3 products for your child with special needs to try

From protection during seizers to just an emoji of encouragement, check out these products that could help your child with special needs on a daily basis.

Emojis for all

Sometimes a simple emoji is the best way to sum up how you’re feeling. Now, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare has launched a new emoji keyboard app, known as Emojability, that incorporates a variety of encouraging phrases and emojis for individuals with differing abilities.

The free app, available for Apple and Android, allows parents, caregivers and kids to communicate with ability-focused emojis and GIFs, like “Stick to It!,” “Speech Therapy” or a stick figure on an adaptive bicycle. Download at the app store as “Emojability keyboard” or at gillettechildrens.org/emojability.

Robot for kids with autism

Rey had BB-8; the Jetsons had Rosie. But now children with autism can bring home their own robot friend, called Leka, specifically designed to help kids like them communicate better.

Leka co-founder and CEO Ladislas de Toldi says research shows that children with autism connect better with robots than humans because they are more predictable, which is how children are able to connect and bond with the toy so easily.

“Leka acts as a bridge to communication and social interactions between the child and their surroundings,” he says. “It provides a comfortable solution for children to learn and play, as they can eventually learn to expect certain reactions, as well as predict behavior.”

This interactive smart toy integrates therapy, such as tools to increase motor skills and promote social interaction, with fun, interactive games. But this robot friend is more than just fun. Leka has a monitoring platform that collects data on the child’s interactions and responses to the toy for parents and therapists to monitor. Leka starts at $390, available for preorder at https://igg.me/at/leka.

Helmet offers maximum stylish protection

Safety is always the first concern when it comes to a child having a seizure. But gone are the days of bulky, uncomfortable and oversized protective helmets with the Guardian Helmet. Made with EVA rubber foam, this durable yet sleek design is made for multiple purposes, such as reducing injury during head banging, seizures, sports and other disability or safety-related uses.

The hook-and-loop chinstrap and the extra chinstrap provide complete protection and safety for wearers who may try to remove the helmet.

Helmets come in a variety of colors and sizes for children and adults. $140.95, guardianhelmets.com.

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