HOUSTON — Houston rap artist Trae Tha Truth has partnered with a single mom who builds special teddy bears that help non-verbal children with autism better communicate with their parents and caregivers.
Cubby Love Bears is a special line of Spanish-English speaking plush bears designed to teach children colors, numbers, the alphabet and other primary skills.The toys also help non-verbal children express hunger and other feelings or needs through pressing the bear's pre-programmed paws and ears.
Dr. Tameka Maiden is a Houston-born pharmacist and former teacher who created Cubby Love Bears after recognizing how frustrating expressing even simple needs can be for children on the nonverbal autism spectrum.
"Our mission with this special bear is to ease that frustration and make life and communication a little easier for autistic and special needs kids and their families,” Maiden said.
The line features a bear called "U'Neek The Gifted Bear." It's named after the rapper's 16-year-old son, D'Neeko, and the his non-profit foundation, U'Neek & Gifted.
It cost $34.99 and will be available for purchase starting March 2, according to a press release.
Maiden hopes to partner with more local business and organizations to provide "U'Neek" bears for free to parents of special needs and non-verbal children in honor of Autism Awareness Month in April.
Other bears include "Zoli," which can hold mobile devices, and the bilingual bears "Yancy the Time Bear" and "Ory the ABC and Number Bear."
These adaptive toys can be purchased, including in a four-bear set, at the Cubby Love Bears website.
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