In the summer of 1983, Douglas Garrard agreed to look after two of his grandchildren for a couple of weeks.
One child had special needs and Douglas wanted to buy some toys that would be appropriate for her. To his amazement, there was no specialised resource, so as an enterprising sort of chap he set up TFH (formerly Toys for the Handicapped).
We still feel like the small business Douglas set up, we accept returns, we answer the phone! - (in fact, he hired most of our sales team), and we try our best to provide the best service to our customers.
Of course, there are lots of mainstream or sensory toys that are appropriate for children with special needs.
But they are not special needs toys actually designed for children with special needs.
Right from the start TFH made toys, we now make 158 special needs toys, robust, simple, playthings as varied as a Vecta a Swing Seat, or a Ring Around.
We make our special needs toys in the UK, using a network of British talent of which we are very proud. And we are always at work on new special needs toys, some will be available soon and we hope every now and then to design a toy that will join the ranks of our best-sellers and be in demand around the world.
Of course, we remain tiny, (our best-sellers sell hundreds a year) ours is a niche market. We will never be well-known and do not aim to be, but we do aim to help and inspire you.
So we make toys and you want toys, but how do you find the right one?
Of course, most visitors will simply look for a toy they know their child will like, but others call and ask us for advice.
We do know our toys, but we don’t know your child the way you do, nor do we know his strengths or his weaknesses the way his therapist does.
With over 30 years experience working with therapists we know how our toys can be useful in developing strengths and countering weaknesses.
So if your therapist has told you an area which she believes he should “work on” then look in our senses and skills search and be inspired.