In my line of work, I have come across parents from all spheres; parents with normal kids, parents with special needs children, christian parents, Muslim parents, the poor, the rich; all sorts of people. What is unique about all these parents is that they want the best things for their kids. Parents of special needs children are no different.
In the recent years, there has been a lot of awareness concerning children’s growth and development. Among the realization is that toys really play a fundamental role in a child’s development. The types of toys to purchase differ with each child especially for those children with cerebral palsy.
How to choose toys for children with cerebral palsy
This is the case because there are many considerations to make such as knowing the child’s age, their unique developmental timeline and their treatment needs. In addition, the parents and teachers should be aware that cerebral palsy is a diagnosis that exists in a distinct way for every single child. Being aware of such information makes it easier for the parents when it comes to choosing of the toys their children play with at home and while at school.
Parents and teachers should also consider the safety and the well-being of their children when choosing the right toys for them. Such toys should never bring frustration or any harm to the children but rather supplement their therapy and give them a safe and entertaining way to have fun and build skills.
The following considerations are among the many things that both the parents and teachers should keep in mind while choosing toys for children with cerebral palsy.
Toys play a very significant role when it comes to children’s education in their early ages. Children with cerebral palsy require toys that are geared towards learning since this improves their growth and development.
Therefore, when parents are choosing toys they should consider their current capabilities in school to help in their wholesome development. In addition, teachers play a major role when it comes to the children with cerebral palsy. Teachers monitor most of the child’s activity while they are interacting with other children while at school. This happens during their playtime.
A child’s playtime is a very important stage and that’s where the teachers come in as they are now capable of knowing the child’s preference and type of play activity thus helping the parent figure out the best play toy for their children. Education serves as the developmental milestone checklist that is a kind of a big guide to parents when choosing toys in that stage of development. It also helps the parents understand that every child is different thus helping them understand their child’s needs better as an individual.
Benefits of the Toy
The impact of a toy in a child’s life is a very important factor to consider before purchasing any toy. It is very true that some toys can be helpful while others are totally unhelpful when it comes to dealing with children who have cerebral palsy. Therefore, the benefits of selecting a toy that will enhance your child’s life should be looked as being priceless.
The following are some of the benefits that are accompanied by toys and which both the parents and teachers are supposed to look at. For instance, a toy that helps foster gross motor skills, visual tracking skills and eye coordination are just but a few of the advantages that are realized in those children with cerebral palsy. Also it is important to consider whether the toys are perfect to be in use both indoors and outdoors. Moreover,knowing if the same toys are able to provide an enhanced tactile stimulation during play is a factor that should be put into consideration.
Speech, language and communication
The way a parent or teacher connects with a child matters a lot in the life of a child with cerebral palsy. It is true that all children need the security, love, fun, encouragement and the opportunity around them. This means that children with cerebral palsy are no different from other children who are part of the family or in other institutions such as schools. Thus parents when choosing the right toys to buy for their children, should consider the modernity of toys such as technology to help them be at speed with other children in their surroundings.
For instance, a toy like a Vtech spinning lights learning hippo is a perfect example of a modern technology toy that helps in the physical and mental development of kids. Such a toy helps in a way that it introduces your child to a number of basic numbers, shapes and letters. It is also an easy toy for a child with cerebral palsy to learn and play without necessarily working up the child too much. It also develops a child mastery in language especially for those children that are developmentally delayed children. This helps improve the daily life of a child with cerebral palsy as it guarantees a growth each day.
Strength and Ability of the Child
Playing is part of each child’s ordinary life and that is why the toys mostly come in handy with such activities. Parents and teachers should be aware it is at this time the children become more of themselves. It offers the child with an opportunity to relax, express their feelings, endure failure and success at the same time and mostly experiment with their physical movement especially for the children with cerebral palsy.
Strength of a child is a very important phenomenon to look out for before choosing a toy for them. This is true because some children have a little muscle strength as compared to other children hence they are prone to get tired easily. If such a case is evident to your child, it is considered wise to look out for toys that are lightweight and more particularly need small amount of effort handling them.
The most important thing that should matter the most to a child with cerebral palsy is the fun part.
Parents and teachers before choosing any toy should first study the behavioral tendencies that their children engage in or more so, that makes them happy. That’s why it is equally important to keep in mind that all children may dislike some activities or toys but fail to communicate.
Finally, one does no need to choose the most expensive or specialist toys for a child with cerebral palsy to have fun.