Reusable Silicone Straws for Special Needs Children – A Parent’s Perspective

At Softy Straws, one of the most rewarding parts of our day-to-day is hearing from our awesome customers and learning how our straws make their lives a little easier. Nothing brings us more joy as when we hear from parents of special needs children where Softy Straws have positively impacted their child’s life. We recently had the pleasure of learning about a young man with a disability that inhibits his motor functions causing drinking and eating to be a daily challenge. Meet Alec.

Alec drinking with hims Softy Straw (Wide version)

Carolyn (Alec’s Mom) told us about the challenges Alec faces when drinking out of a cup due to his disability. For Alec, using a straw has always been a helpful way to drink liquids, but Softy Straws have made things even better, becoming his go-to for drinking his favorite beverages!

After hearing a little about Alec’s story, we asked Carolyn if it would be okay for us to learn a bit more about Alec. Carolyn graciously answered a few questions which provided more background about Alec’s story, his disability, and how Softy Straws have positively impacted his daily life. We hope this article is inspirational and will help others that face the same challenges.

1.) How did you first hear about Softy Straws & what made you believe they were a good fit for Alec?

Carolyn recently learned of Softy Straws on the GMA Deals & Steals Segment and explains “Alec loves to use straws and I wanted to see if they would be fun to use when drinking his smoothies.”  

Over the past year, we’ve had the privilege to participate in ABC’s Tory Johnson deal segments and have been featured on The View and Good Morning America.  Viewers have the option to buy featured products, such as our straws, at a discount for a limited period of time. Like many of our customers, Carolyn was able to snatch Softy Straws at a great deal! We know that many of our ABC special customers are parents and/and grandparents buying the straws a gift, or in Carolyn’s case as an opportunity to see if her son Alec would prefer them over using plastic straws previously.  

2.) Tell us a little about Alec, we’d love to know more about what he likes to do?

Carolyn told us Alec enjoys playing basketball, baseball, & bowling. He is a very special young man who also enjoys cooking and going to the mall.”

3.) If you are comfortable, please tell us a bit more about Alec’s disability & also any struggles Alec encounters as a result of his disability (including how Softy Straws seemed like they would be a benefit)

Carolyn explained “Alec was born with Lowe syndrome which presents with bilateral cataracts, brain & kidney abnormalities. Alec receives physical, speech & occupational therapies as well as feeding therapy which addresses his ongoing issues as a result of him having Lowe syndrome. The benefit of Softy Straws for Alec is the diameter of straw” Alec uses our 9” curved, larger diameter straws. Carolyn further iterated that the diameter of the straw allows Alec to easier drink from (especially with thicker liquids, like smoothies!) Further, the straws are soft to bite down on but rigid enough to drink from and resist any tearing. The curve also allows for people like Alec to more easily access the end of the straw, when mobility is difficult.

4.) Before using Softy Straws it sounds like Alec used plastic straws, describe Alec’s reaction the first time you let him try out a Softy Straw!

Carolyn describes “Alec immediately accepted the Softy Straws because of the colors, texture and diameter of the straw.” We love that Softy Straws are now Alec’s alternative to plastic straws which is great for a number of reasons! Because the silicone does not absorb heat (like metal or plastic), there is no risk of burning or melting. Our straws are not rigid, which allows our customers, like Alec and his mom, assurance that they won’t have any teeth chipping or mouth damage. We also love that Alec likes our bright colors and texture (which is important for something you are using everyday!!).

5.) I know you mentioned that Alec loves his Softy Straws, do you have any insight or advice for other parents/caretakers in a similar position as it relates to drinking beverages from a straw. In other words, how have Softy Straws made things easier for Alec which would also benefit others kids and adults with disabilities that make drinking from a cup more difficult?

Carolyn had some really great simple advice for others “I can’t speak for other people with disabilities, but it is always worth giving something new a try.” We love that people are willing to take a chance and try out Softy Straws, especially in the case for people with special needs or ailments that make liquid consumption difficult.

For those with disabilities relating to motor function such as ALS and Lowes, we’ve been told repeatedly that Softy Straws make life easier by allowing individuals to drink without having to hold a cup or move their head or neck to reach the end of the straw. As Carolyn described, Alec was born with Lowe syndrome, a rare genetic condition which makes drinking and eating more challenging. The wider diameter of our 9” Softy Straws allow Alec to more easily consume liquid while reducing the possibility of pokes and gouges that may result with plastic, metal and glass straws. As you can see by the pictures, Alec has no trouble holding the cup, the straws just make it easier to get the gulps of liquid that he likes (we heard it was smoothies!), without issue!

It has been such a pleasure interacting with Carolyn to get a first hand account of how Softy Straws have benefited her son Alec. It’s very motivating for us to hear how big of an impact Softy Straws have had for Alec, since we know there are others that would experience similar benefits by using our straws. Our ultimate goal is to make life alittle easier, so there is more time for FUN!

Thanks to both Carolyn and Alec for sharing their story with Softy Straws.

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