Skip to main content

Just the Way You Are – September 6, 2011 - Toys R’ Us Differently Abled Toy Guide

                Some disabilities hinder children from playing in certain ways. For example, a child who can’t walk will not be able to play with a push and pull toy, at least not in the traditional way. A child who is deaf will get little pleasure from a toy whose main function involves music or noise. A blind child will not enjoy a toy such as a mirror. But one thing that disabilities do not do is stop children from playing. Despite any disability, children are still just children who learn by playing and exploring and a disabled child’s need to play is even more important to their development because of the propensity of the disability to slow or prevent their normal progress. When raising a child with a disability, it is a full time job to try to encourage the child to develop those skills that the disability might delay or prevent. Using the right toys is vital in that development. Although some examples as I have listed above are obvious to anyone, it can be hard to determine exactly what toys will promote a disabled child’s development, what toys are appropriate, and which ones they will enjoy.
Fortunately for the disabled community, Toys “R” Us has created a Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. Toys “R” Us has been publishing this catalog since 1995. The name of the catalog itself speaks volumes. It refers to the guide as something for children with different abilities, without including the word disabled. This shows a compassion and understanding that I appreciate, and I’m sure others out there who love someone with a disability would agree. According to the Toys “R” Us website, the guide is a “one-of-a-kind resource [that] speaks to a child’s individual needs and offers qualified toys based on research from the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization that evaluates all of the toys featured in the Guide.”
                This guide makes it easy for parents to determine what toys will be appropriate for their special little one. Toys are not divided into categories based on disability. Instead, toys are categorized with symbols that illustrate which skill the toy promotes. For toys that promote auditory learning, the symbol you will find is an ear and sound waves. For creativity, the symbol is a paint palette and brush. The categories include auditory, creativity, fine motor, gross motor, language, self esteem, social skills, tactile, thinking, and visual.  
                The catalog is put together by experts in the field, so parents can be sure that the toys they purchase based on this guide’s recommendations will help in the areas their kids need. Toys are selected for the guide by the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization that evaluates toys during play sessions and determines which skills it promotes development of. Then it categorizes these toys for children with special needs. The organization has over 30 years of experience in this area and has become a leader in this industry. To learn more about the National Lekotek Center, visit
                                Although this guide is created for differently-abled children, I think we can all agree that every child has different abilities and skills, unique personalities, and things that they struggle with. Because of that, this guide is a great resource for all parents, not only those with special needs children. We all want to encourage our children to grow and develop to their full potential, and having the right toys is a great way to help do that. The guide helps parents to pin point the toys that help their child where he or she is struggling. How valuable this is in a world where education and intellect are everything!
                To obtain a copy of the guide, you can visit You can also send an e-mail to to be added to the mailing list. Besides this essential  guide, Toys “R” Us is a wonderful advocate for the special needs community, giving  grants to nine major special needs organizations including Autism Speaks and Special Olympics just this year. I encourage everyone to take some time to visit the website and support a company who cares so much about the special needs community.
                If you every have questions, comments, or ideas, please e-mail me at I would love to hear from you!


Popular posts from this blog

Was That Rude?

At the Christmas parade last weekend!  Hey everyone! Christian and I experienced something recently that I wanted to talk about and share with you all! We were at his therapy center for him to do his regular physical and feeding therapy, and we were standing at the car because his therapist comes out to the car to get him to go into therapy and then  brings him back outside to the car so that we aren't waiting in the lobby. We have been really cautious since long before COVID was a thing about germs and illness because illnesses always seem to hit Christian really hard.  And then of course my dad almost died in February from COVID. So we just try to stay out of heavily populated places when we can and take common sense precautions like regular handwashing. So, one way we try to keep the germs down is to not wait inside the lobby of Christian's therapy center and instead we just wait in the car for therapies.  So anyway, we were standing next to our car with his therapist, and a

Why I Won't Allow My Toddler to Have Cosmetic Surgery

It strikes me as odd that I have been asked many, many times if I will have Christian undergo cosmetic surgery to repair his birth defect. Apparently, it's not an odd question to most people, because I could not tell you how many times I've been asked. The number literally lurks somewhere close to 500, if I had to guess. I am not AT ALL offended by the question, and I enjoy explaining my answer, but still, I find it odd to be asked. Imagine your beautiful child that you simply adore. Her little button nose, those ears he got from his daddy, that little smile with that one not-so-straight tooth right up front, those freckles that dot her cheeks, that bright red hair, or that jet black hair. As you imagine that, I am sure you have a few emotions that go along with it: adoration, admiration, love. You probably think that your child is the prettiest thing you've laid eyes on. Well, when I look at my child, with tissue in the place of where eyes should be, and a crooked s

Don't Get Your Pleasure From My Pain

Hey guys! Thank you so much for joining  me  today on my blog! I've got something today that I want to talk about that has just fired  me  up, you guys. And so let's just jump right into it. I'm going to share a screen capture here for you guys.  I received a comment a few days ago on a video I posted. The video is of  me  holding Christian while Christian smiles. During the video, I give him a kiss on the cheek while a song plays in the background. The video text says "When people tell  me  that Christian shouldn't have been born" and then the lyrics to the song says "Let  me  show you what you're missing. Paradise."  So somebody actually had the... I don't even know what the word is... I would say low intelligence, but I don't even think it comes from that, and I don't want to insult people with intellectual disabilities because they know how to be decent humans. But the had the audacity or gall or whatever to comment on that video