Category Archives: Kids

Gifts and Toys for Disabled Children

What kind of gifts and toys should you buy for disabled children? Most of us would immediately bob up and say the same as for any kid. But would you buy a football for a kiddie in a wheel chair? Would you buy a video game for a visually impaired child? These are obvious examples but there are many other far subtler situations which may challenge both gift buyer and receiver. In terms of dolls, should disabled kids receive dolls who share the same disability as they do? Children who are ethnically African and/or Asian, generally, receive dolls that share their racial profile these days. The days of the blue eyed, blonde Jesus are thankfully slipping from view.

What do you think about giving a kiddie in a wheelchair a doll or stuffed toy who is equally bound in a wheelchair? It has been shown to be important that children see reflections of themselves in the toys that they have, and that if a child cannot perceive herself, or himself, in the things within their orbit it is distressing and psychologically damaging. In many instances, how a child feels about its own disability is defined initially by how its parents portray that. If a parent is ashamed about their child’s disability, the child will follow that lead. Gifts and toys for disabled children could be clues in the home to reveal unhelpful attitudes like this.

Gifts and Toys for Disabled Children

Children with disability will, I am sure, have a wide and unique taste in all sorts of toys to play with. There has been no definitive long term study done into this topic up until this point. It could be something well worth exploring for an institution or for graduate studies; but it would need to be done over a solid chunk of time. Kids with sensory processing disorder would be a special case to consider, as they experience a wide variety of sensory processing difficulties. There would be so much valuable information to be sourced from a research project like this.

As a society we have pretty much ignored the psychological aspect to disabilities in general. Modern medicine has always focused on healing the physical body and not treating the mind. Surgeons cut open, cut out, and repair or replace things in, and on, the human body; pharmaceuticals change the chemical make-up and balance within a body; and the psychologists who do work with behaviour and motivation are treated as second class health professionals by governments and the medical establishment, more generally. Perhaps, understanding how a disabled child feels about his, or her, favourite toys, may shed some valuable insight into how that child would like to be considered within his own greater community. Gifts and toys for disabled children are probably a lot more important than we all realise.