Friday, November 30, 2012

American Girl Doll with Hearing Aids

You can buy an American Girl with hearing loss this Christmas. The toy maker says on its site "our experts will perform a permanent piercing behind her ear to ensure the hearing aid is expertly fitted—in one or both ears." The hearing aids are removable and cost $14. Another American Girl doll comes with a service dog. Rather than looking like stereotypical models, American Girl dolls look more like the children who own them. And, they can be fitted with glasses, braces, crutches a wheel chair, or even without hair for those who have lost hair to cancer. Find out more here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The American Girl doll company is doing a great job teaching girls with special needs about lies and corporate greed. They send us the catalog, and when my daughter, who wears hearing aids, saw the ones on the doll, of course she had to have them. Like many special-needs families, we don't have an extra $120 to spend on a doll, especially since a 6-year-old with sensory modulation issues will inevitably destroy it (the recommended AG age is 8+ for a reason). And the company will not, under any circumstances (as I learned through various channels) sell the hearing aids separately. They tell you it's because they're selling the whole procedure - the units have to be installed on the doll with a drill. But the same is true of their ear piercing, and yet they sell earrings separately. If a parent wants to take a drill and pierce a non-AG doll's ears in order to use the AG earrings, that's fine. But the same opportunity is not given to the parents of girls with hearing aids. I have yet to find out what happens if you buy their doll, pay for the hearing aid installation (remember, you're supposedly not paying for the hearing aids themselves, which is why they "can't" sell them separately!), and then, since they're removable, your child loses one or more parts. I guess then you can spend another $120.

It's a great idea for a company that pretends to be inclusive and kind to exploit special-needs families. As it happens, my sister has an AG doll, so I took it in and begged them not to drill into her and to just give me the hearing aids once I pay for the “procedure.” No luck – there is now a doll with pointless holes, and I had to take a drill to a nearly identical ($20) doll who, unlike any of the AG dolls, actually looks like my daughter. After this, I’m done with AG.