When toys can teach children to love their differences, that is magic!
I am beyond thrilled to share with you a new discovery: Louie the Mango Squishmallow, who has - wait for it - dyslexia! This squishy, fluffy, squeezable guy is providing inclusion for our kids with dyslexia. According to his tag bio, little Louie has dyslexia, making it harder to learn to read. But he's almost finished his first chapter book (YAY, Louie!) and wants to be a librarian when he grows up. It is enough to make everyone who loves a child with dyslexia cry. We all know firsthand how much our kids can struggle to accept their differences. The brilliance of this toy, its beautiful, simple brilliance, is that Louie is just Louie. He just happens to have dyslexia.
The last few days have been a constant Louie celebration on the social media streams for my parent dyslexia groups. More and more photos are popping up of kids with huge happy smiles and their bright orange Squishmallows. It really demonstrates how important it is for our kids to be seen, understood, and accepted. I think this toy is receiving so much love from parents and children connected to dyslexia because of the simple acknowledgment of being different. There is no shame here. There is only an acknowledgment of the existence of a past hardship, a celebration of the progress Louie has made so far, and hope for the path ahead. I just know Louie is going to be a great librarian someday! But for now, he is providing moral support for kids and their families who are facing dyslexia right alongside Louie.
We can only hope that the clear success of this product will encourage other toy creators to celebrate neurodiversity in their products. I got the last one in my area Walmart, and it is turning into one of those hard-to-find items. But if you do run across one of these cuties, be sure to grab him for someone you love with Dyslexia.