Thursday, March 29, 2012

Personal SMASH Pages and a Diagnosis

Heads up, this will be a bit more of an emotional post, but I will try not to ramble too much, heehee! What you see before you are the first pages of my red SMASH book. I got this one for free, and there's an interesting story behind it. For almost a year now, I've been attending a support group for parents of children with severe behavioural difficulties, and it's been really great. I've reached the point where I'm comfortable sharing my everyday frustrations, and it's been wonderful to learn from others' experiences and just to know that I'm not alone - the other parents' stories are sometimes so similar to mine, it's almost freaky! Anyway, after I'd been working on my orange SMASH for a while, I brought it to show to the group. The facilitator was so blown away that when she traveled to Williams Lake, she went in to Creative Accents and cleaned them out of SMASH books and gave each of us one! Isn't that just FABULOUS?! So I feel I've done my part in spreading the word about SMASH - let the therapy begin!

My first page, above, tells the story of my cupcake fiasco. (Read that post here.) I printed the photos on the left from the internet, representing the most beautiful and professional cupcakes I could find, and made the cupcake on the right from a CTMH stamp, representing how mine looked (although this is rather generous, mine looked a whole lot worse). Oh, and I also glued some MME scraps around the edges to make a border - I really like this added touch, I'll probably be using scraps like this in the future!The next spread talks about who I am. On the left, I did another scrap border and some masking with ink and a crown screen from Tattered Angels. I go through my feelings about the whole cupcake thing and why I would feel so bad about something so silly. It was quite therapeutic and made me feel better about myself. For the right side, I was stuck. I say in the journaling how when I saw this page, the only thing that came to mind was the I. Am. Canadian. commercial. (For those foreigners reading this post, Molson Canadian is a beer that has built its brand around Canadian patriotism, such that it is.) So I asked my four best friends, via Facebook, to describe me in three words. The words in multi-coloured alphas are words they chose, and I love it! They make me sound like a wonderful person - what a boost to the ol' self esteem!
On this page, I didn't want to cover up the "A" or the bird, so I journaled around the bird and used the "A" as a prompt. At the bottom of the spread there is a horoscope I clipped out of the paper a month ago, and I go into how I used to feel like I should be a Sagitarius rather than a Capricorn - maybe I'm growing into my Capricorni-ness! One day, I was inspired by this pin to journal my "currents". I just jotted them down in a note pad, and I was planning to copy them onto a nicer journaling card, but it was quicker to tear the page out and smash it in with smash tape. I added some stickers from Making Memories to dress it up a bit, too.
And then there's this page, probably my favorite one so far. I just gathered some photos from the internet and printed them off to show what I was into in February of 2012. It's funny how things have already changed in a month! I'm no longer drinking beer or double doubles, and I'm finished with the Tudors and the book I was reading, but everything else is still the same. I used a whole lot of stickers from my stash to make these four pages, so I'm going to enter over at Scrapbooker's Anonymous for their sticker challenge.

Now for the second part of my post - are ya still with me? We took Nolan to Williams Lake yesterday for his big assessment and found out that yes, he does have Asperger's Disorder. It was what Jason and I were expecting, but the news threw Nolan for a loop. He was feeling terrible last night, very sad. He sees it as a disease, and proof that he's not normal. All I could do was tell him that he's my same Nolan and I love him no matter what. I tried to explain that we put him through this process in order to understand him better and help him, but he just wants to be "normal". The other part of his diagnosis, which Jason and I were pretty excited about and which Nolan could care less, is that he has "superior cognitive functioning." He tested in the 99th percentile for verbal reasoning (still not sure what it really means, but sounds impressive)! Now here's the kicker - he told us after the tests that he was trying his hardest not to be diagnosed with Asperger's, so he used all the most technical terms and biggest words he could!!! Like they showed him a picture of an umbrella and asked, "What's this?" He said, "A mechanical device used to deviate atmospheric water," or something like that. I may have changed the wording a bit, but I had a heck of a time keeping a straight face during that one! Poor kid, his plan backfired! Anyway, I'm sure it will all be for the best once we wrap our heads around the whole thing. Thanks to everyone for your support!
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15 comments:

  1. First, your SMASH book - awesome! this is like a diary on acid!! MUST try it!! (could use some good "drugs" if you know what I mean!!) :)
    Second, Nolan. So cute. Ironically, that reaction of his was probably THE biggest indicator of his syndrome. Poor guy was doomed from the outset! (please don't take that the wrong way - merely trying to dispel tension with humour!)
    Third, you ... hang tough chica! Take some time to digest this diagnosis and research your options before taking action. Remember that your child is perfect, no matter what!! he and you and your family will come out of this stronger than ever. I know it!
    hugs!!

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  2. Love your smash book hey!!! As for the diagnosis, you hear about sooo many cases these days, so in a way - it is pretty normal! If you know what I mean! :)

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  3. Hi Roxy....love your smash book! Well done and I love the idea of asking your friends for words to describe you. That would be such a boost. Love Nolan's answer about the umbrella. :) Thanks for playing along with us at Scrapbookers Anonymous!

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  4. Wow!!!! Your pages are AWESOME Rox!!!! As soon as I am done writing this comment I am going to go and pull mine out of my drawer and start using it!!!!
    So you've got yourself a little smarty pants huh!? What a fabulous answer he gave!!! I'm sorry that he is upset by the whole thing but you must be feeling some sort of relief actually knowing what is going on for sure!? There are so many kids out there like him, hopefully he will realize he's not alone and that he's just a special kind of normal (:

    Big hugs!!!

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  5. Hey Roxy...Thanks for your love...I'm still sad... Its really hurtful when speak ill of you to others...especially when you are totally innocent!!! Anyhow... I Love your smash book!!! I agree with Chantal... I hope your feet get better soon... take care...Thanks for being a good support over at Scrapbookers Anonymous... it mean a lot to us... hugs..xoxo

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  6. Hey Rox, your smash pages are so inspiring me and I totally agree with Alison and think it's hilarious that it IS like a diary on Acid!! lol I am soooo wanting to get some stuff smashed into my smash book. It's awesome that you got that one for free too...glad it's working for you too...You don't have to feel bad about cupcakes, cause your awesome and it doesn't matter if you can't decorate a cupcake...I can't either...kids just like mine because I load em up with tons of icing...pretty sure they don't care too much what they look like either!! haha! I'm sad for Nolan that he's taking his diagnosis so hard, and his umbrella answer was hilarious, and probably was part of his diagnosis too! poor kid! He's very stinkin smart though, and it is nice to have an actual diagnosis too. If you ever need a break though and want a get away, you're more than welcome to come over and scrap for a night...I know your parents live here too, but I have a big ass scrap table! lmao! It would be fun :) Hopefully I'll see ya tomorrow at the rink!

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  7. Hi again Roxy! Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog! :D The outline around my pics where using a black gel pen and those clouds are wooden and they are by Kaisercraft. They are awesome hey? Kaisercraft actually do quite a few wooden embellishments... I love them! :D
    xo

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  8. Wow, your Smash book is looking awesome! And great use of those stickers! Thanks for joining in the fun at Scrapbookers Anonymous!!!

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  9. very awesome smashing. I need to do that more. I have 2 books collecting dust.
    Thanks so much for playing along with us at Scrapbookers anonymous. =)

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  10. Roxy - just reading your story of Nolan's diagnosis, and please accept my support, even from afar. Not fair how some struggle. I had to smile at your son's attempt to throw the results off. He sounds like a really creative, loveable and fun kid. Loving your smashbook, and your leader's reaction to go out and get some for everyone to explore some journalling and recording. Thanks so much for playing along with Scrapbookers Anonymous!

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  11. WOW are you ever doing well with your Smashbook!! Way to go!! Sorry to hear about Nolan but at the same time I agree with you. Now that you know what is going on you can get on with learning how to live with it. I feel bad for him wanting to be just "normal" but really who is? LOL!! I'm going to Mexico for 2 weeks so I'm taking my Smashbook and a folder full of stickers cuz heck, I'll have time ... FINALLY! I have 3 books and have hardly touched them. BAD!! It should be so easy! Jeesh! Great inspiration Roxy! Hugs!

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  12. Wow...I just love your smash book!!! I am sold and totally need to buy one now!!!

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  13. Hi Roxy,
    Thanks ever so much for your lovely comment on my blog, and sharing your story on here. Your smash book is great, love the way you are documenting everything :)
    It was very interesting to read your son's view on the diagnosis. My brother doesn't know or understand that he is different, which in some ways is nice, but it another way it makes him vulnerable. It shall no doubt take your son quite a while to accept the diagnosis, but hopefully it will help him in the long term as others can understand the situation more. No one is 'normal', and that is what makes us all so special and valuable, we are all different. The world would be very dull if we were all the same. In my journalling on my page I wrote about the fact I have done a lot of helping in classes of children with special educational needs, ranging from severe autism to very mild Asperger's, and they truly are some of the most special, interesting and amazing people you can meet.
    Hannah :)

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  14. Hey Roxy, loving what you are doing with your Smash book, and once again find myself admiring you for including stuff that may be tough for you. I am sorry that Nolan is taking his diagnosis hard, bless him, but at least you now all know exactly what you are dealing with and will be able to find ways to help him.

    Sending lots of hugs from across the pond.

    Carole xxx

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  15. This is very inspiring. I think that Smash books are great alternative to a classic diary - it is a bit different but not less emotional.
    Thinking about the Asperger's - the first thing comming to my mind is the film Mary and Max. It is very sad, but I suggest to watch it, as it kind of shows the uniqueness of people with this syndrome.
    Take care :)

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