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Star Wars: supporting Angelman Syndrome


This week at Excitim HQ, we were moved by the Star Wars video that’s helping to raise awareness of Angelman Syndrome. It’s a step in the right direction as Angelman Syndrome is not as well known as other medical conditions that many come into contact with.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know of it myself until in 2014, I was asked to exhibit at Assert’s annual conference. Assert support children and families of children with the condition. Read more about the Angelman Syndrome conference

We ran an iClick and iControl demonstration of some new iPad tech and had a bunch of toys with us including an inflatable, remote controlled, Despicable Me Minion for the Angels to play with. It’s about 60 cm tall, soft and stands back up when it’s pushed over in the excitement. 

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Angelman Syndrome Conference

Assert-Angelman-SyndromeAngelman Syndrome Support Education and Research Trust or, Assert for short, is a UK based volunteer group supporting individuals with Angelman Syndrome. The majority of trustees are parents or relatives of children or adults with the condition.

The group aims to raise awareness of Angelman Syndrome through a variety of means including their website, publishing research into the condition and their annual conference. Many parents and even professionals may never have heard of Angelman Syndrome due to the fact that it is rare. The condition is caused by irregularities that can occur in Chromosome 15.

I can count myself as one of those who had never heard of Angelman Syndrome until Rachel Martin, Chair of the Trustees, asked me if we would exhibit at Assert’s annual conference on August 30th in Coventry. And, as the condition is quite unknown I thought it would be good to find out more. I watched the video on the Assert website and Wiki is a good read.

It gave me an insight into the condition and set me thinking about what we should take to the exhibition. Then I thought it would be good to introduce myself to the very active AngelmanUK Facebook Group and ask the parents and professionals what we should take along. I got some great feedback and ideas and may parents emphasised the need for tough chew resistant toys.

Little People Airplane switch adapted toy
Little People Airplane switch adapted toy

We’ll be taking The Little People Airplane, School Bus and Tow and Pull Tractor with us as well as the Despicable Me Minions Dave and Stuart and lots of others as well.

Despicable Me Minions Dave and Stuart switch adapted toys
Despicable Me Minions Dave and Stuart

 

 

 

 

The conference takes place from August 29th – 31st at the Coventry Hilton but the exhibition is on Saturday, August 30th. Get in touch with Assert through the contact page on the website for more information.

Prize Draw Talking Minion Stuart

Image shows prize-draw winner Dan with his Despicable Me Talking Minion Stuart
Prize Draw winner Dan with his Despicable Me Talking Minion Stuart

We recently had the opportunity to meet families and professionals at the ASSERT Angelman Syndrome Support Education and Research Trust conference and exhibition as they met to discuss new research into the condition and family support.

It could be you’ve never heard of the condition; I hadn’t before meeting parents and joining the very active Facebook Group Angelman Syndrome UK. If you would like to learn more then this blog posting ‘Angelman Syndrome Conference‘ will help as well as give you links to more information.

We had been invited to the exhibition to demonstrate special needs toys, sensory light and sound toys and iPad switches.

And, for some fun, we ran a prize draw for a Despicable Me Talking Minion Stuart; even though most parents must have been driven minion-mad by now. But, if somehow, all the excitement has all passed you by and you absolutely need to know what a Minion is and does, read this blog ‘switch adapted toys – Despicable Me Talking Minions.

Then read the mail Hana sent us when her son Dan received Despicable Me Talking Minion Stuart a few days later.