Technological Toys,

A Special Needs

Play provides a fun, care free means to learning and developing cognitive,
language, social-emotional,and perceptual motor skills. For some children with
disabilities, technology makes play possible (Lewis). Disabilities can often
times hinder such play with technology, because many electronic toys in
circulation require children to push, pull, or wind a switch. There are many
electronic toys that also require children to walk, run and manipulate it in
order to get it to work. This is not developmentally appropriate, especially for
children with certain exceptionalities. Switches or buttons on electronic toys
can discourage and frustrate some children. The best types of toys for children
with special needs are those that are typically switchless, which are called
“ALD” automated learning devices. This simply means it has been adapted to allow
children with exceptionalities to control these electrical and battery powered
toys. The most common type of electronic switchless toys are battery operated
and are designed to be activated by a simple touch or sound. When the child
makes a sound or movement, the toy is triggered to activate, eliminating the
frustration and complication of switch manipulations.

There are several factors to consider when purchasing electronic toys for
children with exceptionalities. The electronic toys you choose for children with
exceptionalities should be inviting, educational, rewarding and appropriate for
each child that is using them (Lekotek Resources). Electronic toys should
encourage child interaction and provide a stress free challenge to help develop
needed skills. The electronic toys should be adaptable to each
child’sindividuality and ability. It should reflect children’s interests,
sizes,capabilities, strength, and age. It should also encourage social
engagement with others as well.

You can find some of these toys throught the Lekotek website, linked

Works Cited

Lekotek Resources. Lekotek: The country’s centra lsource on
toys and play for children with special needs. 30 October 2010


Lewis, Rena B. “Toys for Young Children.” Special Education
Technology: Classroom Applications (1993): 5.