PlanToys' Build-a-Robot, featuring a modern design aesthetic, recieved 2011 Good Design Award in the Children's Products category. The toy was designed specifically to address the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) though it appeals to children of all ages. The primary function addresses the need to identify emotions. Secondary functions include sensory issues and fine motor skills. The toy is manufactured with organic, kiln-dried, reclaimed rubber wood, water-based dyes and non-formaldehyde glue in a factory that is powered by biomass and solar energy. Packaging is recycled paper and soy ink. Four interchangeable, geometric-shaped heads featuring the emotions of happiness, sadness, anger and surprise feature a range of textures to address sensory issues.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 110 children in the U.S. have ASD, a developmental disorder that causes significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. A recent study, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, from the Yale Child Study Center and George Washington University found that 2.6 percent of all children aged 7 to 12 in Goyang, South Korea had some form of ASD. This rate, of 1 in 38 children, is more than twice the rate previously reported in developed countries
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