Running loose in a toy store is the stuff of every kid’s dream. At 5428 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, this dream comes to fruition daily as a result of owner Stacey Creighton’s warm heart.
What began as a small store in Alden has since expanded into a larger store (at the above address; this location will be opening on Super Bowl Sunday). The purpose? To reach out to kids like 10-year-old Emmaly Gucinski who rely on sensory stimulation to cope with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs. Customers like her are free to roam the store, picking up and even taking toys out of their boxes, to get a sense of how they feel before they make their purchase.
Emmaly, like many others, loves the store so much that she went for a visit before its opening in the new location. For both she and her parents, “Makes Sense” has become a kind of haven: a place where both owners and customers understand their child’s behavior. It’s a place where parents and children sharing the same daily struggles and joys can convene in a safe place that fosters growth and adaptation to their environments.
Creighton, who’s the mother to two special needs kids, recognizes the importance of this community. Her store not only offers sensory products like weighted blankets, chews, spiky chairs, and fiber-optic strands but also sensory room accessories like swings and circular mirrors, which can be hard to find. Even better? There is a sensory room on site for the kids to play in while their parents attend a support group upstairs.
The executive director of Autism Services, Veronica Federiconi, labels “Makes Sense” a godsend to families. You can check out more about this amazing organization and shop online at makessenseproducts.com.
Sara Power, Fordham University