If you have never heard of Lekotek, don’t be too surprised. It is a made-up word in Sweden, where the first Lekotek was begun in the early 1960’s by two mothers of children with disabiltiies. “Lek” means “play” in Swedish and “tek” is the Greek suffix for “library”.
Lekoteks are resource centers and play libraries for families with children who have disabilities or special needs. By providing play counseling, home loan of toys, and family education, Lekoteks give children the key to a childhood of joy and accomplishment. It is after all, through play that all children learn about the world around them.
The Lekotek Leaders at the West Suburban Special Recreation Association Lekotek have backgrounds in early childhood special education and therapeutic recreation, and have received specialized training and certification at the National Lekotek Center in Chicago.
The West Suburban Special Recreation Association Lekotek owns thousands of toys. These toys include commercial, educational and specially designed toys from the United States and Europe. Some of our toys have been handmade to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities.
Also available for loan are videotapes and books of lekotek interest to parents of children with special needs.
All families who have children with special needs and live in West Suburban Special Recreation Association’s member communities are eligible to join Lekotek.
The Lekotek Leader meets the parent(s) or guardian(s), and the child for one hour, in a play session, once a month.
Toys and other materials are loaned for use at home during the month. The family then returns for another play session and a new selection of toys.
Lekotek is also available for school groups and therapists.