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Selecting Toys for Children with Disabilities

Questions to ask when searching for toys:

Multi-sensory appeal: Does this toy respond with lights, sounds, or movement to engage the child? Are there contrasting colors? Does it have a scent? Is there texture?


Method of activation: Will the toy provide a challenge without frustration? What is the force required to activate? What are the number and complexity of steps required to activate?


Places the toy will be used: Will the toy be easy to store? Is there space in the home? Can the toy be used in a variety of positions such as side-lying or on wheelchair tray?


Opportunities for success: Can play be open-ended with no definite right or wrong way? Is it adaptable to the child’s individual style, ability, and pace?


Current popularity: Is it a toy that will help the child with disabilities feel like “any other kid”? Does it tie in with other activities like books and art sets that promote other forms of play?


Self-expression: Does the toy allow for creativity, uniqueness, and making choices? Will it give the child experience with a variety of media?


Adjustability: Does it have adjustable height, sound volume, speed, and level of difficulty?


Child’s individual abilities: Does the toy provide activities that reflect both developmental and chronological ages? Does it reflect the child’s interest and age?


Safety and durability: Does the toy fit with the child’s size and strength? Does it have moisture resistance? Is the toy and its parts sized appropriately? Can it be washed and cleaned?


Potential for interaction: Will the child be an active participant during use? Will the toy encourage social engagement with others?

Is Your Child’s IEP Individualized to meet his/her needs? (Questions adapted from book , “All About IEPs”)

1)  Does the IEP include accurate in- formation about how your child is currently performing in school (present levels)?

2)  Does the IEP identify all of your child’s needs that result from the disability?

3)  Does the IEP include goals that can be measured?

4)  Are the measurable goals based on your child’s present levels of aca- demic achievement and functional performance?

5)  Does the IEP describe how and when the school will measure your child’s progress toward the goals?

6)  Does the IEP specify when you will receive reports on your child’s progress toward the annual goals?

7)  Does the IEP include a statement of the special education services, related services and supplementary aids and services that the school will provide?

8)  Does the IEP include the date ser- vices will begin? Frequency of ser- vices? And Location and Duration of services?

9)  Does the IEP address the need for Assistive Listening Devices/FM systems?

Caring for Children with Hearing Impairments

There are many degrees of hearing impairments in children - from a partial hearing loss that occurs in 10-15% of newborns, to profound deafness that occurs in about 4,000 infants born each year. For some children, hearing aids provide the help needed. For others, alternate communication strategies are required. 

Click here to view an article by the National Network for Child Care that includes: strategies for inclusion and resources for caregivers and families alike!

Here is a link to a great website that answers some questions about children with hearing impairments. 

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Extra Resources

ANY time you have a concern regarding your

child's hearning, DO NOT hesitate to talk

to your child's teacher! 

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