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Linda Ajello Offline
#1 Posted : Monday, September 27, 2010 5:46:51 AM(UTC)
Linda Ajello

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My daughter is 16 and has cerbral palsy and a seizure disorder. She can not walk, nor can she hold scissors or write/draw legibly. She loves arts and crafts and loves to tlak about how she will make something. However, she would get frustrated since she could not do it independently.
We have bought every adapted scissors. markers, pens on the planet- none of it worked for her- and the adapted sruff is expensive.
I saw the Cricut Expression on an informercial- and thought I would try it. Megan cna use a computer keyboard- she used to need an adapted keyboard for years, but thorugh a lot of use_ I make her type all her homework- she finally cna use a regular keyboard. The day the machine arrived she had to do a project- on monkeys. She typed her assignment andcut out monkeys with her machine- she was so excited- finally, she did all the work. No more mommy drawing for her or sister cutting it out of a magazine for her. There is no price I can put on her feeling of accomplishment or pride that day.
The Expression allows her to look throught the book and pick out what she wants to cut. She then picks papers out of her scrap box and loads her mat. She does need help with gluing the smaller layers, and also with "detailing" as she calls it with a pen after she cuts her item. But she can now make birthday cards for her classmates- and she will tell us who plays basketball, who has a cat, etc. She then personalizes the cards for her friends, Johnny wears a blue basketball shirt- so the Everyday Paper Dolls cutout will have a blue shirt cut out for it, etc.
This machine lets her be so creative. We use it almost everyday. The Imagine will give her more independence, can not wait!
We are trying to convince her special ed high school to let me bring it in and demonstrate it, willing to donate to the school if they will really use it. Many of the kids have issues with painting, ink, etc.- they may prefer the "neater" Expression way of doing the crafts.
In the meantime, Megan loves it and has shown her Occupational therapists the machine- she gets a lot of therapy at home. The therapists love it, and even two babysitters went out and nbought them.
 8 users thanked Linda Ajello for this useful post.
Zuri on 9/27/2010(UTC), Jrcreate on 10/5/2010(UTC), KarenW on 10/11/2010(UTC), GloriaContreras3 on 10/14/2010(UTC), Creative Adventure Mom on 12/30/2010(UTC), Coah'sNana on 6/26/2011(UTC), Sing&Scrap on 6/28/2011(UTC), KimberlyTuriano on 12/18/2011(UTC)
Sawkat66 Offline
#2 Posted : Monday, September 27, 2010 8:03:10 AM(UTC)
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that is awsome - thanks for sharing!
SheilaFennell Offline
#3 Posted : Monday, September 27, 2010 8:53:01 AM(UTC)
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That is amazing! My 26 yo dd has cerebral palsy too and I am always trying to find crafts for her. I have the E and never thought of her trying it. Thanks for the idea and the inspiration this morning!
MNmomoffour Offline
#4 Posted : Wednesday, September 29, 2010 8:53:17 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for sharing such an amazing story! I can relate to so many things in your story! My son has Down Syndrome and likes to create things for his school projects on the Cricut. It is an amazing tool. His former Special Needs teacher has created some cool learning tools for the class also to use by cutting things from the Word Builder cartridge. Great story and post some pictures of the projects she has created!!
☼scrappingjoy☼ Offline
#5 Posted : Friday, October 01, 2010 11:12:19 AM(UTC)
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What an inspiring story!! I'm a special needs teacher and can appreciate your story. I too would love to see what she creates. Be sure to post her projects.
Alison Korecki Offline
#6 Posted : Saturday, October 02, 2010 8:45:29 AM(UTC)
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how inspiring! I can only imagine the possibilities, especially with a particular student of mine from last year in mind who is nonverbal. I can see that we could learn so much from seeing the creative side of our students through the use of this tool. I hope to see pictures too... especially the monkey project if you have pics!
Linda Ajello Offline
#7 Posted : Tuesday, October 05, 2010 6:35:53 AM(UTC)
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trying to post a picture of Megan using cricut yesterdya to make a wedding card

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 1 user thanked Linda Ajello for this useful post.
gonescrappin' on 10/11/2010(UTC)
SheilaFennell Offline
#8 Posted : Tuesday, October 05, 2010 7:55:43 AM(UTC)
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You made my day...Thanks so much for sharing your photos of your precious gift from God!
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Linda Ajello on 10/5/2010(UTC)
gonescrappin' Online
#9 Posted : Tuesday, October 05, 2010 8:12:09 AM(UTC)
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Hi Linda,
My son is Autistic and just loves helping me do crafts with the Expression. Art is a wonderful thing for our children with special needs, isn't it? I am so happy that your daughter, and all our children, get so much pleasure from the E and their art.
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Linda Ajello on 10/5/2010(UTC), Boo! on 10/7/2010(UTC), Teresa Turner on 6/26/2011(UTC)
Boo! Offline
#10 Posted : Thursday, October 07, 2010 2:11:59 PM(UTC)
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Linda Ajello wrote:
trying to post a picture of Megan using cricut yesterdya to make a wedding card




Lovely card Well done Megan.
 1 user thanked Boo! for this useful post.
Linda Ajello on 10/8/2010(UTC)
Cricut Your Classroom Offline
#11 Posted : Saturday, October 09, 2010 8:13:19 PM(UTC)
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I think being creative and having the freedom to create help!! :)


Wendy
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Linda Ajello on 10/10/2010(UTC)
gonescrappin' Online
#12 Posted : Monday, October 11, 2010 7:35:49 AM(UTC)
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I love the pictures, and what a lovely card. Thanks for sharing.
Colleen
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Linda Ajello on 2/9/2011(UTC)
KarenW Offline
#13 Posted : Monday, October 11, 2010 12:35:53 PM(UTC)
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Fantastic story. I am an occupational therapist for adults with learning disabilities, and can imagine the satisfaction your daughter gets from being able to make such lovely cards independently! Tell her I love the card!!
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Linda Ajello on 2/9/2011(UTC)
SusanKimmet Offline
#14 Posted : Thursday, October 14, 2010 7:47:00 PM(UTC)
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I am always so excited to see a student/young person find something she/he can do independently! I am a special ed. teacher and have just begun using my Cricut Personal at school. I have 2 seventeen year old students who have poor fine motor skills and poor proprioceptive abilities. They both love crafts. We are making note and Christmas cards to sell for Special Olympics. They have to plan the papers to use, follow the card layout I provide (later they will choose their own loayout) and measure and cut the paper and use the Cricut independently. They will do the actual selling and handle the money themselves. They are having fun and developing skills while I have the fun and privilege of watching them learn to do something new. Not to say anything about the fun I'm having using my Cricut myself on the weekends! Thanks so much for Cricut!!!
 1 user thanked SusanKimmet for this useful post.
Linda Ajello on 2/9/2011(UTC)
GloriaContreras3 Offline
#15 Posted : Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:54:48 PM(UTC)
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Thank you so much for posting this and the pictures. It is so inspirational to read these kind of stories.
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Linda Ajello on 10/15/2010(UTC)
ErinTaul1 Offline
#16 Posted : Wednesday, October 27, 2010 8:58:12 PM(UTC)
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I also teach Special Education and love to use my Cricut. I cut out sets of characters, Sesame Street, CARS, Halloween Paper Dolls, and my students get to put them together. Even in Middle School they love fun Fridays with the Cricut. We made the best posters for Pirate Math Night too.
 1 user thanked ErinTaul1 for this useful post.
Linda Ajello on 10/28/2010(UTC)
CropingQueen Offline
#17 Posted : Thursday, October 28, 2010 3:06:55 PM(UTC)
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what an inspirational story you've shared with us, and Megans card is beautiful! She looks so happy with her cricut, and I'm happy for her.
I also work with individuals with special needs, one of my three jobs is in a school for adults with special needs. I donated my old expression to the school, as I have the BC one tooo. The students are amazed at what they can do with it, and they look forward to doing projects with it. I had to buy a gypsy so I dont have to carry all my carts to the school all the time, which I guess now I could just leave them there. The problem I found was letting them open the carts themselves, a couple boxes started to get damaged so I brought them home and now I carry my gypsy. Only problem with that is I have to do most of the work for them, most of my students have a hard time with fine motor skills and the gypsy isnt very user friendly for them, which is to frustrating. I need to find a better way, so they can pick the objects to cut for themselves. After all that is the goal right...independence. We will be making christmas cards for the school mailing list, so about 250 or so. I have already designed the one layer that requires being cut out, the rest the students can do by hand. It will require some embossing with one side inked, cutting to specific sizes and layering. The school also has a cuttlebug now, as I suggested we invest in one. The school is not government funded at all, we rely on the students tuition fees and donations from our community to keep us going, thats why I donated the expression. We are waiting on some funds right now so I can buy the paper we need to make the christmas cards. They are very excited.
I feel so blessed to be a part of these individuals lives, and see them so happy.
 1 user thanked CropingQueen for this useful post.
Linda Ajello on 2/9/2011(UTC)
Linda Ajello Offline
#18 Posted : Friday, October 29, 2010 7:45:12 AM(UTC)
Linda Ajello

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Hi - your story about your school you work in was wonderful! does the school have fundraisers- luncheons, etc. where they sell raffles? I am donating cartridges to Megan's school at their luncheon- the money made from raffles will let them buy the tiems they need at that point. Sometimes local stores can donate the items to a fundraiser, rather than just give the item to the school. perhaps if the school gives you an official letter of an event with a date, you can then get donations for a raffle etc. With the proceeds the adults can pick out the items they want. I do find the Cuttlebug allows those with limited vision to rea[img]http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/sweet_16_brings_new_meaning_to.html[/img]lly enjoy the crafts even more. I am so glad that you are enjoying the expression now.
I do agree about the gypsy screen- wish one was available the size of an IPAD - Megan really is motivated to use her stylus on the gyspsy, but it is hard!
we made 59 cupcakes for her school with the Cricut cake with a pumpkin cut out on each one. Still cleaning up marshmallow fondant. thank God for provocraft- my daughter may have some limitaions but she is not limited!
PhotoPhreak Offline
#19 Posted : Sunday, December 26, 2010 2:03:47 PM(UTC)
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Linda ~ Thank you for your inspirational story! The picutres of Meghan's creations are wonderful!

As the mother of a 6 y/o girl with CP and other cognitive delays, we too love to craft with the Expression and Baby Bug. She loves to pick out pictures from the handbooks and push the buttons on the machine. She has her very own 'scrapbook' of things she has made and glued into her book. It's one of her favorite things to look at.

Keep up the great work Meghan!!!
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Linda Ajello on 12/26/2010(UTC)
DianaLopez2 Offline
#20 Posted : Wednesday, December 29, 2010 1:42:41 PM(UTC)
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I was very glad to read this. I work in Special Ed. With our severe unit and We use the Cricut to make cards, we design thr card and let them put the cards together , we also make paper which we use in our cards. We have loved it. It is one of our classes for our students and they love making the cards. And we love our cricut. We only have the small one our Special Ed boss bought it for our school.
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Linda Ajello on 2/9/2011(UTC)
Creative Adventure Mom Offline
#21 Posted : Thursday, December 30, 2010 12:01:49 PM(UTC)
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Hey there Mom, u rock! BigGrin
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Linda Ajello on 2/9/2011(UTC)
SueBrucato Offline
#22 Posted : Friday, December 31, 2010 3:29:42 PM(UTC)
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Thank you for sharing the pictures. She looks so proud! Beautiful card kiddo!
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Linda Ajello on 2/9/2011(UTC)
creativemamma Offline
#23 Posted : Saturday, March 05, 2011 12:05:53 PM(UTC)
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Wow! What a really nice wedding card and inspiring to see her doing her crafting! I have been considering letting my son who has Down Syndrome & ASD work with me to make some things once the need for school projects arises. He has to get past the fascination of "how" the machine works first - and wanting to take it all apart - but I know we'll get there soon. I'm with you on wishing they made a Gypsy screen as big as an iPad! The smaller screen puts a strain on our visual acuity! If I could just plug it into a bigger monitor it would be better.

Thank you so much for sharing!
kimcar Offline
#24 Posted : Sunday, June 26, 2011 6:59:45 AM(UTC)
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I just got hired as a special needs teacher and was wondering if I should take my E to school, or leave it at home and bring in the cuts already made? ( K-5th self-contained.) I was thinking about getting some of the educational carts any suggestions as to which ones would be the most versatile? Should I invest in a 12 x24 mat?

Edited by user Sunday, June 26, 2011 7:00:20 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

cristine Offline
#25 Posted : Sunday, June 26, 2011 8:16:07 PM(UTC)
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wtg Megan beautiful!!!
Coah'sNana Offline
#26 Posted : Sunday, June 26, 2011 9:05:00 PM(UTC)
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What a wonderful, inspirational story! You go Megan!
Protter Offline
#27 Posted : Monday, June 27, 2011 11:29:01 AM(UTC)
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Thanks for sharing this, its wonderful to see and hear. I am so glad that both you are your Daughter get so much joy from your Cricut.

My son is only 8 but is profoundly Autistic in nappies full time, non verbal and has challenging behaviour with aggression. Although he does not enjoy crafts of any kind I started crafting because of him as I was his full time carer and I didn't have a job and I needed a hobby or something for me. I really enjoy making wall decors for him and also making his communication/picture books.

He needs a padded room and back in January I made Toy story wall vinyls to go above the padding to make it all a bit more friendly and they look great.

Thanks for sharing your Megan and her story here, I look forward to seeing more of your work together.

Karen x



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