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A doll for Rosie to mark World Down Syndrome Day

A doll for Rosie to mark World Down Syndrome Day
1st April 2021 Ian Streets

A toy brand has created a Down’s syndrome doll inspired a six-year-old girl from Wiltshire.

Irish toy company Lottie Dolls modelled its latest toy on Rosie Barnett to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).

The Mirror reported that company’s co-founder Ian Harkin decided to make the doll after Rosie’s parents hit the headlines with a full-sized version of the Lottie Doll treehouse in their garden last year.

The doll is named ‘Rosie Boo’ after Rosie, who lives with Down’s syndrome.

The little girl was pictured on the brand’s Twitter account and website beaming with joy as she played with the toy which she inspired and which even features her brunette bob haircut.

Some of the money from each website sale will go to Wiltshire-based Down’s syndrome charity Andover Twenty1.

Rosie’s father Jason Kneen told the media: “We’re thrilled that we can raise awareness for Down’s syndrome and educate children on the differences that Down’s syndrome comes with, and what makes these kids special.

“The nice thing about Lottie is that they’re very diverse and inclusive in terms of how they approach the design of the dolls.

“It’s really important that they have done different disabilities, different body types, and this is a great opportunity, with the extra information that has gone into the pack as well.”

The Rosie Boo doll features odd socks, a symbol worn to celebrate WDSD, and supportive boots to help with walking.

Mr Harkin said: “We have learnt how playing with toys with differences helps develop empathy in kids before culture determines how we should react to differences.

“To me, that’s one of the most powerful things we’ve discovered about doll play, the positive impact that can empower kids but also potentially to help reduce bullying by normalising differences.

“It’s incredibly powerful for kids to be able to see a doll in their likeness but equally it’s important that all kids have a diverse toy box.”

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