Toys "R" Us Made A Toy Guide Just For Differently-Abled Children — But Is That Really Inclusive?
But is that really inclusive?
For the last 20 years, the popular toy retailer Toys "R" Us has released a gift guide for children with special needs. This year was no different as they announced the 2014 guide on their Facebook page, yesterday.
According to their website, the guide features toys selected for kids with all range of "differenly-abled" abilities. The store even collaborated with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit that provides toys fitting to the needs of children with disablities, to create the holiday leaflet.
Toys "R" Us calls the guide "an easy-to-use resource featuring specially selected toys that encourage play for children with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities." And many parents are glad to see the continuation of helping parents find the best toys fit for any type of child.
"Very nice," one commenter wrote on the Facebook post. "I am definitely checking out this list. My kids have Autism so I'm sure I can find something cool for them."
Others, however, had questions about the guide and how inclusive it really is.
Susan Pestello left a comment looking for an answer. "How about they just include toys for children with special needs in their regular catalog so brothers and sisters and friends can all look at the same book," she wrote.
"I absolutely love this, Toys R Us, but I am still puzzled about the reasoning behind making the toy book less inclusive." said another person.
A+ spoke with Bjorn Trowery, a communications representive for Toys "R" Us, who addressed these concerns.
"The guide was created to help parents to easily find those toys," he said.
The only difference between the guides, he says, is that the toys in the special needs guide have been tested and evalauted so that the guide can note the specific skills they can improve on, or which set of abilities they work best with.
While not entirely "inclusive," insofar as to combine the two guides together, Toys "R" Us does seem to be ahead of the game as far as recognizing that needs of special needs children at all. Late October, a California mother started a petition to get Disney to introduce a princess with special needs.
This story has been updated with a comment from Toys "R" Us.