Handprints Toy Library And Support For Autism
A Charitable Organization Called Handprints
As all parents with young one will testify, toys, learning materials and resources for your little ones are very expensive these days. If you couple this with the fact that after about 2-3 weeks they get bored with them, this can place a major drain on your purse strings.
Having a child with autistic challenges brings even more challenges as you have to keep them stimulated all of the time with the right materials, whilst limiting the amount of screen-time they get too.
A few weeks ago, one of our good friends in the city recommended that we looked at a charitable organization called “Handprints” who offer some unique solutions for this problem in Kota Kinabalu.
So yesterday morning we went along to their drop in centre in Likas Plaza to find out what it’s all about.
Hand-in-hand with both Joshua and Gracie we went into the centre and spoke to the team who told us what they did and how they did it.
What Is Handsprints and What Do They Do?
Basically, Handprints is a toy library and parents support resource centre with a huge collection of toys, games play materials and DVD’s, which can be loaned out to special children so that through play, their learning potential can be developed further.
With over 2000 members alone on Facebook and growing, Handprints is an invaluable resource in so many ways.
From the moment we steeped into the drop-in centre, Gracie’s eyes lit up. She kicked off her crocs and ran straight to the section of brightly colored toys with Joshua hot on her heels.
Within minutes I was say doing the “big-kid” thing and playing with them, whilst Carol went to find out more and register the family.
It was well worth it…
Working just like a conventional library, for just a RM60.00 membership per year (that’s less than 10 British pounds), families can loan 2 interactive toys, 2 children’s books, an audio-visual resource from their library and an adult reference book.
The team also provides ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Scales) assessments; a standardized assessment tool for screening and also helps in the diagnosis if Autism Spectrum Disorders. This tool is world-renowned, having been developed by Catherine Lord and her colleagues at the University of Michegan, following year of research. This is both a structured and semi-structured observation tool that looks at a child’s social interaction, communication skills, play and behavior. Handprints are very fortunate to have an ADOS administrator on their team who is a medical doctor trained in ADOS administration.
Carol told me later that the company is completely not-for-profit, and is funded by both membership and individual sponsors who contribute many of the resources for its members.
Handprints Family Day on 5th December 2015A Social event to help children interact with each other
Monthly Playdays at Handprints
In addition to this they hold monthly play-days for adults and children as well as organizing regular social events and family days to help the children interact with one another. Their next Family Day is being held at Perdana Park on Saturday 5th December, an event that we have already signed up for.
After a solid 90 minutes of incredibly active play at the centre, we left with an armful of resources and the kids left with an army of new friends to match. Needless they slept very well in their afternoon nap!
What an amazing resource this place is, and I for one cannot recommend it highly enough if you are on the lookout for more activities and fun things for the kids to develop.
More Information on Handprints
For more information on Handprints, and to find out how you can either take advantage of their resources or contribute to their own going efforts, please feel free to make contact with
- Tai Jwu on 016-4172298
- via their dedicated Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/Handprints/
- via email on firstname.lastname@example.org