Monday, February 9, 2009

Beading With Angelina

The other day I went into the craft store to purchase some yarn so that I can make a hat and scarf for my son. So, of course, being a self confessed beadaholic, I did not pass up the opportunity to peruse the craft store’s selection of beads. While debating with my self whether or not I wanted to spend the money on a strand of ridiculously over priced glass beads (for which I had no clear idea as what to make with them), Angelina said to me, “Mother, I want to bead too.”

I looked down at her, smiled, abandoned the string of ridiculously over priced beads and said to her, “Alright lets go get you some beads.” Angie picked out a large bag of multi-shaped and brightly colored plastic beads and some clear plastic cord in which to string them on. Angie had a huge grin on her face and hugged her beads tightly to her chest as we made our way to the check out line.

When we got home I poured the beads into a bowl, cut a long length of plastic cord, added a stopper bead to the end of the cord, and gave her the bead bowl and prepped plastic cord. She went into her bedroom with her beading supplies, sat down on her bed, and began to string the beads on the cord. I grabbed my current beading project and joined her in her room and, also, began to bead.

As we sat together and beaded, I found myself more engrossed in watching her string beads, than working on my own project. At first, it seemed as though she picked out and strung the beads on the cord at random. There didn’t seem to be any type of color pattern or particular bead shape pattern. I thought that she was creating a sort of freeform necklace. But as I watched her more closely, I saw that before she added a bead to the cord she would rub it between her fingers. Then she would decide if the bead would be strung on the necklace or would be put back into the bowl in favor of a different bead. It was then that I realized that she was choosing the beads that she would string by their texture.

If you are unfamiliar with Autism, this probably doesn’t make much sense. Many autistic individual, Angelina included, are very tactile sensitive. There are textures that feel good to them as well as textures they can’t tolerate the feel of. That is why it is not surprising that she would choose the beads for her necklace based on their different textures.

When she was finished, I tied the knot for her, buried the ends of the cord inside the beads, and cut off the excess cord. Angie then asked for a second piece of plastic cord to be cut for her so that she could create another necklace. Angie beaded 2 brightly colored, multi-textured necklaces. She was very proud of her work and so am I. She kept one necklace for herself and gave the other one to me. The necklace she made for me is the best present that anyone has ever given me!!!

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website, “Bead Between The Lines.” I recently added pictures of several necklaces and chokers that I have created. You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And please, take a moment to sign my guestbook

I am also on myspace.


Darling Nikki said...

What a beautiful page!
It's a mothers dream to share something of importance with their child. You have been blessed. She did a wonderful job.

Connect with your teens said...

That was such a nice activity to do with your daughter. That will be a memory the two of you will long remember.

Fashiongrail said...

Your star flower necklace is beautiful!

A. B. England said...

How wonderful you two were able to share that! I'm sure it made your daughter proud to have made something on her own.

Gifts made by little hands are always so cherished.

Trish said...

Isn't it wonderful when your kids are interested by something you are doing? It sounds like a lovely day!