Strasburg girl uses crafting to help overcome disability

A Strasburg girl uses crafting to overcome her disability.
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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STRASBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A girl in Strasburg is using her passion for crafting to help overcome her disability. 12-year-old Emma Wood has a Pervasive Developmental Disorder and over the last few months, she’s been making and selling unique crafts that have been a big hit in the community.

“She has improved so much in all areas of her life through simply painting a rock or gluing or putting a gem down. Through all these avenues she’s gotten a lot of fine motor skills, and focus abilities,” said Kristen Wood, Emma’s mother.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders like Autism are characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills.

“She also has sensory processing disorder which affects all five of her senses. Some things are very strange for her-textures, the way things feel- and for some reason, paint was the one thing that stuck for her,” said Kristen.

Emma has been painting and crafting since she was a toddler, but when moved to Strasburg to live with her mother full time over the summer she began to take her crafting up a notch and began to sell what she makes.

“We will continue to do seasonal stuff, and then we will go to as many events as we can because it provides Emma with self-esteem and self-confidence when she sees how much people appreciate what she does,” said Kristen.

Emma has received an outpouring of support from the Strasburg community that began when her mother posted on Facebook about the expensive cost of a table at the Festival of Leaves in Front Royal where they had planned to sell Emma’s crafts. People then began to order Emma’s crafts.

“A lot of people came forward, the community has wrapped a blanket around her pretty much, and she’s going to be a busy girl,” said Kristen.

In September, City National Bank in Strasburg invited Emma to set up a table and sell her crafts at the bank which was very successful. The bank has already invited her back for the Christmas season.

“She makes a bit and we put it in savings or get new supplies. The bank was an amazing output from the community toward what she loves to do,” said Kristen.

A number of people in the community have purchased or ordered crafts from Emma already and she has a lot more ready to sell this fall.

“We made pumpkins from oranges and they did come out pretty well. We also made oranges into Jack Skellington from the nightmare before Christmas. We made ghost pumpkins and Frankenstein pumpkins,” said Emma.

Crafting has made a big difference for Emma. She’s been doing better in school and has made friends more easily.

“I like that it keeps me focused and it’s fun. If it’s a bigger project it takes a few days but if it’s a smaller thing it usually takes just a day, ” said Emma.

Kristen Wood hopes her daughter’s story can help other children with similar disabilities.

“There’s never a restriction when you have a dream or desire and I hope that Emma’s story can inspire other children that if it’s your dream and it’s what you want to do you can do it,” she said.

Anyone interested in ordering crafts from Emma can contact Kristen Wood on Facebook or come visit her table at the Festival of Leaves in Front Royal on October 15.