Kids to receive adaptive toys for Christmas
Physical Therapists explain that many children with special needs don't have the motor skills or ability to play with toys that's why they team up with a non-profit which provides adaptive toys for students.
Do you remember the joy of opening the toy you wanted for Christmas and playing with it?
Imagine the sadness for kids who can't play with toys as they are off the store shelves.
But each year the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio helps kids with additional needs experience the magic of Christmas through play.
Physical Therapists explain that many children with special needs don't have the motor skills or ability to play with toys. That's why they team up with a non-profit which provides adaptive toys for students.
RePlay for Kids was started by Bill Memberg, an engineer in Cleveland, who saw an ad placed by the Cuyahoga Board of Disabilities looking for somebody to fix a box of broken toys and devices.
Due to the non profit RePlay for Kids 10-year-old Lyla and kids in our region get to experience fun playing with toys and the magic of Christmas.
"When you give a child the way to play it changes their life. When you see a child hit a switch and be able to see a toy dance and move, they see they can do it just like anybody else and they really love it," said Physical Therapist Beverly Lankitus.
Physical Therapists reach out to therapists and teachers and families in the area and pick out toys they want from a catalog.
"They need something bigger and if they hit this button a song plays, and I tell you when they present this to a child, their face just lights up and they realize after a few times tapping on it, they're making it work. Now that's the magic moment," said Physical Therapy Assistant, Theresa Kinsley.
The magic of learning while kids play often helps them with physical therapy and in life.
"A lot of kids will often go on to use those switches for speech devices, or to power a wheel chair, so once they learn early on cause and effect, it really helps them overall," emphasized Lankitus.
Parents say these gifts are so important because the prices in catalogs for adaptive toys are up to five times more expensive.
The adapted toys will be delivered to parents or guardians in Ashtabula, Portage, Trumbull, Columbiana and Mahoning counties who were unable to make the pick up time.