Instagram Mom Modifies Elf on the Shelf Doll to Represent Disabled Daughter

One clever and caring Instagram mom, Samantha Lackey, made a special modification to an Elf on the Shelf doll. She wanted her 2-year-old daughter, Stella, who is bound to a wheelchair, to feel more included.

Her modification included repurposing and recoloring a Barbie wheelchair to match Stella’s. The Elf, named Bean, sits in the chair and sports a pair of pink ankle-foot orthoses. A device that provides ankle stabilization and support, which Stella also wears.


Elf on the Shelf Gets an Inclusive Makeover

Lackey shared her creation, and the process to create it, on her Instagram. “Elf on a shelf but make it INCLUSIVE,” she emphasized in the caption. All modifications made to the doll allow Stella to navigate Bean around their home with ease. Lackey even added a small recreation of a gastronomy tube, made from a syringe and nasointestinal tube.

Her Instagram is named “Strong Like Stella,” and both she and her husband, Jeremy Lackey, regularly post to spread awareness about rare disabilities like Stella’s.

Spinal Muscular Dystrophy is a “genetic disease that causes muscle wasting.” It’s an exceptionally rare disorder, affecting one in 8,000 to 10,000 births, according to MedlinePlus.

In addition to Lackey’s disability-inclusive Elf on the Shelf, the couple regularly posts informative posts to help other parents. Fox News reports that thousands have been inspired by their leadership in proactively parenting a disabled child.

“We’ve learned how important representation is to raising a daughter with a disability,” the parents wrote in their Instagram post. “We’ve also seen how immensely underrepresented disability really is in our lives. We, as allies need to do better for the generations we’re raising. Sure, Elf on the Shelf is a silly little tradition I’m starting with my daughter but I really hope it sparks some conversations and inspires a little holiday magic.”

What do you think of these Elf on the Shelf modifications? Would you like to see more representations like this one for disabled children? Let us know in the comments below.