Monday, February 9, 2015

Rolling the Dice

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Assistive technology is jumping by leaps and bounds for those with special needs.  Because Noah is so young in age, I'm particularly drawn to products that offer him a way to participate with the family and offer him inclusion in ways that were not previously possible.   I see it in his eyes how sad he often gets watching his little brother do things he cannot.   He aches to participate.   He'll get a whimper in his voice, and his lower lip will creep up to a small pout and in tremendous frustration he'll even scream, cry and protest.  And as a parent how can your heart just not crumble knowing your child recognizes he's stuck on the floor with a disability that prevents him from being included.

We have found some really great products that have helped Noah to be included and feel as if he's a part of family activities.  A UK based company called Excitim has some great switch adapting options.   For Noah's birthday he was gifted with two great toys, the Domino Train, the Rally Racer and the Toy-Fi Teddy.   All of them a huge hit with Noah.  The Domino Train is a switch adapted train that spaces dominos and stacks them properly as it is activated, allowing the child to knock them down after the train has stacked them.   The Rally Racer has become a family favorite.  It has two controls one for Noah's little brother to activate and one that allows him the use of activating the toy by using an adaptive switch button.  Both boys are able to race cars together on a track.  And it's even made for some healthy typical sibling competition as Noah is better at racing than his little brother.  The Toy-Fi Teddy has been great as it allows for cell phone messages to be transmitted through the teddy bear, and then the child can access the message by pressing the hand of the bear.  Comes in handy when you need a message from dad while he's away. 

I have been super impressed with the quality and selection of the toys Excitim has to offer, and mostly recently have been using a new adaptive switch dice product.  It's an electronic dice switch that allows a child like Noah to roll dice to actively participate in any board game that uses dice simply by hitting a switch.   Huge in the land of family participation.   Who would have ever thought that Noah would be able to play a board game with us by initiating his own action, and not having someone else to do it for him.  He beams with such pride - even when he loses.  We've been using the dice with the game Shoots and Ladders and just recently bought Junior Monopoly to give us some other options. 

This switch adapted dice is a must have.   I love it.  It's essential for family participation. The vendor has been so helpful in answering any questions that we have and it's been such a blessing that they are willing to ship to the USA.   They are a fabulous vendor and hope I am able to make additional purchases from them in the future.  Our family is growing with such rich experiences by being able to find ways to participate in everyday activities together. 

"Play, as a freely chosen and intrinsically motivating activity, is at the core of human development.  It is through play that we share our abilities, make contact with our deepest self and unleash our potential."  Nilda Cosco, Ph.D


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.