World Autism Awareness Day - Toys for Special Needs

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. ASD, or autism spectrum disorder, affects so many lives today and yet it is often misunderstood. Here are some facts about autism from the organization Autism Speaks: 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
 

We, at Fort Boards, are certainly no experts on autism but we are learning more and more. Whenever a parent asks us or lets us know about how Fort Boards works with autistic children, we take note. This toy was not intentionally designed for special needs but we have gotten enough feedback that it is indeed a useful tool for many special needs

Dylan can be shy sometimes and that's okay

Dylan can be shy sometimes and that's okay

Recently, a mother to a young autistic boy named Dylan reached out to us. Dylan had been playing with Fort Boards during therapy sessions with his occupational therapist. 

Fort Boards work for Dylan, a unique little boy. The very first thing Dylan did with Fort Boards was build a square around himself, then he exclaimed “Dylan space. l, the therapist, was able to get him to engage by tossing a ball back and forth from “Dylan’s Space.” On one occasion he was having a rough day. He built up the walls higher and was able to tell us without words that he needed some time, as well as being able to remove a few boards to let someone in. It’s hard for him to explain - as an autistic child he has a hard time relaying what he needs or what he wants. But we know if it’s a good day when he builds with a door or without.
— Dylan's Occupational Therapist

This World Autism Awareness Day we hope you are able to help spread awareness of ASD. You can participate in social media movements like Light It Up Blue (#lightitupblue) or you could possibly contribute to one of the many organizations that are working to further the understanding of autism spectrum disorders. 

The Hottest Toys From New York Toy Fair 2017

The Hottest Toys From New York Toy Fair 2017

Once a year New York's Javits Convention Center becomes the center of the toy universe. Toy Fair, the oldest toy fair in the world and one of the United States's oldest trade shows, has been a gathering place for toy stores, toy makers, and the media since 1903. It is at this event that most of the toy trends for the year are decided. There are several fully packed floors of toys ranging from classic wooden blocks to app controlled drones to Star Wars action figures. The show runs for 4 days and it really does take nearly that long to see all of the awesome toys. 

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We Got an Order From Forty Fort Pennsylvania!

We Got an Order From Forty Fort Pennsylvania!

We're thankful that Fort Boards is becoming known around the country as the best fort building kit out there. We've had orders from every state and even Puerto Rico! One of the coolest things is seeing some of the names of the cities that we are shipping our fort kits off to. When we got a recent order from Forty Fort Pennsylvania we had to check to make sure it wasn't a joke. We thought maybe the Boaty McBoatFace people were pulling our legs. But, as it turns out, there is a small town of a little less than 5000 people named Forty Fort. We don't know yet if there are plans to change the name to Forty-One Fort after they received their Fort Boards order. 

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Our ABCD (Artists, Builders, Creators, Dreamers) Interview with Recess Monkey!

For the fifth interview in our ABCD (Artists, Builders, Creators, Dreamers) series we're super excited to learn more about the awesome kids' music band, Recess Monkey. They were just nominated for a Grammy! The band is made up of 3 members, Jack Forman (bassist frontman), Drew Holloway (guitar, lead vocals), and Korum Bischoff (drums). Jack is originally from Bloomington, Indiana but now lives in Seattle, Washington. Drew is from King of Prussia, PA and now lives in Seattle as well. Korum is from Sacramento, CA and now lives on Bainbridge Island, WA.

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Build Forts and Provide Homes For Dogs!

Build Forts and Provide Homes For Dogs!

$1 From Any Purchase on FortBoards.com, from 12/1 to 12/10, will be donated to Ginger's Pet Rescue. Ginger's Pet Rescue is one of the largest non-profit pet rescue organizations in Washington state. They specialize in finding homes for Death Row Dogs - dogs that are set to be euthanized. Fort Boards is proud to partner with an organization that is saving the lives of so many wonderful animals. 

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Shop Small (but buy big forts) on Small Business Saturday!

Shop Small (but buy big forts) on Small Business Saturday!

When you shop small you get to directly see how your purchase effects your local community. You also get to have a stronger relationship with the seller, who is a part of your community as well. We've got this dream to give kids all around the country this great fort building kit that we have. We started from just the Pacific Northwest and are branching out more and more. 

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Blanket Forts vs. Pillow Forts vs. Fort Boards

Blanket Forts vs. Pillow Forts vs. Fort Boards

I grew up building forts. I made forts out of branches and fallen trees. I made forts out of dirt. I made snow forts. I made very questionable forts out of abandoned buildings. I made blanket forts. I made pillow forts. I have made all sorts of forts. And I am proud to say I made Fort Boards. 

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