AAM - Review & #Giveaway - My Sibling Doll #Autism

In celebrating Autism Awareness month, I have been highlighting the joys and strains of parenting children with Autism, and I know that one of the more difficult aspects of the strains of special needs children is that sometimes the lives of our other children are negatively impacted by the disability.  One of the ways to help all of our children cope with Autism, is making sure we have an open dialog abut it and include the kids in planning and decision making, but it's not always easy.

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!

Giveaway is open to US Residents only
Mandatory Entry must be completed before other entries count.
Each entry must be made as a SEPARATE COMMENT
Giveaway will end on May 4th, 2011 at 11:59 PM and 
the winner will be chosen by Random.org, announced on Acting Balanced 
and contacted by email.
The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Mandatory Entry:
Visit the My Pal® and My Sibling® Dolls website and tell me which other doll would you like to get for your child.
Bonus Entries:

+2 Bonus Entry - Follow My Sibling Dolls on Twitter (leave twitter name)
+2 Bonus Entry - Like My Sibling and My Pal Dolls on Facebook 
+1 Bonus Entry - Follow Acting Balanced/Chascouponmom on Twitter (leave twitter name)
+1 Bonus Entry - Follow Acting Balanced on Google Friend Connect
+1 Bonus Entry - Like Acting Balanced on Facebook 
+1 Bonus Entry - Subscribe to Acting Balanced by email (must be completed)
+1 Bonus Entry - Grab my Autism Awareness Month event 
+1 Bonus Entry - Add this giveaway to any giveaway linky and leave me the blog post's URL (3 maximum)
+3 Bonus Entry - Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to your post
on your blog
+1 Bonus Entry - Leave a NEW comment on any non-contest post (maximum 2 per day)
+1 tweet this phrase (up to 3x per day, at least 2 hours apart)
"#WIN Matty #AUTISM doll from @MySiblingDolls and @chascouponmom at Acting Balanced  #giveaway ends 5/4 "

Disclaimer: I received this product at no cost for the purpose of completing my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.