Friday, February 16, 2018

A Very Special Doll

Wow, I meant to post this in January but time sure got away from me. Next week I'll be back with more special needs spotlight posts, but I wanted to take a quick minute and tell you about a special doll that Lamp got this past Christmas and spread some of the joy and love for the organization who made it possible.

Many of you might have seen this on my Instagram over Christmas break, but for those of you who didn't Lamp got an American Girl doll with limb differences for Christmas.

What? American Girl makes dolls with limb differences? No, they don't. Not yet. (If you'd like to see this change please sign my friend's daughter's petition to American Girl to make dolls limb differences.) 

But A Step Ahead Prosthetics, a company out of New York, will modify an American Girl doll (meaning they will amputate how ever many arms or legs you want) and fit each amputated limb with a prosthetic FREE OF CHARGE. Of course, they have some guidelines like they can only make dolls for children who have limb loss or who are facing limb loss and the doll you send must be actual American Girl dolls. But how amazing is this? I don't pretend do know exactly what Lamp was thinking or feeling when she got her doll (you can still watch the video on my Instagram highlights of her opening it) but I think somewhere inside that doll spoke to her sense of value as a person who knows that she is different. Receiving a doll modeled after her lets her know her body is worth celebrating and being represented in the same way her peers' bodies are celebrated and represented.
You may have even seen this video that went viral last year about a little girl getting a doll with a prosthetic leg like hers. She starts to cry while holding her doll saying, "She's got a leg like me!" As A Step Ahead Prosthetics says on their site, "We feel that it is absolutely crucial to boost the self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of inclusion for little girls with limb loss, and that something as small as a doll that resembles them can have a profound effect on their mental and physical well-being." 

We all know the importance of seeing ourselves represented in the world around us. In large part because it is important to represent the way the real world actually is--different genders, different colors, different races, different sexual orientations, different abilities. But it's not about representation, just for the sake of representation. It is about equality and opportunity. Because you cannot live and be a productive member of society with real equality and real opportunity--unless people see you.

Thank you for seeing our girls A Step Ahead Prosthetics.

If you are a limb difference family and are interested in getting a doll for your daughter or son, please check out A Step Ahead Prosthetics here for more information. 

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