By Leslie Broun, M.Ed.
Although the hobby of scrapbooking is very popular right now, I must thank my 91 year-old mother-in-law for the conceptualization of this item. Many years ago when my children were young and we visited her in Scotland, my mother-in-law pulled some scrapbooks out of a drawer that she had made. The pages were covered with pretty bits of ribbon and stickers, portions of greeting cards, pictures from magazines – any attractive piece of paper that came her way. She had a box where she collected these items until the “mood came on her” and she would make a scrapbook. Most of these scrapbooks she donated to hospitals for children to look at, but some she kept for little visitors and grandchildren.
In my eternal quest to find or create visual learning materials for students with ASD, I decided to make two demonstration scrapbooks – one for girls and one for boys. These are not really “learning” materials. Rather, they are based on the student’s interests – animals, cars, toys, TV, movie or storybook characters, fashion, sports, etc. They are meant more to entertain and to provide a period of independence in a day otherwise filled with tasks, instructions, prompts and cues. The scrapbook can provide an oasis of rest in an otherwise very busy day. Looking at it provides an opportunity for time alone for the student or time with a friend while looking at the engaging and attractive pages.
- A sturdy scrapbook with good quality paper (for durability)
- Old greeting cards
- Stickers: these can be based on the student’s favourite characters or topics. There are many wonderful stickers available in dollar stores, stationary and toy stores.
- I purchased some teen magazines and cut out pictures of fashions, reasonable cosmetic and hygiene items, accessories, etc.
- I also purchased a sports magazine and cut out pictures of favourite athletes.
- For the boy’s book, I also purchased some books (drastically reduced) on cars and insects which I cut up for the pictures.
- For the girl’s book, I also purchased some cut-outs which I prepared and put in a page protector and stapled to one of the scrapbook pages.
- Calendars (also drastically reduced) on special topics such as kittens, cars, dogs.
- Coloured tape, bits of ribbon, etc.
Some time when the mood “comes on you” it might fun to create a scrapbook by yourself, with a helper or with your student to prepare this visual treat.
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