if your dc has developmental delays... - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-08-2007, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you really worry about them having "age appropriate" toys? For example, back when I worked with severe/profound disabled clients, we had one client who was a 30 something year old woman who appeared to be about 12 or 13, but was severely cognitively impaired, confined to a wheelchair, and totally dependent on others for her care. She was about like a 6 month old infant, mentally/cognitively/developmentally, she was just in a big person's body. Well, this particular client liked to play with baby toys. Duh. The group home psychologist said she should play with "age appropriate" things, not baby toys. Her PARENTS (they were in their 60's) said she should play with whatever made her happy, regardless of the "age" level of the toy/object. I agreed with the parents.

When it comes to my own child, who is about 12-18 mos. developmentally delayed, I am the same way. I don't care if what he wants to play with is for a 9 month old, if it makes him happy, so what, you know? My sister sent ds a toys r us gift card as a belated bday present, and I was at tru shopping for something for him, talking to my sister on the phone. I asked her if she thought he'd like a play shopping cart, since he loooooooooooves to push stuff around. She said, "isn't he a little too old for a shopping cart?" I didn't think so, number one, number two, he's developmentally delayed, so damn it a shopping cart is right about on his level.

What does it matter, anyway? If it makes him happy who cares what age group it's for (choking hazards and safety stuff aside, of course we take that into account)?

He works on "catching up" developmentally in therapy. He is catching up. Toys are toys. When I was 11 I still played with barbies and played pretend games with my friends. I watch Spongebob after a rough shift at work.

So am I right or am I a weirdo? :
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:38 AM
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Well, I think you are right. But maybe we are both just weirdos. I buy toys I think DS will like. And when people buy things that are age-appropriate, but not DS appropriate yet, I put them away for later.
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:59 AM
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In my son's perfectly mainstream and supposedly 'age appropriate' preschool there are TONS of 'younger' toys as well as 'age appropriate' ones. Guess which ones are more popular ? All kids love their baby toys, it's part of growing up. I think there is a shopping cart there and it is still a hit for 4 year olds .

On the other hand, with some developmental issues of my son I found that his toy's destiny is a rather unpredictable thing. He was given all sorts of stuff, including things waaay too advanced for him at the time, but there was no telling what he will or will not play with. I'd never think he would begin to like teddy bears by 5 years of age, he never cared about soft toys before! And I would never imagine that one day he'll pick up his coloured pencils and go through a pack of paper doing picture after picture after picture, when only a month ago it was a challenge to get him to draw something, took a lot of convincing and a promise of a treat. He would hate some things, then love them all of a sudden. He would pick books we would never expect him to understand, but avoids basic ones that we thought were perfect for him. And against all odds the absolute bestseller for the last 4 (!!) years is a pair of plastic telescopic jedai lightsavers his brother gave him ages ago for Christmas! Go figure Therefore I don't especially restrict the gift ideas from family and friends, they can come up with whatever they like. And if there is anything missing that he really likes, I can get it myself.
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Old 04-08-2007, 03:20 AM
 
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I definitely don't want to be someone who restricts my children's choices to things deemed "age appropriate". I think that many parents, especially of Aspie kids, restrict things for social reasons (like refusing to buy Thomas stuff for their 12 y.o.), but what I would hope to do would be to explain potential social consequences if my child seems unaware yet would care but let him make the choice. In reading the writings of autistic adults, I find a lot more pain over not being sure what they want or feel because someone was always telling them what they should be wanting or feeling in order to "fit in". I don't want to spend a lot of energy trying to make my son "act normal" or "fit in." More energy than I have is required to help him respect the basic personal boundaries of other people (I mean physically).

But your son is in preschool, right? I totally don't get a shopping cart being too young for him in that way. But I don't think it's inappropriate that he plays with wooden trains at 6 1/2 either--fortunately for my attention span it's not the only thing he plays with.


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Old 04-08-2007, 03:29 AM
 
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I think your son is about my dd1's age - three, right? My NT 3 year old LOVES her shopping cart. I don't think it is at all inappropriate in age. She likes strollers, too. All the kids I know her age do. : But in terms of age vs developmental age appropriateness, I really don't get the big deal. If a kid likes it, what's the problem? I mean, I can see social stigma being an issue for an aspie kid or something, but there are ways of getting around that even. And really, phooey on them! Toys should be fun.
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Old 04-08-2007, 05:35 AM
 
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I think it is just silly to restrict toys because the target age for the toy is 'too young'. I was still playing with 'little people' and barbies in high school, although as I look back I can tell you I played with them in very different ways than I did when I was little. ( working out social situations, having them do 'plays/theatre' and such). I know several 30-something men who still play with legos and action figures.

I would think a shopping cart would be 'appropriate' for NT kids even through early grade school, so I don't know why your sister would have a problem with it.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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Old 04-08-2007, 05:41 AM
 
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Oh heck no! C will pull over the ottoman, put in a DVD, close the DVD door, hit the "next" button past the previews and hit "play"...and then ten seconds later will chew on the baby's chew toys. Kids play with all kinds of things. A four- or five- or ten-year-old can have fun for hours with a couple of Dixie cups. We select C's toys based on what we think he will like, and it might be listed as a 12-month toy or a 5-year-old toy and he's not quite 4.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:25 AM
 
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First, a shopping cart? Too young for a preschooler? I thought that was the age range? They can pretend play store and put their babies in them and such. Obviously, your source for that one was just off anyway. I also notice that even with typical kids the age ranges given on toys are weird. They seem to skew way younger in some cases than most children could appropriately play with them.

In both my dd and ds's EI playgroups there have been certain mothers that do not allow their children to play with the "baby toys." It drives me nuts. First, this is an EI playgroup, so most of the kids have a delay of some kind or another. How do you think it makes the other moms feel to have someone yelling about "baby toys?" A ring stacker was a "baby toy." My dd didn't master that until she was well into 4. Should I have put that away when she was two, and forced her to play with whatever 2 year olds are supposed to play with even though she wouldn't have learned sizes and stacking? Plus does it harm a child, no matter how "advanced," to play with a younger-skewed toy? It's not like it's going to stunt their development. I've seen some creative uses of "baby toys" around here from both my children and typical children. Kids of many ages love to come here to play with our baby toys that I haven't put away yet.

I went off on a bit of a rant there. This one mom as been irking me the last few weeks with many aspects of how she parents her slightly delayed son, and this is a big component of it. I'm a big proponent of letting your children decide what they want to play with, regardless. I also think a lot of people give their children toys that are too old for them and should slow down a little bit in removing baby toys. Just let them become what they are.
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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Ummmm... First of all, my 3.5 yo NT son LOVES to play w/ dolls and shopping carts. So does my 18 mo old. He throws a doll into his cart and pushes it around all day long sometimes. OK, so maybe he doesn't pretend he's shopping like his therapists would like, but he's having fun, and I think that's the most important thing, right? I worked at a child development center (fancy shmancy name for a very nurturing daycare ) when I was in college and a shopping cart is definitely a preschool toy, not only for babies. But I think all that is moot. (btw, I have a feeling the cart is not considered age appropriate for him b/c he's a BOY, not b/c he's 3. I think it would be perfectly acceptible for a GIRL to play w/ a shopping cart at age 3-4 or older. I disagree, but I bet your sil has this issue. A lot of people do.)

I say let your kid play w/ whatever makes him happy, whether it's age appropriate or gender appropriate or not.

I played with Matchbox cars and action figures w/ my younger brothers well into high school. lol
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JohannasGarden View Post
I definitely don't want to be someone who restricts my children's choices to things deemed "age appropriate". I think that many parents, especially of Aspie kids, restrict things for social reasons (like refusing to buy Thomas stuff for their 12 y.o.), but what I would hope to do would be to explain potential social consequences if my child seems unaware yet would care but let him make the choice. In reading the writings of autistic adults, I find a lot more pain over not being sure what they want or feel because someone was always telling them what they should be wanting or feeling in order to "fit in". I don't want to spend a lot of energy trying to make my son "act normal" or "fit in." More energy than I have is required to help him respect the basic personal boundaries of other people (I mean physically).
I already do this w/ my aspie son. I started doing it when he was 4 and I noticed a child making fun of him (he was wearing pink sparkly pants.) Luckily, he was oblivious, but I knew that wouldn't last forever. I had this problem and I was a complete and total social reject when I was a child. My parents never warned me. Maybe they didn't know. Anyway, when my ds wanted something I knew the other kids might tease him about, I would tell him, look, I know you like this, I like it, too. But if you wear/take it to school, the other kids might tease you. If you want to get it and only wear it at home, that's ok, or you can wear it to school, too, and that's ok, but I just want to warn you that it might happen. Usually he'd say he didn't care, wear/take it to school anyway, but in the last year, he's gotten very self-conscious about certain things, especially what he wears. He's been getting bullied at school, and I think that's why. He won't be going back to this school next year.
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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I know several 30-something men who still play with legos and action figures.

That would be my dh.
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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I don't have a delayed child, but the thread title caught my eye on New Posts, hope it's okay to chime in. If you're talking about a shopping cart for a preschooler-absolutely! I think that's a necessary toy, at least in my family it is. Even my 5.5-year old and his friends will push the shopping cart around the house. Sometimes they'll use it for play shopping, sometimes it's to transport toys from one room to another. When the other kids are riding their bikes or scooters, my 2-year old is happy to be outside pushing the cart around, I guess because it has wheels, so to him it's the same thing that they are doing. I think that any safe toy a child is interested in, that sparks the imagination and hold interest, is just fine.

And I have to ask, what does NT mean?

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Old 04-08-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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And I have to ask, what does NT mean?
It means "neurotypical." Not autistic.
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Old 04-08-2007, 12:09 PM
 
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Thank you for explaining NT. I know I would have wondered about it all day, trying to find words it could possibly stand for.

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Old 04-08-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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Hey, I still like to play with toy shopping carts.

This whole notion that there are age-appropriate toys is complete and utter phooey. Just more marketing strategy if you ask me. Toys are toys, play is play, and play is essential for development. Sounds to me like more of that bull like that preschoolers should be learning to read, etc. More pressure on kids, more of that crazy fear-based stuff that our culture has been riddled with. Let him play with whatever he wants, absolutely.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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(btw, I have a feeling the cart is not considered age appropriate for him b/c he's a BOY, not b/c he's 3. I think it would be perfectly acceptible for a GIRL to play w/ a shopping cart at age 3-4 or older. I disagree, but I bet your sil has this issue. A lot of people do.)
Yeah...they do! My oldest DS is now 21, but when he was three years old he asked for a cleaning set for Christmas. So I got him one. He absolutely loved to clean. (Those were the days! You should see his room now. ) You would not believe the flack I got from some people on this. We were all standing around at work talking about what we got our children for the holidays and I mentioned the cleaning set and one woman said, "What is he going to do with THAT?" and I said, "Clean." And she said, "Well, I mean...what about when he gets older and still likes to clean?" I said, "I can only wish!"

J would follow me all around the house. When I mopped, he'd get out his mop. Or he'd offer to sweep first before I mopped. Seriously, he had the whole thing down. (J probably has sensory issues, undiagnosed, but is not autistic, in case anyone is wondering about the language/communication being so clear when he was only 3.)

At the time he also enjoyed pulling the heads off action figures and pretending to fix door knobs and the TV.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LMAO...W2H, my ds is in love with our vacuum cleaners. We call them his girlfriends. He loves to play with the swiffer too. I sure as heck let him!!

Okay, well good....I'm glad y'all agree with me. As for my sister and having possible issues with the whole gender aspect of a shopping cart, hmm...I dunno. She might. I'll have to ponder that for a while....

At any rate, we ended up getting him this,
which he totally loves. I'm gonna take him out to a new greenway as soon as I finish wasting time here and let him go nuts.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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I agree with you 100 percent

Mom to  Rachel 15 Kimberly 12 Chloe 10 and Nathaniel 8
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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For Christmas my mom got my 3 year-old daughter a shape sorter - yup, you know those ones for 6 month olds? Yeah, that one. She loves the things. My daughter is about 12-18 months delayed cognitively and is just now starting to play with toys - the typical 3 year-old toys she doesn't know what to do with because they require imagination and that is something that is just budding.

To the mom of the child who wore the pink sparkly pants (I'm sorry I forgot your name and too lazy to scroll back hehe) - I would probably do the same thing that you did. Something he can wear at home but it needs to stay at home. You want to let them explore and play but imo you also have the need to protect them from others.
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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My son is 4. He LOVES baby toys. Especially ones that light up and play music. LOL. He also loves toys that are geared for older children (like 10+ yrs).
I think that as long as it's safe, the child should play with whatever he/she chooses.
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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I am with you! It was so hard a few weeks ago we took them to this indoor play place and in the middle of the area it was blocked off and they had all these "baby" toys and there was a gate around them with a sign around it that said that area was for kids 2 and under. Jordan just kept standing there trying to get in the gate not understanding why he couldn't play with them, it was kind of sad.

And at preschool the teacher said Jordan kept wanting to play with the baby toys so she had to redirect him. The toy was the colored rings and I was thinking 1) he can still learn something from that toy.....colors, sizes etc.....we do it all that all the time at home and 2) why the heck do they have those toys at prechool if they don't want them to play with them??
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Old 04-08-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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If he likes it, he can play with it. Actually, that's true for all my kids, not just Jake. And for Jake- if he can SAY it, he can d@mn well have it!! He can have it while I do a happy dance around him for the fact he used a word that he thought out, planned to say and said to express his wants.

I've got too much else to worry about than if a toy is age appropriate. I try to educate those around me, but some times, I just don't have the energy.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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Old 04-08-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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My 11 year old DD, NT and very mature, plays with dolls. This is all she has ever played with, plans to be a midwife, has never had any other major interest in her life. She pushes our dog, poor dog, around in the stroller for hours, carries her in a sling. She knows as much about obstetrics as I do (I have a medical background), and is wonderful with real babies. Had I taken this from her at some "appropriate" age, what on earth would have been gained?

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Old 04-08-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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I've never checked toy ages for ANY of my kids.

My AS Ds has been playing with little legos and video games for a long while. He plays with things above and beyond his age (instead of the oppposite) and that's because of his love of problem solving and building. He's pretty meticulis with those things. I have a toy room scatter with Knex and little legos as we speak.

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Old 04-08-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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My ds definitely still plays with toys that are more appropriate for his developmental age (about 18 months) than for his actual age (3 years). His favorite Christmas present by far was a drop and roar dinosaur. His class room at school (and ecdd class room, kids aged 2 1/2-5 1/2 years use the class room) has mostly baby toys. Stacking rings was actually one of the toys that was suggested by his teacher to help teach size discrimination (We are a LONG ways off from colours!).

On the other side my dd got tired of baby toys quickly, and at 4 most of her toys are for the 7+ age range.

I definitely think the ages are just a guideline, you should go with what your kid will enjoy!

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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Old 04-08-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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I always thought of those ages as "probably your younger-than-this kid won't get much out of this yet, YMMV"

Bede got these Stacking Action Blocks for his 4th birthday because I thought he'd like them. He does... but his 7yo NT sister likes them even more!
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Old 04-08-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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Um, I would just be happy if my dd would actually play with ANY toy, vs. a hard boiled egg, a box of raisins, or a plastic cup. Hey, admittedly all of those are good things, but at this point I'd be beside myself if I saw her play with an actual toy..she does carry toys around, but she hardly ever actually does anything with them without any prompting.

Actually, scratch that. She does love shopping carts and baby strollers. So does my 7yo. It's all relative.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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The stacking rings example is an amusing one, for it's physical design encourages a mastery of seriation yet it's designed for an age range that can't master that concept--Montessori starts teaching 2 1/2 year-olds this, and not being ready to really get it at 2 1/2 wouldn't necessarily mean one was delayed.

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Old 04-08-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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Um, I would just be happy if my dd would actually play with ANY toy, vs. a hard boiled egg, a box of raisins, or a plastic cup. Hey, admittedly all of those are good things, but at this point I'd be beside myself if I saw her play with an actual toy..she does carry toys around, but she hardly ever actually does anything with them without any prompting.

Actually, scratch that. She does love shopping carts and baby strollers. So does my 7yo. It's all relative.

Not that it actually helps the toy thing, since it wouldn't really be changing the things she plays with, but my kids got wooden eggs from target today, and they seriously feel real in your hands...they are the perfect weight and shape for a hardboiled egg. The come in both white and brown. We've had haba eggs before, and these are much more realistic.

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:51 PM
 
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I got ds the wooden eggs from Target, too. He loves them. I got the brown ones. They look so real, I've been tricked a couple of times. LOL
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