Thursday, November 14, 2013

the Success Box

image courtesy of the Success Box
guest post by Karen Sadler

It started as a project to create a tool which promoted dedicated and consistent use of visual supports. It became a tool that relieved stress for the students and the staff, while promoting successful communication. Soon, it was more than a product. It was a mission; a way to employ students with disabilities and a way to return the proceeds to help further organizations within the special needs community. In partnering with the Easter Seals Adult Vocational Program and donating to local organizations, Karen Sadler’s mission continues to move forward today. Her journey begins with a little guy named Sam…..

When Sam showed up at our school with his big smile and his even bigger list of visual support needs, I knew we had to spring into action. Unfortunately, I also knew getting Sam the necessary supports might take a few days, and that was unacceptable.

That night I went home and brainstormed. How can we be more proactive in providing the necessary visual supports for our students as efficiently and effectively as possible? I knew that appropriate, positive supports help set the daily tone for student success.

At home, I sat staring at hundreds of messy visual supports and picture cards, determined to create a proactive organizational system. There would be no more wasting time hunting through baggies and binders for schedule cards. No more stressful pressure to create, prints, cut, laminate and assemble while the student was left waiting.

I envisioned multiples of laminated calm down cards, replacement tokens for token boards ready to go, and the ability to visually scan all my supports neatly lined up in multiple sizes, with extra copies instantly available. Like sugar plums dancing in my head, I imagined the perfect solution to our visual supports problem.

After many trips to the craft store and some good old fashioned cut and paste skills, the first Success Box was created. Taking the time to sort the piles of visual supports into categories, I realized were multiples of the same common picture cards but had lost them in the mess and kept making new ones. This system would solve that problem, too!

image courtesy of the Success Box
The Success Box was a success! Our entire staff was able to instantly access the visual supports they needed at any point throughout the day. The stress of a missing support was reduced and the consistent usage of necessary visual supports increased. It was clear this organizational storage system would be a great tool for colleagues and parents who wanted a solution to the overwhelming problem of organizing and managing visual supports at school, at home and in the community. 

From the start I envisioned a company created to give back. Teaming up with the Easter Seals Adult Vocational Program, the assembling of the Success Box provides meaningful employment for ASD adults. In addition, all proceeds are returned directly to organizations such as The Autism Program.

“It is my sincere desire the Success Box organizational system continues to provide reduced stress and positive, consistent support in the daily lives of parents and professionals when responding to visual supports needs.” Karen Sadler, M.Ed., LBS I

image courtesy of the Success Box
For more information about the Success box and how to order click here to visit their website.