Toy Therapy: Toys for Kids with Special Needs

These toys will help build skills without being overly challenging.

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The Inchworm

If your child has special needs, it's important to find toys that challenge her without being discouraging, says Diana Nielander, of the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit dedicated to making play accessible to children with disabilities. The organization partnered with Toys "R" Us to put together its 2008 Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids -- check out these picks from the guide.Gross Motor Skills

The Inchworm by Radio Flyer (2 to 5 years)

The worm moves forward when your child bounces up and down, which encourages him to use his legs and trunk muscles for balance. $45

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Social Skills

Little Mommy Doctor Set

Little Mommy Doctor Set by Mattel (2 years and up)

Taking care of a "sick" friend can help your child learn empathy, social interaction, and expressive language. $16

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Cognitive Skills

Deluxe Nesting and Stacking Blocks
Courtesy of Melissa & Doug

Deluxe Nesting and Stacking Blocks by Melissa & Doug (2 years and up)

Stacking these colorful blocks, each marked with two or three letters, can help your child learn size discrimination, sequencing skills, and the alphabet. $10

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Language Skills

Learn & Groove Alphabet Drum
Bryan McCay

Learn & Groove Alphabet Drum by LeapFrog (6 months to 3 years)

Every time your child taps the drum he'll see a letter displayed in lights and hear it spoken aloud, which will help his early language development.
Originally published in the September 2008 issue of Parents magazine.All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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