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Tzvi Schectman
BY Tzvi Schectman

A Toy That Helps with Anxiety, Adjustment and Transition

Summer is winding down and that can only mean one thing – School.

For many kids this is the most exciting time of year: waiting to get that card in the mail with the name of your teacher, going out to buy your school supplies, picking out what to wear on the first day, just to name a few. But for many, school represents a very anxious time of year. Whether your child has special needs or not, anxiety in children has become as commonplace as sore throats!

As a parent of a child with special needs, that anxiety is amplified.  A neighbor friend of mine and I were having breakfast one morning back in the early spring as we do from time to time – and, as always the conversation turned to our children.

Jasper Pals

My neighbor had reminded me of a toy, Jasper Pals, she was interested in launching to help kids cope with worries, a modern day worry doll. She had previously tested the product with pretty good success but wanted to expand the opportunity.

As a mother of an 8-year-old daughter with special needs I relayed a story to her how my daughter is often asked to feel free to bring a toy to class to make her feel more comfortable. Something she can hold on to throughout the day, not to get in the way of her education, but to help ease the anxiety of the transitions that naturally occur during her day from her special education class to her general education class.

A Toy That Helps with Anxiety, Adjustment and Transition

It was at this point that we realized that there is a great need for a worry doll toy, a Jasper Pal, to help kids cope with everyday life, which typically includes anxiety, adjustment and transition!

Jasper Pals are 2” wooden worry dolls that are available in six animal styles: Bunny, Frog, Pig, Dog, Cat and Panda. Each Jasper Pal is packaged in a soft brown keepsake bag.

Jasper Pals BagHow Jasper Pals Can Be Used

My daughter, Lexi, likes all the styles, however, she keeps her “dog” Jasper Pal under her pillow at night – she knows that she can share her worries with her Pal and then put him under her pillow and fall asleep. She also uses her Jasper Pal as a stress reliever to hold in her hand to help her not pick at her fingers, which she does when she is anxious.

Lexi recently attended camp at the Friendship Circle and gave each child in the camp a Jasper Pal to play with and to keep. We also provided a short questionnaire for the parents to fill out with their comments. Many of the comments said that the Jasper Pals were helpful and cute, and that the children liked the toy. One child put it on his backpack and another child was excited to take their Jasper Pal with them on vacation. Another child shared his Jasper Pal with his sister.

Jasper Pals will help comfort kids who are leaving for camp, going back to school, play dates, and doctor visits. Jasper Pals are the perfect size for small hands to hold, place under a pillow, or carry in a school backpack. They are a little toy serving a big purpose.

Jasper Pals retail for $5.99. To learn more about Jasper Pals or to place an order visit You can also reach Debbie Hack at: [email protected] or  248-410-0009.

Tzvi Schectman

Written on August 30, 2012 by:

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+

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