Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Toys for Children with Special Needs

The Friendship Circle Blog put together a list a while back of 10 online toy stores that sell toys that are specifically aimed at children with special needs. Check it out:

2011/01/31 By

If your child has special needs it may not be so simple to purchase an appropriate toy. You generally can’t walk into a Walmart, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us or your local dollar store and pick out the item your child wants or needs. Thankfully we live in 2011 (what did people do 20 years ago? ) and we can hop online and start browsing the web for appropriate toys.
To get you started here are some stores that sell toys geared towards children with special needs.

1. Ability Station
Ability station provides special toys for  many different special needs and skillsets. All toys are therapist approved for a child’s growth, development and fun.

2. Amazon

http://amazon.comAmazon sells anything and everything you could possibly think of (ex: Sigmund Freud action figure or UFO Detector). Tucked away in a corner of Amazon are 464 special needs multi sensory toys.

3. Different Roads to Learning
Founded in 1995 by the mother of a child diagnosed with Autism, Different Roads to Learning carries over 500 products carefully selected to support the Autism Community. You’ll find everything from basic flashcards, books and timers to advanced social skills tools to support you at every step.

4. eSpecial Needs

http://especialneeds.comFrom oversized building blocks and bungee jumpers to snapwall playsets and sand and water activity tables, eSpecial Needs offers a variety of appealing active play toys for children with special needs, including autism.

5. Fun and Function

http://funandfunction.comFun and Function designs sensory toys and therapy equipment for individuals with special needs to help children learn adaptive responses for what they may lack or crave.  Looking for a gift for a child with special needs? Fun and Function has some recommendations.

6. Gummy Lump

http://gummylump.comGummy Lump offers toys that make sweet memories:  play food, wooden toys, pretend play & educational toys for toddlers & preschoolers! Featuring Melissa & Doug and other award winning toys.

7. Lakeshore Learning

http://lakeshorelearning.comLakeshore is dedicated to creating innovative educational materials that spark young imaginations, instill a sense of wonder and foster a lifelong love of learning. Although not specifically targeted towards children with special needs, a number of their products can be very useful for children with special needs.

8. Playability Toys

http://www.playabilitytoys.comPlayAbility Toys designs and develops toys for children with special needs. Toys are geared towards children on the Autism Spectrum, individuals who are blind & visually Impaired, cognitive challenges, hearing impaired, physical challenges, speech delay and more.

9. Special Needs Toys
Special Needs Toys offers a wide range of special needs toys, from mobile Multi-Sensory, to Swings, Trampolines and otherSensory Integration kits, Switches, rewards and small Sensory toys.

10. Toys  ’R’ Us

http://toysrus.comToys ‘R’ Us has a complete  ”Differently-Abled” Kids section. Categories include: Auditory, Creativity, Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Language, Self-Esteem, Social Skills, Tactile, Thinking and Visual

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nassreen Zarea to Receive Hope Services Award

Exciting news from the mom of Nassreen Zarea, one of our Via West participants and counselors-in-training:

"I am proud to announce that Nassreen was nominated to receive the Larry Schott award and was chosen by the family to be this year’s recipient. Larry Schott Humanitarian Award is in memory of Larry Schott, a longtime HOPE trustee and a true advocate for HOPE’s clients, he believed in doing good work for people and this award was created by his family to honor others who choose to volunteer their time.

According to the director of HOPE services, this is a huge honor as HOPE serves more than 2800 individuals each day and only one person is chosen annually for this award! She will be honored at an awards luncheon in December. The Schott family will be represented by approximately 25 family members and all of the SVDN staff and clients will be there to celebrate Nassreen’s accomplishments.

We are very proud of Nassreen and thank you all for your part in supporting her in every area of her life!"

Congratulations Nassreen!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Via West Thanksgiving Recap

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Via West! We just spent a fantastic holiday weekend at Via West full of football, friends, and food! We went shopping at the Via West Market to select ingredients to make stuffing and pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving feast.

We decorated masks to be sold at this year's Via Ball since the theme is Mardis Gras Masquerade.

 We made journals and photo albums, and we practiced our football skills. We then stuffed all of our Thanksgiving turkeys with our homemade stuffing.

We made vases to use as centerpieces for Thanksgiving, and we put our football skills to good the test with a campus wide scrimmage.

Everyone then dressed up to sit down to our wonderful homemade feast (thanks to Deli Dave and the kitchen staff!), and we shared what we are most thankful for this year. We finished the night off by dancing away all of our calories at the Turkey Trot!

To see more pictures from this weekend, please visit our Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Via West Gives Back

During the holiday weekends this year, child and adult participants at Via West will be stuffing stockings to donate to the Women and Children's Shelter in San Jose. If you would like to help our participants to help out the community, we are in need of the following items:

Toiletries - Travel size items:
Body Wash
Hand Lotion
Shower Caps
Hand Sanitizer

Sewing Kits
Band Aids

Other Items:
Hair clips/bands
Wrapped cookies
Wrapped candies

We appreciate your help! Donated items can be brought to the Via Services main office at 2851 Park Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95050. We will need these items before November 30th for the children's weekend and before December 14th for the adult's weekend. If your child is attending one of these sessions, then please feel free to bring any items to check in!