🎁 NADS Inclusive Holiday Gift Guide 2020 🎁
We wanted to highlight some of our favorite “small shops” that also give back, promote inclusion and awareness, and help to create a better world by creating products with diversity in mind. These shops have made it their mission to include everyone, and we think they deserve to be at the top of our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide. Be sure to check out these shops and their one-of-a-kind products. You’re sure to find something you’ll fall in love with for yourself and for someone else!
- I am Different Just Like You – Author Rebecca DalMolin hits it out of the park with her book, which tells the story of a little girl named Adella who has Down syndrome. The story highlights the many ways in which she is different from her peers while teaching the very important lesson that she’s actually just like them. This is an amazing story that promotes acceptance and awareness among children and it’s sure to be a favorite on their bookshelf!
- America: Beautifully Unique – Authors Lindsay Robertson and Devon Goddard set the bar high when they incorporated children with Down syndrome in this educational book featuring the fifty states! Including fun rhymes and facts about each state in the US, they promote inclusion across the board with America: Beautifully Unique. It’s definitely a classroom favorite among kids and teachers alike!
- Understanding the Diagnosis Series – Author Lori Leigh Yarborough, PT, used real life heroes to write this book series on awareness for Autism, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy. She paints a beautiful and educational picture in easy to understand terms for all children about each of these diagnoses. These books are an educational must-have and make great teacher gifts!
- A Friend Like Anian – Written by Meeka Caldwell, mom to Anian, this story takes you in the day and life of a little boy enjoying time with his mom, engaging in the community and meeting new people. With bright colors and clear, crisp pictures, this book promotes awareness as well as fun!
- Eli, Included – Written by Michelle Sullivan, “Eli, Included is a children’s picture book about a boy named Eli who has Down syndrome. This book is perfect for any classroom, whether there is a child with Down syndrome in the class or not. This book is to help the next generation see that everyone has value and something to offer.”
- Charlie’s Way – Based on her daughter, Charlie, author Lindsay Robertson highlights that regardless of a person’s diagnosis, all individuals are more alike than different. Through this fun and engaging story, Charlie makes sure everyone knows that she loves being herself and she will always do things her way.
- No Such Thing As Normal – Written by author Megan Dejarnett, No Such Thing as Normal, “speaks to the curiosities and difficult questions that arise in a world full of diversity.” This book also has easy to follow along discussion questions and its own coloring book. Recommended for children of all ages, this book is fast becoming a popular item on everyone’s wish list.
- Group Hug Apparel – Andrew Banar was born with Down syndrome and several health issues. That didn’t hold Andrew back from starting the Group Hug Apparel line though, with a little help from his family! Clothing for babies, kids and adults, these unique designs are sure to be a conversation starter and great as a gift for anyone, family or friend.
- Lost Valley Design – “Wearing designs for all abilities” is this shop’s motto and they sure live up to it! Their mission is to celebrate every child and every family through their apparel artwork and they’ve nailed it. From custom orders to awareness apparel, this shop has everything you could be looking for – including a “giving back” section.
- A Lil Something Extra – This apparel company also promotes diversity and inclusion and was started in the hopes to help other families raise adoption awareness as a way to give back. They create custom designs for events while also carrying an extensive collection of beautifully designed apparel, jewelry and even Christmas ornaments!
- Candidly Kind – Grace Key is the designer and owner of Candidly Kind. She also happens to have Down syndrome. Grace uses her artistic abilities to create her own unique designs that she then shares with the rest of the world on apparel and totes. Grace is also Candidly Kind’s main model and you can spot her wearing her own apparel line through her IG videos!
- Kale Chips Apparel – One of the newer apparel lines out there, it’s definitely a favorite among many. With their many creative designs, including the well known, “Doing things” t-shirt, this company also donates a portion of their sales several months out of the year to various organizations and causes; most recently to Candlelighters for Children with Cancer.
- Gabe the Babe Co – Home of the original “Down syndrome Definition T-Shirt,” Gabe the Babe and Co was originally started as a business that could grow with the owner’s son, Gabe, who is currently 6 years old. As their main model and the unofficial “boss” of the company, they’re hoping to spread awareness and open discussions through their definition t-shirt.
- Me O My Earth – Me O My Earth is a sustainable baby brand based in the Chicagoland area. Their product is made from organic cotton, spandex and Repreve, a polyester fiber made from recycled bottles. Each collection gives money back to an organization that supports the endangered species on the garment. They have also previously donated swaddles to be included in NADS Congratulations Baskets!
- Stuffed With Plush Toys – An extremely supportive and charitable company, Stuffed with Plush Toys often gives back to other organizations by supporting their mission and promoting inclusive toys. They have a wide variety of baby dolls, boys and girls, with Down syndrome; Some with red hair, blonde hair, brown eyes and all races. They ship from Australia, so it’s better to place your order early to ensure a delivery by Christmas!
- Games for Special Needs – A favorite among therapists — OT, PT, and Speech alike — these games not only come with helpful learning tools, but tons of laughs and memories! Fun for the whole family, these games were made with therapy needs in mind. Any game from here will have your child asking to play again and again!
- Nathalie’s Dolls – Every child wants a doll that looks like them and Nathalie’s Dolls can deliver that! You can pick the skin tone, hair type, color, glasses or no glasses. The choices are endless, and the result is nothing short of magic. Beautifully handcrafted from the heart, these dolls are a gift that will no doubt be treasured forever.
- Miniland – This company bases their toys on social and emotional learning and created the baby boy and girl dolls. Recently, Miniland came out with an inclusive line of dolls who have Down syndrome, making them extremely popular and highly desired. They also have family diversity blocks and sensory items for the kids who are sensory seekers!
Something for Her:
- Special Sparkle – Kelly Neville is a young woman who has Down syndrome and owns her own jewelry company, Special Sparkle. Based in the Chicagoland area, Kelly makes every single piece of jewelry she sells by hand with love, which is clear when you open your package and see your item for the first time. Kelly often gives back to organizations, including NADS, and is a huge Self-advocate.
- Wells Cooperative – Wells Cooperative is made by talented makers locally and overseas. Their pieces are usually limited edition, but they do restock their inventory regularly. They give back to charities often and every October, in honor of Down syndrome awareness month, they work with several families to create one-of-a-kind pieces to honor those families’ children. Each piece is always named after a person, which also adds to the love this company shows their supporters.
Something for Everyone:
- Wyatt’s Dog Company – Wyatt Nelson is a spirited 15-year-old with Down syndrome who loves dogs and friends. He put them together to start his own business and employ others with special needs: Wyatt’s Dog Company! Wyatt created 100% combed cotton t-shirts and folded notecard sets with his slogans “pure pawsitivity” and “stay pawsitive” to benefit NADS – so please join us in supporting this young entrepreneur and order at www.wyattsdogcompany.com. There you will also find the store that carries Wyatt’s fresh-baked, all-natural dog treats in his hometown Arlington Heights, IL.
- The Grace Effect – Created by a family of 8 and named after their youngest, Grace, who has Down syndrome, The Grace Effect officially launched at the beginning of 2020. Handcrafted with love, all candles are made with 100% soy and Phthalate free. Each candle is touched by Grace in some way, whether it is by helping with the packaging or the sticker placement. They also have reed diffusers and gift sets for this holiday season.
- The Glory Days Co – Aimed towards special needs parents, The Glory Days Co is known for their therapy focused planners. Extremely helpful, this daily planner makes it easier to keep track of all of your therapy appointments in one place. They also have several bundle boxes available for the holidays that include some other amazing, can’t live without items, perfect for anyone on your list!
- Sweat Heat Jam Co – Nolan, creator of Texas Sweet Heat Jam Co, has Down syndrome and launched his business with the help of his friends and family. Voted #1 Best Foodie by USA today, Sweet Heat offers several original jams made by Nolan and a team of individuals who are differently abled. Sure to be a crowd favorite, these jams are definitely a must have on everyone’s list!
- Reason to Bake – An artisanal small-batch bakery, Reason to Bake specializes in gluten-free, all natural cookies that are made from scratch. Reason to Bake’s mission is to grow their company big enough to hire and train individuals with special needs, while also providing a number of sweet treats to accommodate a gluten-free lifestyle!
- Wonderfold Wagon – Creator and designer of the double stroller wagon, Wonderfold Wagon has invented the perfect “stroller” that can grow with your kids. Made with comfort and safety in mind, you can enjoy a peaceful day out with your family knowing that your kids are safe. Wonderfold Wagon also has a special needs discount program that can be found here.
- Allie Art Designs – Allie Guard, owner of Allie Art Designs and creative genius, is a huge color enthusiast and you can see it through her art. Allie hand colors all of her designs and with the help of family and friends, she is able to turn her passion into gorgeous one-of-a-kind art pieces. Living with Down syndrome hasn’t stopped Allie from achieving any of her dreams, and she’s even received the People’s Choice Award, Best in Show at the Crafty Supermarket.
- Brianna Lynn Creative Designs – Started as a way to honor her daughter, Brianna Lynn Creative Designs is dedicated to spreading awareness and acceptance for children of every ability. They have several Down syndrome and Autism awareness pieces and 10% of their sales is always donated back to a charity organization. They also make custom pieces specific to fit your needs or for events!
- Seeds For Autism – Seeds for Autism is focused on providing a job development program for individuals with Autism. They have numerous handcrafted items that have been designed and handmade by their students onsite with the guidance of their teachers. From soaps to original cutting boards, you can find something for everyone, even the most hard to buy for person on your list!