Special Stuff: Part 2
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7. Up, Up, and Away!
This toy may not be new, but if you haven’t heard of Stomp Rockets from any of your friends yet, we’re here to introduce you: This toy is a go-to for many physical therapists and special ed teachers because it’s great at engaging kids with special needs in social activity and exercise. Foot power alone propels rockets as high as 200 feet in the air! Stomp Rockets are safe; help improve low muscle tone; demonstrate principles of trajectory, force, distance, and motion; and encourage creative play. One parent tells us it helps helps work out her child’s aggressive energy, too. (Ages 8 and older; $16.50 for stomp rocket ultra, others available for different age ranges; stomprocket.com)
8. Mobile Support
A lightweight, foldable positioning chair, the Trotter Mobility Pushchair Strolleris an easily transportable alternative to the standard wheelchair, which may be heavy and bulky. The Trotter is designed for those with mild to moderate positioning needs and features a 30-degree fixed seat back, providing a comfortable position with upper torso
support for children and adults who lack upper body strength or trunk stability due to developmental delays in motor skills or physical disabilities. Simple adjustments also allow the Trotter to be used as your child grows. (Available in four sizes; $960; 877-664-4565, especialneeds.com)
9. A Whole Lotta Love
Grammy-nominated rocker Brady Rymer’s 2011 award-winning album, Love Me for Who I Am, sends kids on the autism spectrum a message of self-confidence and empowerment through rock ‘n’ roll. Rymer was inspired to create this collection of original songs by students at the Celebrate the Children School in New Jersey, who are affected by autism and related conditions. Rymer was inspired by the stories he heard from the school community, the challenges faced by the students and their families, and the enthusiasm and boundless energy the children brought to their day-to-day lives. The result: 10 rockin’ songs that illuminate and celebrate the world of a child with autism. ($13 for audio CD; also available for MP3 and on iTunes; 5 percent of profits goes to Autism Speaks and an additional portion benefits the Celebrate the Children School; cdbaby.com/cd/bradyrymer8)