Launching "Adapting Creatively"

Today is the day! After years of contemplating an adventure into blogging, I'm lacing up my boots and jumping in with both feet.

So why Adapting Creatively? Our family is all about adapting. When our daughter A was diagnosed with Rett syndrome in late 1997, just months shy of her second birthday, our world turned upside down. Or did it really? Had our deepest goals really changed? Were we, including our daughter, truly any different than we had been before her diagnosis? As soon as we raised our heads above the dizzying emotions, we realized that deep down, we were still the same people with the same dreams. We may have become battle-worn and the path to our goals may have been routed differently, but the deepest core of who we were--each one of us--was really the same. We had to adapt to the unexpected, and that would take some creativity. We would need to adjust our attitudes, our expectations, our time. We would have to apply our "technical skills" to meeting unexpected new needs. That was going to take some creativity...but we could do this.

So, what kind of creative adapting will you find here? Lots! The ideas focus mainly on the issues we deal with daily:  severe motor impairment (fine and gross, both), non-verbal communication, daily living and simplifying caretaking, accessing the environment, recreation, schooling, attitude and outlook. With my background as a special education teacher, curriculum adaptation is a passion for me. Because I also spent a number of years teaching in general education, I'm also passionately involved in ways to involve children with disabilities in regular classrooms. In meaningful ways, I might add. Years of participation in our regional AAC professional group has taught me how to apply what I know of child development to the development of non-verbal communication. I sew and craft; it always pleases me to be able to modify something off-the-shelf that can work to make life easier or substitute for some expensive piece of "adaptive" equipment. Easy, free or cheap...that's my style! My husband is quite handy and has jumped in with a number of projects himself that I think are terribly clever. He talks at times of a father's need to "fix things," and since he can't fix the Rett syndrome, he focuses on fixing the challenges it throws our way. Wait till I show you some of the creative things he's designed!

All of this is for you, the parents and teachers of other children with disabilities. Please let me know what you find helpful or what I need to clarify. If you have a question about a project you think I might want to tackle, please do suggest. Above all, if you have ideas to share, I hope you will let me know. Together we can make this a resource for families with the need to adapt and the desire to do it creatively.

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To help you know what to expect here at Adapting Creatively (as well as to keep me on track!), I've added a Schedule of Posts page. Be sure to check it out!

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