John-Julius lives with his family on the remote Isle of Lewis. He was born with Down Syndrome and his favourite toy is his ‘Honey Bunny’ music player.
His mum Maeve told us “John-Julius learns so much from Honey Bunny and gets unlimited pleasure from it. He loves dancing to it, with it set in front of him.”
“It makes long car journeys fun for him. It can mature as he matures, with different music going on to the SD card inside as he changes and develops. The problem is the speaker on the back. John-Julius likes to put his mouth on speakers for what I assume is sensory feedback. This means that a lot of his saliva ends up inside Honey Bunny. Initially when he got the toy my concern was over hygiene. I was taking the toy apart by night and cleaning out the speaker with toothpicks. I once found tiny crawling things inside. Last month, the speaker actually gave up and stopped working altogether. John-Julius is extremely attached to this toy. It’s one of the first things he signs for in the morning and he spends most of his time at home with either Honey Bunny or books. He was so sad that I immediately bought a replacement.
Since then I have been covering the speaker with a circle of waterproof fabric using sellotape. This lasts about a day and then begins to peel off with the saliva. It would be amazing for John-Julius to be able to use Honey Bunny without damaging it. It needs some sort of cover over the speaker that protects it from his saliva, but still allows sound. It also needs to be secure enough that I am now constantly worrying about it.”
Having learnt of Maeve’s extensive attempts to solve the problem, including purchasing a fluffy sheep ‘costume’ for the toy in an attempt to protect the speaker, we agreed to put out heads together too. We made and fitted a plastic cover inside the toy so the electronics are protected from any fluids coming through the speaker holes. Maeve is delighted to have such a practical and unobtrusive solution to a long standing and frustrating problem. John-Julius is just glad to have his bunny back for good!
If you or someone you know could use some creative help with a chellenge of their own, get in touch with our team today.