Four years ago, we bought Jordan’s first American Girl doll. It was a Bitty Baby and I even let her pick out an outfit that matched her baby. She loved it SO much. But the very first time she put on the outfit that matched, she told me she wished she had two hands like her doll. Since then, I’ve tried to come up with ways that won’t destroy her American Girl doll but would give her a chance to enjoy a doll that really is just like her. Last year, Jordan got her first My American Girl Doll. She loves her very much and loves finding matching outfits. We even have a Christmas outfit planned to match her doll this year.
I started sending email four years ago to American Girl’s media relations department to find out what it would take to create a limb different doll but I’ve been ignored each time I’ve sent a note. Other readers of Born Just Right tell me they’ve been told flat out that American Girl will not make limb different dolls. There just aren’t many options for our kids. There’s actual research from 1992 that found amputee dolls really help kids in communicating and sharing details about limb differences.
I’ve found a few sites that sell limb different dolls. It includes Karens Kids special needs dolls and there are Sew Able dolls with leg limb differences. When Jordan was a baby, we bought her an AmpuTeddy. It came with a teddy bear with an arm difference and a teddy bear prosthetic that slipped on top of the little arm. It is super cute… but the website says they don’t make the bears anymore.
So… What do we need to do to convince a major doll maker to help support kids with limb differences? I’m willing to pay extra. I could purposefully alter a doll on my own, but I am the least crafty mom out there and I’d hate to actually break a doll in an attempt to create a limb difference. Would a letter campaign help? A “Bald and Beautiful” Facebook campaign to create bald Barbie gained HUGE steam earlier this year. After a national campaign and hundreds and thousands of supporters, there’s a True Hope line of Moxy and Bratz dolls available at Toys R Us.
UPDATE: I was given the heads up on another teddy bear that is for sale. It’s the Sarah Bear – but for now, there is only a lower limb difference bear. The owner of a Sarah Bear and Born Just Right reader, Shauna, tells me they’ve discussed limb different bears with and without prosthetics but there hasn’t been enough interest so far. If you are interested, let the folks at Sarah Bear know!
I’d love your thoughts. Wouldnt it be amazing if limb differences were mainstream enough to create limb different dolls available for purchase at a mainstream store? That would be remarkable.