Toy With a Mission – Figurines of Differently Abled Kids
Source: Flathead Beacon] —
Cyndi Elliott is on a mission.
It’s a mission fueled by the love of her brother, David, who, the youngest of 10 children, was born with Down syndrome.
A pediatric occupational therapist, Elliott has worked for the past 16 years with parents and children facing a variety of challenges, from birth defects to injury-related disabilities.
But she’s long been troubled by the traditional approach that seems to focus more on the disability and less on the person’s unique abilities.
An artist and painter and musician, Elliott’s initial idea was to write a children’s book – in honor of her brother, who now is 40 – to illustrate what the “differently-abled” community can do, not what they can’t.
But when she couldn’t sketch to her satisfaction, she set out to make a series of figurines.
“Kids with different abilities will have something to relate to, because they’re strong and because they have hobbies,” said Elliott, sitting in her Polson studio. “And they will have something to talk about, rather than the one condition that is on people’s minds.”
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