Young kids want to play with toys that they can relate to, which is why one teacher took it upon herself to make her students feel included and created dolls with hearing aids.

Genesis Politron is a preschool and Kindergarten teacher who works with deaf and hearing-impaired students. When she was shopping for toys for her classroom she realized there weren’t any dolls that were outfitted with hearing aids and cochlear implants like her students––so she decided to design some herself.

“I thought of all of the times that I played with my own dolls as a little girl, and how I’d always reach for the doll that I identified most with. I wanted my students to have the same opportunity, and to be represented in the toys that they play with,” Politron told CNN. “No child should ever feel as if they aren’t ‘normal’ or as if they don’t belong. I wanted to allow my students to see themselves in toys for once, to feel accepted.”

With just a little bit of glitter and creativity, Politron was able to fashion hearing aids and cochlear implants for the classroom baby dolls. Her ingenuity paid off––the students were very surprised to see the dolls and haven’t stopped playing with them since.

“Those with cochlear implants tend to only reach for the doll with cochlear implants, and those with hearing aids tend to do the same. It’s so exciting to watch their interactions with them, and watch as they identify with the doll that resembles them,” she said. “Now, I watch as they feed their babies everyday, and ‘rock them to sleep’, and it’s the sweetest sight!”

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: SeaReeds via Pixabay



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