Today, dolls are believed to be a part of therapy for kids with disabilities. But finding the one you need can become a real challenge. A mom and social worker, Amy Jandrisevits has become a fairy of pins and needles and decided to make “mini-me” dolls for special kids by hand. And these heartfelt toys help little ones fall in love with their reflections in the mirror.
We at iBuzz got in touch with Amy and would love to share her story.
I’m a doll maker. And I make them for kids who will never see themselves on the store shelves.
Let’s imagine that you’re going to take a young friend to the toy store today and the 2 of you want to buy a doll. Your friend could have a limb difference or maybe they lived through the horrors of a house fire or chemotherapy, and their skin and hair tell the story of that trauma. Do you see a doll like that on the shelves?
I work tirelessly to get dolls into the arms (and legs) of the kids they belong to!
I’m a former pediatric oncology social worker, and I can tell you how important dolls are.
My master’s thesis was on the healing power of play. To reach children and make a difference, we have to speak their language; and play is their language.
Psychologists agree that dolls are a critical part of finding a common language with kids — and most would also agree that children need to see their faces in the dolls that they play with.
Kids all over the world receive their dolls and can’t help but smile or even cry.
Often times, I hear from adults who will say, “Having a doll that looked like me could have been a game-changer,” or “I struggled my whole life with how I looked and I would have loved to have a doll that looked like me.”
Kids aren’t the only ones who dream of having “mini-me” friends.
Some of the older kids I’ve made dolls for will tell you that they never imagined how powerful it would be to see themselves; you’d be amazed if I told you all of the places these kids take their “friends,” otherwise known as their “mini-me.” I even have video of some of the really little guys whose faces light up when they realize that the doll they’re holding is them!
The dolls help other people react differently.
Parents often tell me how the comments have shifted from, “What’s wrong with your daughter?” to “How cute that her doll looks just like her!” That’s an entirely different message, isn’t it?
My mission is action and not just a hashtag on social media.
Remember, that which makes us different also makes us beautiful and because of that, everyone deserves to look into the sweet face of a doll and see their own.
Do you know any people who use their skills and talents to help those who are in need of support? What do they do?