When Products Aren’t Used as Originally Intended
When fidget spinner toys hit the market, they exploded in unexpected ways. Plenty of people, considered “normal” by societal standards, were snatching them up and using them to pass their own time. For families with special needs children, this can be especially difficult to witness, as fidgets are often used for therapeutic reasons, and they are now being looked upon with scorn. Speech therapists have been seeing this happen for years and we encourage parents to engage in conversation to educate those they come in contact with. It’s important to remain calm and bear in mind a few things.
This Isn’t the First Time
Historically speaking, this is not the first time that a product has been used by folks that they weren’t intended for. Sanitary napkins were originally used by Red Cross nurses during WWI. The product worked so well and proved to be so hygienic, the nurses compelled Kimberly-Clark to sell the product as a menstrual item. Kleenex was originally for the removal of cold creams, until someone used one for a nose issue. Bubble wrap was marketed as wallpaper and did not sell well. It was later used as packing material. Lysol was a feminine hygiene product until we learned of its cleaning abilities. Listerine was once used for a multitude of reasons, including for foot issues, as a surgical antiseptic, cold cure, and dandruff treatment before its permanent use as a mouthwash.
Bridging the Gap
It’s important to note, that even though products are routinely used for something other than their intention, parents should be raising their voice about special needs awareness. That’s all the reason to make our voices heard. With information being so readily available, it can be a little surprising that more people aren’t aware of the benefits of the spinners to special needs people. I think it’s because we need to approach it differently. It’s easier to dismiss something when you read it on the internet, quite a lot different when we talk with people one on one about special needs.
Be a leader in your profession – don’t let products be used incorrectly, and promote support for special needs kids. Lead in your profession by being at the forefront of therapy in a teletherapy position – check out our latest opportunities right here!