How The Power Of Art Helps Your Special Needs Child

Posted January 27, 2014 @ 3:50pm | by Danelle

How The Power Of Art Helps Your Special Needs Child

The power of art is its ability to transform. This can happen for the artist and the viewer interacting with it. Crafts are an obvious place people focus on to provide an artistic experience for children with special needs. This can be a good start at teaching and exposing children to art materials. However, many times this is where the opportunity to work with art materials stop. Taking this beginning process and pushing it further to teach and develop fundamental art skills leads to more independent and self directed art making. This is where the transformational quality of art begins. The creative process on its highest level still remains a mystery to many non-artists.  When an artist with special needs has been given foundational skills and starts to self direct these skills to create art this is what they are practicing and developing:

The ability to face uncertainties is a part of life for anyone with a disability. This is a quality all artists need to have. Learning new skills and learning to develop, trust and act on instincts to make decisions equips kids to push through unknowns that can cause anxieties. This teaches coping skills. Art is a place for safe experimenting, learning to follow instincts and a place to learn to overcome fear of failure.

When making self directed art, kids are learning how to make decisions and direct where they go. They are learning to experiment and try thing without certain outcomes. They are adjusting to what happens and then making choices about the next actions they can take.

Self Expression
The term “self expression” has been a term thrown around in the art process to the point where it’s value has been reduced and easily dismissed. But any parent of a child with a disability knows how important and valuable it is. Art is the place where your child gets to have a voice! They are experimenting and making the decisions on what colors to use, where to take it and finding their way there independently. We all want to leave our mark somewhere.

Self Regulation
Through art kids are experimenting and learning how to respond to success and failure. They are following their instincts and learning how to react when something works and when it doesn’t. They are responding to an idea that doesn’t work and trying something else. When an idea does work they are responding to that and building on it. Through art making they are learning how to navigate through emotions.


For adaptive lessons to help you teach and build foundational art skills check out my Ebook lessons!



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