Who else is a tactile shopper? With the closing of Toys R Us earlier this year I’m struggling to find Christmas presents for my kids. Don’t get me wrong, Amazon is great but there’s a difference between looking at something on a screen and actually being able to feel what it’s made of. The way it moves, it’s elasticity and durability are all important factors on whether or not I will make a purchase.
D is very hard on equipment. To the point where I can tell just by picking something up if it will last more than a day. In the past I have tried to rely on product reviews and lengthy descriptions but I find even items labeled as “unbreakable” only last a couple of weeks. My favorite place to “window shop” – in the latest sense of the term, is FunandFunction.com. (If you have kids on the spectrum or know someone who does I recommend having a glance.)
They have all kinds of toys or items for kids with any needs. I am guilty of purchasing a few items out of curiosity, to see if they would provide some help or relief for D. They are on the pricier side of what I am comfortable spending but I thought we would give it a go.
First, there was the weighted worm/snake. D didn’t know what to do with it. I guided his hand to squeeze the head and then the length of the worm/snake. He felt the beads inside and you could see his thought process play across his face.
– What is this?
– It feels different, does it feel good?
– It’s HEAVY
– Does it FLY?!
It didn’t. Every opportunity he got, he made sure to test that theory. He would swing it around for as long as he could, whacking everything in it’s path: legs, heads, younger sisters. This wasn’t the intended purpose explained on the website. It was supposed to soothe and help him self-regulate, instead he used it as an extension of his arm while he was spinning. To be fair, the construction of the weighted worm was well done but he bit a hole in it and the beads went everywhere. I figured he really liked it so we ordered him another one. It didn’t last a week.
Next, we tried a bean bag, also from FunandFunction.com. When it got to the house I noticed there was a hole in the stitching. It was tiny, so small a mouse would have struggled to put its tail through it. The next day, D was able to fit his whole hand through it and by the end of the week, his head. By the time I got a response from the seller it was beyond recognition. D had pulled the entire outer shell off of the beanbag and by that point I didn’t bother sending in the pictures so they would ship out a new one. What was the point? The next beanbag would have ended up just like the first one.
To be fair, we have ordered items from FunandFunction.com and they have held up as advertised. For the most part it’s hit or miss, and online shopping for D is usually a miss.