Erasing the Stigma: One of a Kind Doll for Kids with Disabilities

"They get to a point and realize they're different and they don't have toys that match their abilities and they wonder where do they fit in? Where do they fit in?"

FARGO, N.D. — For parents who have children with disabilities, walking up and down the isles to pick out holiday gifts isn’t always the easiest thing.

KVRR’s Jessie Cohen takes us across sea’s to show us how one company is changing the game for families around the world.

“They get to a point and realize they’re different and they don’t have toys that match their abilities and they wonder where do they fit in? Where do they fit in?” said Adair Grommesh, a mother of Garrett who has a disability.

It can be a tough question to answer.

“What makes your legs not work?” said Allison Burggraff, Wyatt’s mother.

A thought that affects families differently.

“…you have spina bifida,” Allison said.

Especially during the holiday times.

“I been asking Santa for lost of toys like star wars,” Wyatt said.

“One day we saw he had taken their legs off and we said Garrett what are you doing?” Adair said.

His parents look back on their teenage son’s childhood…

“And he said well my legs don’t work so this way I can have them commando crawling like I do,” Adair said.

…with something so bitter sweet.

For other kids like four year old Wyatt…

“Are any of those star wars characters like you with a wheel chair? No, or maybe I could just make up one,” Wyatt said.

He’s had a different experience.

“I think in some ways it is a gift that this is just all he knows and this is the way he was born,” Allison said.

But for both families, shopping for something as exciting as toys, can be difficult.

“As a family with special needs in it it can feel like you’re alone a lot,” Allison said.

An Australian family, who has a daughter with a hearing disability, has started to change the conversation.

“The really defining moment was when she came up at two or three and point blank said why are none of these dolly’s like me?” Josh Chislett said, the Co-Owner of Just Like You Dolls.

The Just Like You Dolls offer unique accessories and a one of a kind best friend.

“To have a toy  that can be similar to a child that uses a walker, a child that only has an arm, a child that can’t hear, it makes them feel like they belong. Like they are a part of this world that they are not something different,” Adair said.

Now Josh says people have stopped starring and started talking.

“People will ask what’s on your dolly’s head and she would then explain her dolly has special ears like hers and they help her hear,” Josh said.

Having healthy discussions that reinforce these kids are just kids.

“For some kids when they see a kid in a wheel chair they have so many questions,” Allison said.

Sold out online, some American families are waiting for them to arrive on shelves.

“I think it would change the way he viewed his future in a lot of ways,” Allison said.

As the gift wrapping season begins, being able to see the inclusive nature of these dolls…

“What about if your star wars characters had wheel chairs wouldn’t that be cool…yeah they could go super–fast right because you can go super–fast in a wheel chair,” Allison said.

…would remind kids all over the world, they may have differences but they are no different.

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