PRT151 – Facts and Feelings

This week we’re sharing ideas about scrapbooking children with special needs. Come listen!

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  • Jeanette

    You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for having me at the Table. I had a fabulous time!

  • EliseOT

    Hello Roundtable friends,

    I am so moved and excited about this Roundtable episode. I am an occupational therapist (but yes, those are my real initials!); I am retiring after 37 years of practice, the last 18 in our public school district. First of all, huge kudos to you, Ali and Jeanette, for your acknowledgement of therapy in school, as well as your positive attitudes. I love, love. love my students and it will be hard to say good-bye to some of them AND their parents. We work as teams in the schools to provide the best program for each child with special needs, regardless of their diagnosis. Teams include special education teachers, paraprofessionals, a speech-language pathologist, OT, PT, behavior and autism specialist, social worker, assistive technology specialist, psychologist and administrator. Educational plans are a team effort, that includes the parents! Your support is critical to a child’s success in school. My work has been primarily in elementary schools, so the reality of a child’s differences become evident in those early years. It is heartbreaking to watch the grieving process parents experience as they listen to assessments and reports. Trust me, we all know you are aching and what a difficult transition this is. It is also very hard on marriages and we are aware of that as well. My heart goes out to you and all parents wrestling with new realities.

    What a pleasure to hear the positive comments from your guests today. As a scrapbooker I treasure those students who touch my heart. Without using names I love to include the little handwritten notes, especially in the child’s writing! You special parents know how much that means to an OT! I have a few layouts that celebrate the moments, and thanks to Ali Edwards for her BPC class “31 Things” last spring. I used many of the topics to reflect on what my job and career means to me. Last but not least, thanks for the cookies and muffins SOME parents bring to meetings. We may not like them better, but it always makes an impression (hint, hint)!

    Keep working on those fine motor skills!

  • rosann

    Another great show and OMG I am so excited to see yet another NYC scrapper. I live in Brooklyn but I was born and raised in the Boogie Down Bronx. Thank you for sharing your approaches today.

  • Jana_NJ

    We need more shows like this to talk about our community which is big and needs to relate with all other Scrapbookers out there.

  • Sandra Bunch

    Thanks team, for another great episode. Even though none of my children have special needs, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Personally I feel my 5yo son has autistic tendencies (if I ask him to clean he says no, but if I ask him to organise he’s right in there color coordinating and so on) but if anything this episode made me care even less if he does or doesn’t have it, as no matter what, I will love him & celebrate him all the same. I loved hearing how Ali’s scrapbooks allowed her to look back at all of Simon’s stories to help with the diagnosis, and it’s inspired me to scrap more of my kids personalities. Thanks again… Is it really one whole week we have to wait to hear you guys again? :(

  • I loved this episode, it was one I know I will listen to many times to catch everything, since I know I do not get it all the first time through. I am adding a comment to say that my favourite part was the way both Jeanette and Ali talked about the specific milestones that were wonderful accomplishments for THAT kid, rather than the ones that are special for “every kid”. I think it is true for every child. My daughter is not special needs and my son is, but in my opinion it would be scrapworthy if she managed to eat a sandwich without cover her face, hands, seat and the floor with whatever the spread was.. I have washed so many vegemite covered tshirts! He was always need, it is no accomplishment for him.

    On the other hand, I already scrapbooked our little victory on the weekend in project life and a layout too, I was so happy about it. He came to a very busy 1st birthday for his cousin, with over 50 strangers and loads of little kids, he hates crowds and he coped so well, he found a quiet corner and played with some legos and didnt have a meltdown. At the end he told me he really loved the packing up (ie when everyone left and we packed away the chairs and toys LOL). I was so excited by the way he coped with it, because that is a big struggle for him. Not a big deal for her at all, but a huge one for him. Yay!

    Celebrating your kids and what you learn from them – what a wonderful and supportive message this show has. Love this show, thank you Ali and Jeanette for the honest, open, supportive and positive picture you present of something that is complicated and difficult to talk about for many of us. Thank you very much.

  • Just had to say, can totally relate to the comments about expressing your feelings, but not really looking for advice! LOL. Sometimes we just need an outlet…

  • I was going to say that no matter what, we can certainly scrap about our kids personalities! We all have weird tendencies or little things here and there that reveal a story… even if it’s not specifically a special need :P

  • Mikki

    You guys did a wonderful job this week and it’s great hearing the guests talk about this topic, which is so rarely brought up despite Autism and other special needs effecting so many families.

    Also, I am really looking forward to Izzy’s new line =P

  • Great show — good to hear Ali’s voice again. I laughed, along with everyone else, at Izzy’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion of a line of negative scrapbooking products, but honestly, sometimes I look at the die cuts and stickers and wonder if the designers live in Disneyland. They all say “perfect day”, “best day ever”, “you are my favorite”, “awesome”, etc. Where are the die cuts that say, “It’s snowing *again*?” or “Is this day over yet?” lol I’d like to throw my hat into the ring as a product designer for Izzy’s line. :-)

  • Nikomoon14


    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. This episode made my day, my week and possibly my year. I listened to this episode while I was on my way to another challenging Speech therapy with my only son who has autism. I remember when Michael wasn’t even 1 1/2 and the doctors were already talking about autism. My outlet has always being scrapbooking and many moments I actually thought of writing to Ali and ask about what should I do about an autistic child and how to channel it through scrapbooking. Funny that she actually mentions about receiving letter for advice. I completely agree about the celebration approach, although for a while I contemplated scrapbooking the bad things I never feel like doing that. Now I understand…why bother??? There is so much good and unique about our special treasures that we don’t need to. Maybe in a Journal, in a blog or a post-it. Yes, a post-it. I personally do not have time dwell on my bad moments, so I sit with a post-it. The square kind and give myself a moment to write my negative thoughts down. Once I ‘m done I rip it apart because by the time I’m done, I’m usually over it or I have figure out a way to resolve the issue. I do celebrate JanyGirl for expressing herself like that. It takes a lot of bravery to do so. Today therapy wasn’t so bad and Michael had fun…something rare therefore needs to be scrapbooked :)
    On a funnier side I think Izzy should definitely design “No, Thank You” and ask the smack blog to sponsor them. ;). But I will definitely not buy that one…lol

    I also would like to invite Noell to join the Peeps at

  • Tambur McDonald

    Hi guys,

    First of all I wanted to stop by and thank you for another interesting Roundtable. I always look forward to each new episode. Ali and Jeanette were wonderful to share their stories and thought processes behind their scrapping. I have followed Ali’s blog for many years and am always inspired by her use of words and her insight in what she shares. Jeanette was a lot of fun to listen to. I enjoyed her sunny outlook on life.

    Although I don’t have special needs children, today’s episode made me stop and think about how I approach the touchy or tough subjects that crop up in everyone’s lives.

    As a mom to four, there are always moments of disappointment, let downs, hurts (emotional or physical) and sorrow that our children experience. Sometimes I am the one that is the cause of those hurts and disappointments, usually for their own good. Sharing those memories in my scrapbooks are tricky. But, always there is a purpose in the stories I choose to share whether it is a lesson learned or personal growth. My oldest had his first heartbreak last year and the song “Someone I Used to Know” was played about 1001 times. There was nothing I could do for him, but let him know that we were there for him. But, I did feel it was a milestone in his life story and something he could reflect on in the future. The page I made is simple, just a picture of him with the lyrics from the song and a little note from me to him letting him know that he is loved. It’s not that I want him to have to relive that moment, but I do want him to know that at 16 it seemed like it was huge deal. At 17 he has moved on. This is how life goes.

    In my opinion Scrapbooking, by it’s very nature, is a personal expose of the story of our lives – mine, my children and my husband. The stories are mostly told from my perspective. It’s a lot of fun to share our happy celebratory pages with others. For myself, my thoughtful introspective pages are a part of my scrapbook, they are a part of my story, but they are not the ones I generally choose not to post on-line.

    For Izzy, thank you for the little reminder e-mail to renew my subscription to Papperclipping. I am proud to say I have been a member for the past 3 years (non-schmo). You guys are great company. The Roundtable is my constant companion when I am on the trail, mainly cause I can understand you (I live in Cyprus and everyone speaks Greek – it’s all Greek to me – ha!).

    With thanks,
    Tambur (ScrappyTams)

  • kat

    Have just started and you’re on the mail… confused why playing a female avatar is embarrassing? Women rock (and I’m sure are quite capable of causing mass destruction). /feminism ftw.

  • :)

  • teddi

    another fab discussion! :) my favorite part about this discussion was celebrating the details of the their daily progress.

  • Thank you for another thought-provoking PRT. Noell and Izzy, I’d like to humbly propose a follow up topic about memory keeping for those of us living with infertility. I know it’s probably a “dark” subject, not super scrap-friendly… but that’s precisely the point. There are some unique challenges facing those of us who want to keep up with memory keeping, but get constant reminders that we are childless.
    For example, I’ve purchased many a magazine or eBook and ended up in tears. When instructors give examples of journaling prompts or photo suggestions, the majority are child-focused. December Daily can be so emotional because I’d love nothing more than to create and document the holiday season with kids of my own. I love listening to podcasts: PRT, The Digi Show, Lain Ehmann, but there are times when I have to skip past, or simply turn off because I’m having an emotional reaction to a comment. I held off on Project Life for ages, because of the realization that I’d be documenting a childless life.
    Sometimes it can be challenging to keep informed and stay current on what’s going on with this passion, without the constant reminder. So much of the content in this industry is infant-toddler-child-centric. Which is fine, because I’d daresay that becoming a parent is what attracts most newbies into the hobby. But maybe there are others in my situation who could share their strategies on dealing with this heart-breaking, typically private struggle. I believe Steph from the Daily Digi mentioned something about facing it herself, I was surprised and wished she’d shared more.

  • Wendy

    Thank you so much for this topic. It really resonates with me. My youngest daughter was born with poor muscle tone in her hips and didn’t start to crawl until she was almost a year old. We spent a lot of time in physical therapy the first two years. I scrapbooked a lot about how difficult PT was for her and how frustrated she’d get, but also how excited she would be when she accomplished what she was working toward. I think that in this type of situation it is important to document overcoming the frustration. I made one whole layout about the day she sat up all by herself. I know that is a major milestone for all children, but she worked so hard to get there, that it was worthy of its own layout.
    Thanks for the great show!

  • Thank you for the suggestion and the guest idea, Marilyn. I added it to our list of possible episodes. Those of us who haven’t been through this don’t realize how painful it must be to be so submerged in a culture that focuses this heavily on children. If you come up with any other guest ideas, please let me know.

  • I want to support izzy’s “No, thank you” line as well! it’s true that many designs are a bit too epic for my life… or at least too one note on the happy side. We should be able to express the dark sides of life, but in a funny way! izzy, will have to steal your idea for digital designs! ;P

  • There is a stamp set called “Sucky Day Part 1”. I don´t have it, but I love it. (I´m not affiliated)

  • I thought I just posted a link, but it was the wrong link, so it doesn´t matter that it dissapeared :-) There is a stamp set called “Sucky Day Part 1”, (I´m not affiliated)

    She has others as well, including one with a profane language warning ;-)

  • funny! thanks for the link!

  • No way! I would never have expected to see those kinds of “sentiments” on scrapbooking stamps — not even knowing the name of the line was called, “Sucky Day,” LOL. TFS! :)

  • Amy B

    I am a little behind on listening to the shows, but I had to go ahead and comment on this one. This was such a wonderful topic, and I am sure so many people were able to relate to this.

    I am an elementary school teacher, and I have worked with many students with a variety of special needs through the years. I love hearing how you document your stories. I especially love the idea of Ali’s album that has people writing what they have learned from Simon. I know that as a teacher, I learn so much from all of my kids, and especially the ones with some kind of special need. Those are the kids that always have a huge place in my heart. I would love for a parent to ask me to write something for their child. I think this idea is great for any kid. I can even imagine collecting letters through the years and giving it as a graduation present.

    As always, another great show with so many good ideas. This one just really seemed to speak to me. I know I will listen to this one again and again.

  • Kim J

    Such a wonderful show. Even when some of your topics don’t relate directly to me or my situation, there are always good ideas I hear that I can use. And it seems that Izzy’s idea in the picks of the week — developing a “No Thank You” line of products for those days or events that aren’t so wonderful has gone viral. In fact, I just ran across a community thread on Studio Calico where folks are making a list of the sayings that should be in the line. And April (the owner of Studio Calico) has even added her thoughts. You can find it here: Izzy you better get working on that line of products before someone takes your idea :)

  • Just wanted to say that this was an awesome show! I made a “superpowers” book for my son when he was much younger and just diagnosed with ADHD and I used information from a book on the subject “The Gift of ADHD” to incorporate what is awesome about ADHD so he and we could focus on the good parts of it – I haven’t looked at it in a bit but I think there were things like “boundless energy” “curious” “inventive” etc. and pictures and jouranling to support it. I made the album in a notebook sized book and used divided page protectors ( years and years before Project Life!).

  • lindsalita

    Such an awesome show. Jeanette was so funny. We have the same outlook in our house with our little man with special needs. It’s always inspiring to hear form someone who has left footsteps behind for us to follow in.