A few weeks ago, I met with a client to discuss upcoming projects and the company's event schedule for 2012. Not surprisingly, our conversation quickly sidetracked to more personal topics: Kindles, time at the beach, holiday plans and family.
Honestly, I love it when this happens in a meeting. I always learn something useful.
My client has a young child with autistic tendencies, and at one point we found ourselves discussing teaching techniques used in school to help children focus. Apparently, fidget toys and stress balls that get hands and fingers moving provide a calming influence to children with autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Toys are especially helpful in the classroom, as they help kids focus and absorb the lesson, without distracting other students.
My client's son has had great success with this method. During our meeting, she politely asked that I keep her in mind should my desk become overcrowded with promotional toys and gadgets.
Of course my mind went to Sonic's trove of George Washington head stress balls. Although we had managed to find creative ways to "use" them, I felt their purpose would be better served in the little hands of history class students. A quick phone call and shipment later, and the squeeze toys had found a new home with a local special needs school.
Don't worry, we only sent the undecorated toys. Something tells me Pinhead Washington would do more harm than good.