Thursday, June 23, 2011

Creating With Special Needs Kids In the House – a New Series

This spring, I had a wonderful chat with Mark Lipinksi, and was also honored to be a guest on his radio talk show, Creative Mojo, where we talked about staying creative with a special needs kid in the house. As most of you know, I’m the mom of a Super Special daughter, who just happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as Sensory Processing Disorder. But, you may not know that Mark, who is a fantastic quilter and phenomenal person, is a special needs dad, himself.  Although our kids have different concerns, there is most definitely overlap when it comes to parenting issues, as well as crafting and the creative process.

We also agreed this subject needs more attention.

So, I’m starting a fantastic new series, which will be sprinkled among my regular blog posts, called, “Creating with Special Needs Kids in the House”, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

Why the enthusiasm?

Well, why not? After all, it’s summer (ok, winter for my Australian friends!), and the perfect time to introduce kids to all sorts of crafting, quilting, etc., and the Arts! First, let’s take a moment to be honest, here, and do some fessing up; so many of us have a special needs kid in the house and we may not feel comfortable pulling out the play dough. Or, heaven forbid, paint.

And don’t even mention scissors…

Especially to my sister, whom I gave a haircut to way back when plaid and polyester paisleys actually went together.

“Yee gawds,” you must be thinking, “is there enough cleaner in the world to fix the inevitable chaos following my child’s creative process?”

Relax. We’re going to have fun. Trust me. (We’ll deal with the inevitable messes later.)

Are you asking yourself, “Does she mean crafting with my kid? Or does she mean how having a special needs kid under the roof affects my creative moments? I’m a little confused. I thought this was about me. Or is it about them?”

I mean both. Even with a child with good fine motor skills, there can be concerns when she works with certain tools. And, let’s be honest, for those of us who create for a living, a meltdown in the family room can really ding our personal creative energies.

There is so much to say about the subject, which is why this is going to be a series, rather than a blog plopped here for “blogging day”. For instance, we’ll cover things such as how to find time to create, keeping your child’s weaknesses (and strengths – don’t forget those!) in mind, as well as general safety. And, just like my Facebook page for “Asperger’s in Pink”, I want this to be an interactive series. I value your input as well as your insight. We learn best when we learn from each other, don’t we?

Are you ready?

First assignment, if you will (ok, I know school is finally out, and the last words you probably want to hear are “homework” or “assignment” – or that even uglier words, “test”…), is waiting for you. Look at the image from my studio and see how many hazards you can find. Depending on your child(ren), your answers will likely vary, and that’s ok. Feel free to post them in the “Comments” section, and I’ll reveal my own answers next time. And I’ll bet you see some I’m missing. So, are you in? Let’s do it!




1 comment:

  1. Wow, I would have to padlock your entire studio! The hazards for us would be scissors, iron, sewing machine, and anything sharp. I think the only "safe" items would be the pencil, fabric marker and fabric!