Fort Worth Mom Creates Sensory Play Boxes After Daughter's Freak Accident - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth Mom Creates Sensory Play Boxes After Daughter's Freak Accident

Plastic containers filled with a variety of materials stimulate a child's senses through play

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    Fort Worth Mom Creates Sensory Play Boxes After Daughter's Freak Accident

    A freak accident is leading one Fort Worth family to unexpected blessings. Designed to her daughter recover, Audrey Stewart is now helping others with her sensory play bins. (Published Thursday, May 23, 2019)

    A freak accident is leading one Fort Worth family to unexpected blessings.

    At 9 months old, Cameron Stewart suffered a traumatic brain injury when a deer mount fell off the wall and the antler impaled her skull.

    "I didn't know if Cameron was going to make it through the surgery," said her mother Audrey Stewart, as doctors performed emergency brain surgery.

    Cameron, now 2-years-old, needed months of therapy, but doctors say her recovery has been nothing short of a miracle and now, it's helping other children in the process.

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    Stewart says the challenge began soon after Cameron's surgery, when doctors told her she would have to spend hours working on physical, speech and occupational therapy each day, at home.

    "That can become really hard for mom and for a toddler," said Stewart. "To sit down and work on these three different therapies for hours a day is just unrealistic."

    She says when doctors told her about sensory play, she says she dove right in.

    Sensory play is playtime with items that stimulate the senses, which enhances cognitive development.

    "For me, it was very easy to find items for ages five and up, but it was five and under that was really hard," said Stewart. "I had a 10-month-old that I was trying to create sensory for."

    Stewart started building her own sensory boxes, with colored rice that encourage creative thinking, playdough scented with essential oils and age-appropriate toys for hearing and other senses.

    "I kept buying things but I would have to buy 10 of them or 20 of them, a five pound bag of rice and I always had extra, so that's where I started making extra boxes."

    As Cameron's development grew, so did interest in Stewart's sensory boxes.

    She started receiving requests from friends whose toddlers have difficulty processing sensory information and now her small idea to help her daughter has turned into a small business to help others.

    "Our 'Let Them Be Little Boxes' are designed with your little and you in mind. Our goal is to create something that both you and your littles enjoy. We have focused on making this a realistic box - easy to play with, easy to store, easy to use!" says the note Audrey put on her business website, LetThemBeLittleBox.com

    Doctors don't know if she'll make a full recovery, but there are signs of progress everyday. Stewart says the business is nothing more than an unexpected blessing in Cameron's story.

    "This is a pretty cool part of her story," she said.

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