Knoxville company brings adaptive toys to kids with special needs

For the first several months of his life, the young boy could not find toys he could play with.
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 9:38 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Elliot Crabtree is a seven-year-old kid in Knoxville who, like most kids, is looking forward to what he gets for Christmas this year. However, he has a condition that limits what he is able to do, therefore, he has turned to a company that creates adaptive toys for those who need them.

Elliot was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita.

AMC, also known as Arthrogryposis, is a term used to describe a variety of conditions involving multiple joint contractures or stiffness, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

“He didn’t have any mobility in his arms or legs; he also couldn’t sit up independently,” said his mother, Angela Crabtree.

For the first nine months of Elliot’s life, he couldn’t find a toy that he was able to play with. That’s when the family found a Knoxville-based company named Spark.

At Spark, you can take any toy and make it adaptive to whatever best suits someone. In the case of Elliot, there are buttons attached to a toy to activate a noise or a motion that’s easy for the seven-year-old to click.

Angela said, ”It’s not a toy that makes you stand out in a positive or negative way; it’s a toy that any other child has; it’s just adapted to the ability level of that child.”

At Spark on Dec. 8, they’ll be passing out those adaptive toys for free to families that need them.

Gary Harmon, who will be assisting, will be doubling as Santa. Harmon was born without feet or a right hand and felt it was important to be involved with this giveaway.

“When they say they wanted Santa to have a disability like the kids do, I said ‘I’m in,’” said Harmon.

The drive-thru donations will be passed out from three to six in the afternoon on Dec. 8.

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