While your local store may appear to have an endless supply of different types of dolls, dolls with special needs can still be hard to find without a bit of research. But, there are options – most of them online. Below are a few:
American Girl offers the option of getting a doll with no hair, for children with hair loss (it also include one free head replacement, should the hair loss not be permanent and the option to customize an existing doll to remove the hair). They also offer special needs accessories to personalize a doll, including a hearing aid, diabetes testing kit, and arm crutches.
Inspired by the social media campaign Toys Like Me on Facebook, British toymaker Makies launched the first line of dolls with disabilities in 2015. The dolls were made using 3D-pringing technologies and included things like walking sticks, hearing aids and facial birthmarks and could be customized per order. The company recently moved to the U.S. and its website says to check back in the future for ordering.
Barbie, which began offering three new body types for their doll earlier this year (tall, petite and curvy), also makes a doll with no hair - the Ella doll. Unlike its other dolls, it is not sold at retail but distributed annually to hospitals. Barbie once sold a doll in a wheelchair, Becky, but despite its success it has not been reissued.
Karen’s Kottage offers a variety of handmade and customizable dolls with missing limbs, cochlear implants, colostomy bags, scars and more. Etsy has leg brace accessories that fit American Girl dolls.
We hope these ideas help you find that perfect toy for your son or daughter.