self conscious about whatever it is that makes them different, as does everyone.
However, some of these kiddos are the only ones in their school with that specific quality or trait and that can quickly become isolating.
Having a doll or toy like them is a great way to educate them on what makes them special while also reminding them they are not alone, and on the flip side, teachers and classrooms that have a “home living” center could have some of the dolls to help teach their students that no two people are the same but everyone is beautiful and everyone belongs.
Purchase Toys with Disabilities
- Barbie released a line of “fashionista” dolls that include dolls with prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, and skin abnormalities such as vitiligo. Ken is also included in this collection making this a good option for a boy as well.
- Lego released their first figure in a wheelchair, what I personally love about this set is that it wasn’t advertised as the character having a “disability” he isn’t sold separately or set apart from the other sets. He comes in a pack with a ton of other characters.
- American Girl allows you to custom order your doll, they also added the first boy doll to their collection. They offer custom options for glasses and hearing aids. They also offer accessories such as wheelchairs, a diabetic kit and service dogs.
- Daredevil… I will say I had to do my research here as I’m not very knowledgeable in the superhero world BUT Daredevil is blind and his action figures are on the shelves at most local stores!
- Lottie Dolls has a doll based on a real boy named Hayden who loves all things space and science. Hayden also happens to be autistic. The dolls comes with his loyal companion and a set of headphones that cancel out the extra noise that can be overwhelming.
As I was searching for different toy companies that represent extra special kiddos I found that it does require research and effort but its not impossible. Overtime companies have made efforts into being more inclusive and by buying these toys, making them more mainstream, and educating the kids in our schools or the siblings in our homes we can be a part of the solution.
This article also lists 29 Toys That Encourage Diversity & Inclusion and you can directly purchase from the post.
It’s hard to tell a child they belong when the toys they play with don’t even represent who they are. Hopefully the 5 companies I listed and the additional article I found will help with toy shopping and represent some special kiddos making them feel beautiful and strong!
If you are interested in contributing to our blog community here at Specially Gifted Foundation please reach out. We would love to hear from you! More importantly our parents could greatly benefit from what you have to share.
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