Recently I have felt moved to post about some very special sellers on Etsy: sellers who are making items for those with special needs.
(click on any picture to see the item listing)
I met Suzanne of Suzannes Special Kids about a year ago when I joined the cloth diaper team. She has two children with special needs: one has aspergers and the other has medical conditions that keep him in a wheelchair, require him to use a g-tube (for feeding directly into the stomach), and have left him needing diapers well past toddlerhood. She decided that her son deserved to wear cloth for as long as he needed them, so she makes cloth diapers all the way up to adult sizes. "We wear cloth undies," she explains, "so why shouldn't our special family members?!" She labels them as "absorbent underwear" and offers many of them in pull-on styles because, as she points out, "disabled people aren't babies. They are simply differently-abled." She's adapted her patterns to be higher in the back so that kids who get around by scooting will still be coverd in back, and she also makes weighted blankets and cloth g-tube pads.
Linda at FashionGreenTBags, a fellow member of Team Eco Etsy recently shared this story and new item with me:
I met an amazing woman at a wedding recently. We chatted the usual "wedding chat" (We'd never met until then.) She has an older teenaged son who needs to wear bibs when he goes out to eat but finding bibs that are not "babyish" has been a challenge for this mom. So Linda designed the "Digni-bib" which is "a dignified way to keep clothing clean but look like a shirt while doing so."
There are other etsians working hard to fill the needs of our differently-abled friends and family members.
TheSensoryShoppe makes custom weighted blankets and lap pads--both of which are helpful for those who have sensory issues (the weight gives them input and helps them calm down and focus).
AKayCreations make custom wheelchair bags, and they sure look roomy and sturdy to me!
Astrid, owner of SafetyThird, has a son who has Down's Syndrome, so she carries a variety of products inspired by him. He models for many of her listings (like this one). In addition to the awareness shirts shown below (Down's Syndrome aka Trisomy 21= a third chromosome on the 21st pair), she also offers onesies up to size 4, since special needs kids often potty train at an older age.
and RockNBauble carries a selection of awareness jewelry, such as this autism awareness necklace. Because one of the most important things we can do to help those with special needs is to learn to understand them. ☺