Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Finding the Right Toy for a Child with Special Needs

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Finding the Right Toy for a Child with Special Needs

Article excerpt

According to Elisa Mintz Delia, a trained play therapist who coordinates toy testing at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, toys for children with disabilities don't have to cost a fortune. "People can spend an unnecessary amount of money on expensive toys marketed specifically to children with special needs, not knowing that there are inexpensive toys available at average toy and superstores that will not only be loved by children with special needs, but act as learning and skill-building tools," she says.

Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally recognized medical institution dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, is collaborating with Parents' Choice Foundation, one of the nation's oldest and most respected authorities on children's media and toys, to establish the premiere national resource for uniform testing, certification, and labeling of toys for children of all ability levels. The two groups have developed general guidelines to follow when shopping for toys for children with special needs:

* Choose toys based on a child's interest. An engaging toy is a motivating toy. Whenever possible, ask him what he likes. If he can't express his preference, ask the caregiver. …

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