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I am the Momma of 8 children. Seven here on earth and 1 precious little Angel in Heaven. My children range in age from 2 months to 25 years. My 6 year old was born with a laundry list of complex medical conditions. He has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), a rare brain malformation, which resulted from a mutation of the PAX-6 gene, bilateral anophthalmia, which means that he was born without any eyes, so he is totally blind. At the age of 2 1/2 months old he had to have a tracheostomy to help aid in his breathing. He is hearing impaired, with normal hearing in his left ear and has profound deafness in his right. At 3 1/2 years he had surgery to have a Mic-Key button placed in his stomach (feeding Tube), which is mainly used to give him his medications. He also has insulin dependant diabetes and wears an insulin pump, which gives him a continuous dose of insulin. Even with his many dis"abilities," including being globally developmentally delayed, he has accomplished more than anyone would have ever believed that he could. Join us in our journey living with a Dis"Abled" child....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home Made Toys

Over the years since Timmy's birth, we have sometimes found it difficult to find toys that Timmy is able to play with independantly and ones which will capture his interest and offer tactile and/or audiotory stimulation. The majority of the toys sold are geared towards babies/young children who can see and/or hear. So we find ourselves, more times than not, having to buy toys that we have to be creative and adapt to make them fun and stimulating for Timmy.

I'm hoping that my NEW category of post "Tuesday's Adapted Toys" and "Adaptive Life" will be helpful to other parents of Deaf/Blind babies and young children. And those familiy members and friends, who sometimes find it difficult to find FUN and STIMULATING toys.

Here are two examples of Homemade toys.

This is a toy that we made for Timmy. It is a ribboned ring holder.

 Items Needed:
1. Different colors and textures of ribbon, cut to at least 12in in length. You can make the ribbon length shorter if desired. The ribbon can be purchased at a craft store or a department store, which sells craft items.
2. A small clear plastic hand towel holder. We removed the hanging hardware. You can use any small diameter ring.

How to Assemble;
1. Fold each piece of ribbon in half.
2. Place the folded piece of ribbon through the center of the hand towel holder.
3. Bring the loose ends of the ribbon up and through the loop end of the ribbon and pull tight. Or you could just tie the ribbon to the hand towel holder.
4. Attach each piece of ribbon seperately.
5. Bring all of the attached ribbon together to one side of the hand towel holder or spread the ribbon all around the hand towel holder.

This Provides A Child With....
1. Visual stimulation with the bright colors of the ribbon.
2. Tactile stimulation from the different textures from the ribbon.
3. Helps the child to be able to learn to grasp an object. The "ring" is small enough for little hands to hold easily.

Even though Timmy can't see the different colors of the ribbon, he is stimulated by the different textures of the ribbon. He likes to rub the ribbons across his cheeks and feel them with his hands. The "ring" is light-weight and easy to grasp and hold. The "ring' is large enough for him to be able to manipulate with both hands at the same time.

This is a texture book, which was made for Timmy by an 7 year old little girl, who was trying to earn one of her Scout Badges. This textured book was given to Timmy by this little girl for Christmas, in 2004.

Items Needed:
1. Different textures of material, cut into 6x6 square pieces.
2. A heavy duty craft sewing needle.
3. Heavy duty thread, yarn, twine or something else to sew the pieces of material together in book form.

How To Assemble:
1. Arrange the pieces of material in the order of texture desired.
2. Lay the pieces of material one atop the other.
4. Sew the material pieces together along one side of the material. Making sure that the seam hold securely.

This Provides A Child With....
1. Visual stimulation from the different colored pieces of material.
2. Tactile stimulation from the different textures of material.
3. Light-weight and easy to grasp and hold. Can be manipulated with both hands at the same time.

Even though Timmy can't see the colors of the materials, he gets tactile stimulation from the different textures of material. He likes to explore each texture by rubbing the book over his face and feeling the material with his hands.

Being that "adapted" toys that are sold online or in catalogs are soooo expensive! Sometimes, it is best to just be creative and make your own simple toys.

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