The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

May 25, 2011

Macy's very own Picture Book!

So, I am in the process of creating an educational and fun "See & Learn" picture book, starring the one, the only, Macy Harnisch!
I have been meaning to do this for a while now.  I came across this idea from some friends who have done this too, & I knew it would be a great idea, not to mention FUN!  Plus, both Macy's Speech Therapist (Sharon) & Special Education teacher (Renee) have been hounding me about it.  They even offered to laminate and bind them into book form at the ESU unit for me.  And because it was taking so long for me to finally get around to "doing it", Renee asked if I wanted her to bring her camera.  That was nice of her to offer, but I really wanted to do it myself. (at least this first time)
It's not that I was lazy, I was just waiting for the right motivation to do it the way I wanted it to be done.  I had a vision  :-)

So...without further's a snippet from Macy's picture book.  yet to be "Assembled".  
 It's no secret that kids learn a lot from books.  Little ones with Down Syndrome especially, as they are visual learners (but who isn't really?).  Also, it is most impactful when the pictures are actual photographs (not illustrations) and is significantly more productive if the child see's a photo of HERSELF actually doing or holding something, etc.  It helps that she is interacting with recognizable objects from around the house too...Much more relevant to his/her interests I'd think.
 I suppose it wouldn't hurt to throw a in little Sign language in there too for further assistance  :-)
 And even if we happen to not ever do anything with these pics, we sure had fun shooting them.  Kenzie had fun gathering the "everyday" items from around the house.  What a great way to spend the rainy/yucky day (we were in a thunderstorm watch)!
Macy and McKenzie both had a fun time being models as well...much more fun when there are TOYS involved  :-)
 Big sister Kenzie is so good about helping teach her the signs  :-)

 Searching/hunting down the images of signs online proved to be a productive exercise and good learning experience for me too.

 I can't locate the sign for brush...hmmmm...anyone??
After my extensive search, I found to be the best and most useful website in my opinion.  Very easy and resourceful...check it out here!

 the other day, Macy's Grandpa & Grandpa attended a local G.R.A.N.D.S (Grandparents respecting and appreciating Down Syndrome) meeting.  They had a speaker in who taught them about sign language.  Very cool! It melts my heart that all the special people in our little one's lives are doing what they can to help them thrive in a world that is moving a 100 miles per hour.  :-)
It is not my intention for Macy to know a kagillion signs...I simply want her to have a good handle on several of the basics in an effort to aide in her expressive language skills and hopefully alleviate some frustrations (eliminate unnecessary tantrums) down the road as she communicates her wants, needs & desires to least until she is able to do so verbally.  :-)
I've already begun our next project in my mind...a "Who Loves Macy (I DOOOO) book", with all of Macy's special people (mommy, daddy, big sis, Toby, Gma & Gpas, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, teachers, etc...)  SO FUN!!  But it'll be a long one I'm afraid...

 I totally recommend this activity to ANY of my friends with little ones (special needs or not).  
fun FUN - hours of fun!  This will also make for a fun keepsake years down the road  :-)


  1. This is awesome! I have a good baby signs book if you need to borrow one. Let me know and I'll send it to volleyball with Matt.

  2. You did a fabulous job!!! I used to use when I worked with mommies and babies through a school district in Oklahoma. I LOOOVE the whote background and her outfit, so cute! What about a mommy, daddy, etc card?

    (childhood friend of Keri's)

  3. That's an AWESOME book, Sherri! Very well done. I was thinking of putting together a book (eventually) of family to help Molly learn names... but I LOVE the idea of featuring her in a picture book to help her learn regular words. I just might have to try that out. As always, thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. Saw this on Baby Sign Language's site. This is amazing! What program did you use to make this? My little one isn't "special needs," but what kid can't benefit from such a wonderful learning tool!? Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is such a cool idea Sherri. I am hoping I will be able to get into the sign language class at Wayne in the Spring semester so that I may be able to help kids like Macy someday.