When you have children rest assured you will have a LOT of PAPER! If you have a child with special needs or health issues you will have quadruple the amount of paper . . . at least!
On show Organizing for a Child with Special Needs we interviewed Jenny Whitty. She is the mother of four children, two have autism. She knows all about paper!! When her third child was diagnosed with autism she became engrossed in researching and learning all she could about Autism.
Life was crazy during the diagnosis, researching, grieving, learning, therapies and having a fourth child who was also diagnosed with autism. Jenny’s home got out of control. Be sure to listen to the show to hear Jenny explain what she went through and how she coped.
Jenny became buried in laundry baskets of paper. Her bed was an island in the middle of piles and piles of paper, books and unfinished projects. She was so overwhelmed.
Don da-da da! In comes Tracy Hoth, professional organizer, to the rescue!!! Jenny and Tracy worked long and hard to get the home back in order and set up systems to help it stay that way! Listen to the show to get ideas that could benefit your child. Ask for help if you are overwhelmed.
Please KNOW that there is hope. Even if you don’t feel like it at this moment there IS a way.
We asked Jenny what was ONE thing the mother (or father) of a special-needs child can do right now to cut the paper clutter and get started organizing?
Jenny recommends creating a binder. Here is what you should do:
- Purchase a 2 or 3 inch binder (or use one you have), some page protectors and index tab dividers. The dividers will help to differentiate between paper categories in your binder.
- As you receive important papers, or find them in piles around your home, begin sliding them into the page protectors – your child’s diagnosis, evaluations, IEPs, etc.
- Label the binder. Jenny’s favorite labels are the kind you can use with your printer like these Avery white shipping labels. Here are some fun neon colored labels.
- Carry this binder to doctor’s appointments, meetings and therapy appointments. Everything you need will be right at your fingertips. If you need a copy of the diagnosis you can slide it out of your sheet protector and make a copy. Simple!
- Decide on ONE location to store your binder and let the family know.
Here is a photo of Jenny’s binders:
Here is her binder storage in the basement storage room on some shelves.
Please note: Jenny has been organizing her children’s papers for quite awhile so don’t be intimidated. She has found what works for her. The amount of paper she keeps works for her comfort level. You may choose to keep more or less.
Now get started making a binder for your child!! Jenny has even made one for her own medical information!