Elkhorn, NE (PRWEB) January 21, 2008
One thing is for sure. When 7-year-old autistic child, Taylor focuses in on a toy, her family knows - it's prime time for learning. When Taylor's mom (and others like her) came to Fat Brain Toys for help in selecting toys for a child with autism - Fat Brain Toys went to the experts... specialists in autism and neurology.
The result - a new "Special Needs Resource Center" available on the homepage of FatBrainToys.com. The resource center contains perspectives of volunteer contributors with real-life experience and current research understanding who care enough for kids with autism to volunteer their opinions, and provide analysis of toys for parents of special needs kids - identifying toys and methods reliable in enriching the environment of kids with notable challenges.
Like the parents they help, the experts of the "Special Needs Resource Center" know firsthand that autistic children face a range of unique challenges...the inability to focus outside of their mind set, hypersensitivity, difficulties with coordination, fine and gross motor impairments, extreme discomfort with social situations, and learning struggles.
"With meaningful sensory toys, autistic children find the tools to face difficult tasks and scary feelings that most of us never experience.... We are glad we are in a position to help kids like Taylor in some small way," Mark Carson, president of Fat Brain Toys.
Taylor's mom clarifies, "Toys give us the 'in' we need to interact with Taylor and provide sensory stimulation, learning and fun. Once the sensory issues are met (short term) a child can learn, focus, and complete tasks at a greater success rate. But meaningful sensory toys are hard to come by. Fat Brain Toys is making the search easier."
The new "Special Needs Resource Center" is easily viewed on the homepage of FatBrainToys.com. Here you'll learn about how to use toys to help autistic children build fine and gross motor skills, improve coordination, encourage learning, foster social interactions, and build confidence. Visitors to the center also find links to resources for helping special needs children. Sample content follows:
Magnetic Responsibility Chart. "Children with Autism tend to be very rules based so this is an excellent way to lay that out for them. It can also be difficult for them to understand what they need to do if someone tells them, this way it is clearly laid out and the token system will be great so they know they have gotten rewards and when to expect their next one (great motivator)." Erin Kipple (Erin is the research coordinator at the University of Washington Autism Center in Seattle. She has extensive experience as an ABA therapist working with autistic children.)
Sand and Water Table. "This one is probably my favorite. For children with sensory needs it's a must. We have had one for years. It allows the child an out for over- stimulation that may occur for a number of reasons. It gives them the opportunity to calm down by getting their sensory needs met." Kim Ward (Kim is President of the Autism Society of America Michigan Chapter and the Bay City School District Parent Advocate for Special Education. Kim and her husband John are parents of four children - among them, one child with Bipolar/Aspergers with ADD, and one child who is autistic.)
Dado Cubes. "These are excellent toys to help children develop fine motors skills, visual spatial skills, and sequencing skills. The Dado Cubes, in particular, are a unique twist that combines spatial configuration with linear sequencing through fine motor skills. Very imaginative." Dr. Ron Savage (Dr. Savage has worked with children, adolescents and young adults with neurological disorders and traumatic brain injuries for over 35 years. Presently, Dr. Savage is Executive Vice President for the North American Brain Injury Society.)
Among other favorites selected by the specialists for children with disabilities...Dado Squares, Wobble Deck, magnetic books, Teach Me Toddler dolls, sensory balls, textured blocks, and more. Other specialty products provided by Fat Brain Toys such as Pillow Fellows, foam play mats and specialized lighting integrate a calming effect.
Through the new "Special Needs Resource Center" Fat Brain Toys hopes to provide families with accurate information on sensory toys that develop skills and foster relationships. The results are good. Taylor's dad explains, "We all get involved in playing with and teaching Taylor. Even Taylor's sister, Hailey, takes great pleasure in helping her sister play with the toys. She helps her do ability-appropriate puzzles, engages her in pushing a toy car, and pushes a multi-sensory ball toward her that Taylor is always eager to retrieve. Meaningful toys do make a difference."
About Fat Brain Toys
Fat Brain Toys is a retailer and developer of specialty toys, games, and gifts. Fat Brain Toys was founded in 2002 by husband and wife team Mark & Karen Carson to sell toys that entertain and educate. Hence the Fat Brain Toys tagline, Smarter Toys = Smarter Kids. Begun as a literal garage startup in Elkhorn, Nebraska, the Carson's have grown their company into one of the largest independent, on-line retailers of specialty toys in the country by offering great toys at fair prices, coupled with truly remarkable customer service. Please visit the Fat Brain Toys website to see the entire range of toys offered by the company.