15.06.2018 change 15.06.2018

Students create personalized toys for children with autism

Photo: Bluekids project archive Photo: Bluekids project archive

Students from the University of Lodz create personalized toys for children with autism as part of the social project Bluekids. Toys will be tailored to the child`s needs - and handy.

Students from various faculties of the University of Lodz carry out a comprehensive project to raise public awareness of autism. The impulse for creating Bluekids was data on the growing number of children diagnosed with autism, explains Weronika Gocek from the Faculty of Law and Administration, who, like the other project participants, is associated with the organization Encatus operating at the Faculty of Economics and Sociology of the University of Lodz.

As part of the project, students create special, personalized toys for children with autism. They have produced prototypes using 3D printing, the colours and textures of which are currently being tested.

"This personalization consists in the fact that the toy`s colour, shape and texture is selected depending on the child. People with autism do not have one particular colour that they find visually unpleasant. This is a very individual matter" - explains Ada Czerwińska, a student of the Faculty of Philology, University of Lodz.

The toy is designed to be adapted to the needs of the child, and its size will allow to carry it everywhere. Children, but also adults, will be able to control emotions in stressful situations by touching a toy, to which they respond positively.

As part of the Bluekids campaign, students run a project page on Facebook, where they post links to interesting articles about this disorder.

"We want to encourage our viewers to expand their knowledge and learn more about autism. We also have a profile on Instagram, where apart from information about our current activities, we also share basic information about autism" - adds Gocek.

In addition, the students have created a special platform that collects information about autism, as well as a list of verified schools, kindergartens, clinics adapted for children with autism: http://bluekids.ugu.pl. The students also prepared an exhibition devoted to autism in one of the shopping centres.

Students also conduct trainings in primary schools to show children that a friend with autism is just like them, only sometimes can react in a different way. They also plan to conduct trainings for retirees and unemployed teachers.

"We want to them to gain competence and ability to care for children with autism and thus relieve parents in their daily lives" - emphasizes Weronika Gocek. (PAP)

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