One of the products that I became familiar with when I was putting this month together was the My Sibling/My Pal doll collection:
These cute 18" dolls come with Autism Awareness clothing and a story that explains their lives. We adopted Matty into our family:
Matty's Story: Matty can’t understand why his little sister gets upset every time they go to the supermarket. With the help of Hope’s special teacher, he comes to understand that it’s all the noises, smells and feelings she gets when they go shopping that bother her so much.
Matty also came with additional Autism Awareness pieces - including puzzle piece ribbons, an awareness bracelet and more.
Matty, as a doll was the most similar looking to our children and was actually adopted by Liam as his friend, although Robyn has found the back story to be interesting and she proudly wears the bracelet that came with Matty. Matty's sister's story resonates in our house because of the sensory integration issues that Liam has - he often has issues with crowds, noise and even over-stimming visually, especially at shopping malls and stores.
We don't hide the word Autism from Liam and so we've changed Matty's story a little bit to be that Matty also has Autism so that when we do social stories with Liam, Matty can play along too...
For me, it was just great to find a doll that allows us to talk about Autism as a family in a different context and to use the doll as a third party to the situation. Matty or one of the other dolls in the collection could be a great addition to your family and a way to help siblings voice their questions and concerns about how Autism impacts their lives, or as we have adapted him, to show our son that even toys can have Autism.
My Sibling/My Pal dolls are a great way to incorporate discussions of Autism in your family without making it about the child directly - they open up a new avenue of communication, as well as being a fun and friendly doll! Consider adopting Matty or one of his friends from My Sibling/My Pal today!
My Sibling/My Pal have generously offered one of my readers the opportunity to adopt their own Matty doll!
Disclaimer: I received this product at no cost for the purpose of completing my review. All opinions are 100% my own.