Buying the right holiday gift for a loved one can be a real challenge, even in years with less environmental challenges. If you are still struggling to find the perfect last minute gift, let Where It’s AT Give you a helping hand for the holidays.
Barbie® Fashionista dolls have a focus on diversity of representation, designing Barbies® who have a variety of body types, including those who use prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. They even reached out to the disability community to understand how to make the dolls more relatable, like being able to remove the prosthesis and including a colorful ramp. Image Credit to Where It’s AT
For those who might be feeling restless and want to get moving and shaking, a scooter could be a great option for individuals with mobility disabilities like muscular Dystrophy or chronic joint pain. There are a wide variety of scooters, from collapsible travel scooters that come in sizes that accommodate people with short stature to knee scooters, this could be a fun and empowering gift for someone in your life. Image found @ TravelScoot.com. Image Credit to Travel Scoot
It can be difficult to find stories that include disability without making it the focal point, instead treating the characters as they would treat any other character you would read, but some stories really do excel at representing a life with disability without portraying the disability experience as the only experience of the character. Books like Rick Riordan’s, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series have broad variety and diverse representation of disability that naturally coincides with the experiences of the characters, rather than enveloping the whole character. While Mark Haddon’s, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a classic boy-detective story with a main character on the spectrum. This book is so beloved, that it has been turned into a stage performance. For more adult readers, George R.R. Martin’s series, A Song of Ice and Fire is home to a variety of characters who subvert the typical literary expectations for disabled characters. Or for a real thrill, check out Mira Grant’s, Into the Drowning Deep, which has a wide variety of apparent and Non-apparent disabilities.
Spanish doll making company, Belonil, has a racially diverse line of baby dolls with Down syndrome available to ship internationally from online stores- the small folk and Cheeky Junior. These dolls are absolutely beautiful and are and are a bit cheaper than American Girl® dolls. Image Found @ Cheeky Junior, Credit to Cheeky Junior
For those who enjoy coloring, but not how skinny and hard to grip crayons can be, there is the Playon Crayon, which has a wide bulb to hold onto to make coloring an easy and fun activity. If the artist in your life prefers colored pencils or markers to fill their pages, the EZ Grip might be a good option to make any writing tool easier to grip!
For those whose disability impacts their ability to fully utilize their legs, like individuals who have Cerebral palsy, Spina bifida or lower extremity limb difference, consider getting them a handcycle. Handcycles come in many shapes and sizes, look at Rehabmart’s top five list of Handcycles to get started on the road to finding a perfect match for a person in your life. Image found @ Rehabmart.com, Credit to Invacare.
When it is time to slow down from your day of activity and fun, a weighted blanket is a wonderful gift for individuals who have ASD or anxiety. Health.com has a great list of The 12 Best Weighted Blankets with an overview of their benefits. They are a great way for anyone to wind down.
Comic books have always been at the forefront of progressive social statement, and despite being frequently mishandled, that holds true when it comes to disability representation. From Professor X in X-men to Oracle, originating from Batman, physical disability not been overlooked, and continues to excel in the comic book community. More recently, Comics like Metaphase and Superb have provided groundbreaking representation for the Intellectual/Developmental Disability community, both having a main character superhero with Down syndrome. Image Credit to Where It’s AT
American Girl® dolls have been the go to resource for parents who want to purchase a doll designed to look like the child receiving it. American Girl® now has the option to purchase AT for your doll to more inclusively live up to that mission. You can purchase a wheelchair or forearm crutches for your doll on their website.
In addition to the above mentioned American Girl® dolls AT accessories, you can further accessorize your doll thanks to the wonderful people at A Step Ahead Prosthetics who have modified over a thousand American Girl® dolls for children with limb differences who want their look alike doll to really look like them. They offer this service at no cost, because they believe that:
“… it is absolutely crucial to boost the self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of inclusion for girls and boys with limb loss, and that something as small as a doll that resembles them can have a profound effect on their mental and physical well-being.” – Quote and Image found @ A Step Ahead Prosthetics, Credit to A Step Ahead
As a commitment to that belief, A Step Ahead has a form on their website that anyone with a child who has had or will have an amputation can fill out to request that they modify the child’s American Girl® doll to reflect the prosthetic(s) the child will be utilizing. Explaining that “The prosthetics themselves are entirely designed and fabricated in our prosthetics shop alongside the ‘real’ prosthetics, and are painted by hand in a variety of colors.”
For wheelchair users, an electric handcycle can turn a manual wheelchair into a motorized trike that will fly down the sidewalk leaving others in the dust. These aren’t cheap, but they are available for a wide range of cost, from a Lakago to a Firefly, so you can decide what is the best investment for you.