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Art Instruction For A Special Needs Child

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    Art Instruction For A Special Needs Child

    Will try to be quick about this (as the upstairs sounds like a zoo -- and I am DOWNSTAIRS LOL)

    My daughter, 5, has been assessed most likely MERLD/PDD-NOS. She is not "classically" Autistic, but has some behavioral and, most of all, language processing issues that are similar. Here's the interesting part: as so often happens with things of this nature, one "deficit" has been augmented in her brain with a "precociousness" -- her drawing, painting and artistic abilities are far advanced for a child her age. She can draw from memory, and includes minute details -- even if she has only seen the image once or twice, and then for only a few seconds. She also often draws in perspective. I have read that this is not even possible for children her age, and is a concept that does not even develop in young children until they are at least 8-10 years old.

    She draws or paints every day; she has a gazillion art supplies (her Daddy made sure of that); she is stretched to create almost daily; and she has the "rage to master" that young prodigies have -- that is, we cannot stop her from drawing. She will be watching a show on TV or reading a book and will suddenly have to grab her markers and white board (her favorite medium) and create a work. She's quite good. My husband wants to have her "assessed" for artistic talent (although I'm not sure what he means by that...)

    WHAT DO WE DO? I have asked about art classes, but the ones geared for children her age would be too easy artistically or too hard instructively (she communicates at the 3-year-old level). And there are homeschool groups for music around here... But not art. We have a membership to our city's Art Museum (which we have been to twice so far) and, as I said, she gets plenty of work with art supplies every day...

    My husband is more enthusiastic about this than I am. I honestly think she is WONDERFUL (of course) but I am shy of getting her "formal instruction" as that may backfire with her strong will. I also don't want to place any pressure on her to "perform" (she's 5, after all!). Private lessons would be ideal, but I'm having a hard time finding an independent art teacher who can train her in the classical method (we are not 21st century art fans).

    If private instruction is the way to go, what criteria do I look for? What questions do I ask?
    Is there a private resource (book? DVD series?) that could do just as well for this?

    Suggestions appreciated!

    Anita
    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
    ~Pope St John Paul II

    #2
    Hi, Anita.

    Yes, group art classes could backfire for many reasons!

    You might visit local art galleries to search for an artist whose work you admire. Explain your unique situation, show the artist your daughter's work, and see if the artist might give a few trial lessons. You can do this, even if the artist does not advertise herself as an "art teacher."

    One local homeschooling friend did this with remarkable results for her talented daughter. She found a classically-minded artist who never promotes herself as art instructor, because of too many international obligations for her own work. Yet the artist happily provided private lessons for my friend's daughter, simply because the girl evidenced talent.

    For at-home instruction, you might explore Drawing with Children and progress to Drawing with Older Children and Teens, both by Mona Brookes. Interestingly, another homeschooling friend has a little boy with MERLD and autistic traits. They cannot keep enough drawing paper in the house for him! (Such complexities in our children.)


    I appreciate the description of your daughter's urge to create. One winter day I snapped a photo of my Michelle sitting inside the front door. Still dressed in brightly-colored snow pants, her boots covered with snow, she tossed her mittens aside and curled herself over a writing notebook. She said something like, "I had a poem brimming in my mind, so the words needed to come out."


    Cheryl


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

    Simply Classical Curriculum - more levels to come

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      You might visit local art galleries to search for an artist whose work you admire. Explain your unique situation, show the artist your daughter's work, and see if the artist might give a few trial lessons. You can do this, even if the artist does not advertise herself as an "art teacher."

      For at-home instruction, you might explore Drawing with Children and progress to Drawing with Older Children and Teens, both by Mona Brookes. Interestingly, another homeschooling friend has a little boy with MERLD and autistic traits. They cannot keep enough drawing paper in the house for him! (Such complexities in our children.)

      I appreciate the description of your daughter's urge to create. One winter day I snapped a photo of my Michelle sitting inside the front door. Still dressed in brightly-colored snow pants, her boots covered with snow, she tossed her mittens aside and curled herself over a writing notebook. She said something like, "I had a poem brimming in my mind, so the words needed to come out."
      As always -- thank you! Just ordered "Drawing With Children" from Amazon. Will see how that preogresses and then start looking for local artists to hit up.

      Yes, SC children ARE so, so interesting. Endlessly fascinating (like most children) but also surprisingly unexpected. We can never second-guess them. There's more "there" there than we could ever imagine.

      "Rage to master" (maybe not what you were referring to, but I will elaborate anyway!) was actually a phrase I heard on a NatGeo documentary about child prodigies. Children who have highly developed talents in certain areas (piano, math, violin, art) don't have to be asked to practice, calculate or create -- they typically have to be asked to stop! They have a challenging piece of music, equation or form (in Michelle's case, poem) in their minds and they must work it out or it almost consumes them. "Rage to master" is fitting.

      Thanks again!
      Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
      Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
      Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
      Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

      “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
      ~Pope St John Paul II

      Comment


        #4
        I really enjoy the Artistic Pursuits program. It covers so much using famous artists as a base to explore different mediums. You could skip over some of that part using an older level guide and revisit things at a more appropriate age. Or just let her explore and have fun. Expose her to great artist and it sounds like she will pick up a lot on her own.

        There are also quite a few video programs that I have seen come up on the Homeschool co-op group buys. Some look well done and quite interesting if you think she is interested in doing project creating or seeing someone using different mediums. There is also a great book out of print called Don't move the Muffin Tins I believe.

        None of my 4 children have shown much interest in the arts which saddens me because I spent my little bit of time in college with a very heavy focus on fine arts and that creating is where my passions lie. Though I am currently caught up in the child raising.


        Have fun and I hope you find something that will work for both of you.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks so much for the reply, suggestions and encouragement, 4BD Very kind.
          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment

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