Mom Customizes Christmas Elf Dolls for Kids With Disabilities | 22 Words

For children who are sadly born with deformities and disabilities, the world can be a pretty tough place. But one woman has made it her mission to make sure all children feel accepted no matter what they look like...

 

It is a well-known fact that children (and, even more sadly, most adults) are more inclined to like somebody if they find them pleasant to look at.

If a child looks a little different from their peers, they are more likely to be divided from the group.

Which can often result in bullying.

It's a sad reality that some children, from very young ages, hold a cruel streak.

But one woman has made it her task to make sure children who suffer from physical disabilities feel included in society...

And how is she doing that?

Clare Tawell has a mission to help make kids feel accepted...

The thirty-nine-year-old mom from the UK is a medical radiation technologist, but after hours, she designs dolls for children who suffer from a variety of disabilities.

Her latest venture is turning "Elf on the Shelf" dolls into relatable Christmas dolls with the same challenges some children face.

Helping children to accept their differences.

They are all totally unique...

Tawell sells her altered dolls on her Etsy shop, BrightEars.

The results are pretty amazing...

They really are the perfect Christmas gift.

Some have cochlear implants or feeding tubes...

While others have limb differences or insulin pumps. She can do pretty much anything!

And it's not just elves...

Tawell's Etsy shop is full to the brim with all kinds of dolls perfect for young children.

She prides herself on diversity...

"We still live in a world that puts great emphasis on 'being normal,' so if you have a physical/visible difference you are often made to feel abnormal," she said.

She continued...

"To a child, this can really affect their self-confidence and esteem. When they go into a toy shop and see dolls with all 'normal' features, it only strengthens the feeling of not belonging or feeling like the odd one out. I want to change that."

She has even adapted some well-known Disney characters...

Admitting it isn't easy as most manufacturers don't cater to "different" appearances.

"Unfortunately there is a great lack of dolls made by manufacturers of other ethnicities," she said.

"When I adapt dolls, I need to be able to take them apart so that I can safely attach devices, and a lot of the available dolls do not allow me to do this. It is very much an ongoing process to increase the diversity of dolls offered at BrightEars."

Currently, she has made more than two-thousand dolls and shipped them all over the world.

Making them all by hand after she gets home from work.

Customers clearly appreciate her labor of love.

Her Etsy page is brimming with positive comments.

One shopper said...

"The doll is so cute, and the hearing aids are PERFECT! My 4-year-old loves her baby, and it made her want to wear her hearing aids more since she and 'baby' match."

Tawell started this whole business thanks to her daughter...

She has 2 daughters, 8-year-old Evelyn and 4-year-old Matilda, who has to wear hearing aids.

After unsuccessfully trying to find a doll that looked like her daughter, she decided to do something about it.

"I became really disheartened when I couldn't find a doll or any toy with hearing aids," Tawell shared. "It felt to me that society didn't deem her important and therefore she shouldn't be 'acknowledged.'"

This set Tawell off...

Modifying her very fist doll with hearing aids.

And her daughter fell in love with it...

Tawell said her daughter touched the dolls' ears then her own.

After that, she knew she was on the right path...

And as she grew, more and more people discovered her.

Eventually, it turned into a full-blown side business...

With moms from the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) asking to buy her dolls.

She wants doll manufacturers to adapt to making dolls more representative to a variety of children...

"I would love for children in the future to be able to go into a shop and see dolls with hearing aids and cleft lips next to the regular dolls, because then it makes it normal, not different," Tawell continued. "When people see these dolls, it can open up a dialogue and increase awareness and understanding of these differences."

What an inspiring woman...

This is exactly what 2020 needed. Take a look at all the dolls available on her Etsy shop here. Keep scrolling for more...