New Sensory Kids® Store First of Its Kind

New Sensory Kids® Store First of Its Kind

Posted by adminFebruary 1, 2012

Bellybum® Boutique Introduces The Sensory Kids® Store!

Since its inception, Bellybum® Boutique focused on offering expectant and new parents top-of-the-line, eco-friendly products in an inclusive environment, and is now filling another void for parents. Store owner Ellen Sternweiler is a mother of three children-each possessing myriad developmental and sensory processing issues. After eight difficult years navigating the world of special needs she realized "it just shouldn't have to be so hard!" Having children with developmental differences is tough enough; finding the tools necessary to support their needs at home and in school should be easy. She also realized that most resources are focused on catering to clinicians and educators rather than parents and children. The Sensory Kids® Store at Bellybum changes this. The focus is on the families it serves and creating a typical retail environment, providing for the needs of all kids, where it's as fun as it is easy to shop.

"After years of scouring endless catalogs, medical and industrial websites; and ultimately relying heavily on our therapists, doctors and educators to assist us in finding all of the products we required to support the unique needs of each of our children, I resolved to change the experience for fellow parents struggling with the same issues," said Sternweiler. "Frankly, it's tough enough having a child with extra needs, why does it have to be hard to shop as well?”

The Sensory Kids® Store at Bellybum is the first retail and online store of its kind in the country. Whilea handful of stores have opened catering specifically to the needs of Autistic Children, The Sensory Kids Store supports the developmental needs of all kids. Every child can benefit from a healthy "sensory diet", some just need more than others. At Sensory Kids®, Items specific to children with "developmental differences" are not limited to children on the spectrum. The store provides for the needs of kids struggling with any type of disability, disease or delay-physical or neurological-that affects his/her ability to function in everyday life. With ease of navigation in mind, Sternweiler has simplified categories in The Sensory Kids® Store to avoid clinical descriptions and terminology whenever possible, and has limited her inventory to only the best products for any given need. "Parents don't want to wade through a warehouse of 15,000 products looking for what they need. They only need one or two. We've done the legwork for them.”

The store houses dozens of products organized simply and in lay-terms by sense/skill. For example, as opposed to the using the clinical term "Vestibular" the sub-category is just called "Balance." Product categories include: Seeing, Hearing, Talking, Touching, Smelling, Moving, Feeling, Learning and Multi-Sensory.

Experts say that sensory-focused toys and products like these can be great tools to help parents and kids reinforce at home and in their everyday lives what they learn in formal therapy setting. Although the items in the store were selected specifically because they can assist children with a variety of special needs, kids without sensory challenges will also enjoy the selection.

"All kids benefit from a sensory diet. Kids with developmental disabilities just need more," Sternweiler said. "Having easy access to these items in a warm, comfortable, fun environment is a great resource for any parent, and potentially profound for kids and parents facing developmental challenges.”

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