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Stress balls and fidget spinners: Senator calls for toy donations amid bushfire crisis

Have any fidget spinners to spare? Hollie Hughes, a New South Wales Senator, has released an appeal to find special toys for people with disabilities who have been affected by the ongoing Australia bushfires.

Many have had to flee their homes in desperation, meaning a number of children with autism have left toys or comfort items.

fidget spinners australian bushfire crisis

Senator Hollie Hughes has highlighted the importance of special toys and sensory items like fidget spinners to Aussie children with autism, who may have left their belongings behind in the fires. 

Hughes explained:

“So those stress balls, fidget spinners, those sorts of things that people tend to put in conference bags or out of promotional tools, they’re actually great sensory-seeking tools for kids with autism.”

“Children with autism like to have that certainty, and they like to have things that they know.”

Hughes is working with a number of organisations to recover and source toys that children have lost. Some amazing mums and grandmothers based in Brisbane are offering to make weighted blankets in support of the bushfire victims.

Scientists have also highlighted the importance of routines and explanation. Professor Bronwyn Hemsley telling the ABC, “It’s going to be really important to have some tailored communication supports that will help people in their home right now, so we need people to say what they need.”

Hemsley also encourages people to communicate.

“It might be an interim thing, it might just tide them over until they have more access to longer-term solutions, but something that’s needed right now. It’s a matter of people asking, making a request and just letting us know, because people with communication problems often can’t ask for themselves.”

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January 15, 2020