3 Ways Abstract Art Can Help Your Special Needs Child

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 4:11pm | by Danelle

Three Ways Creating Abstract Art Can Help your Special Needs Child

Sometimes people think that if their child can’t draw or create representational art they are not “talented” or a “good” artist.  This can be especially true for children with special needs.  Many times they are not always given opportunities to create and explore art.   I challenge everyone to not make judgements about a child’s capabilities and talent based on their ability to draw in a representational style.  While representational art(ex..drawing a tree that looks like a tree in nature)can be a great way to teach fundamental art skills there are also valuable skills that can be discovered and developed by creating abstract art. 

1. Developing Imagination.

In the art world having a unique and different point of view is something that is valued and celebrated.  We all have our unique way of seeing things.   You can put five people in a room and have them all draw the same object.  Each person’s drawing will be different and reflect how each person sees it.   As an artist I sometimes wish people could see some of the things I see when I look at art work created by my students.  One student may have a great eye for color or another has a great way of putting lines together in interesting and intuitive ways. These are not things that everyone can do.   It can be disappointing to have these skills overlooked and dismissed. 

2. Teaching and Developing Instincts

Abstract art is a great way for kids to learn to trust their instincts and follow where it leads them.  There is no right or wrong.  This is liberating when you are in a world where you are constantly trying to adjust to everything around you.  A cool shape and line design does not need to be done “right” just in the most interesting way you can think of.  Kids get to trust how they see something or would like a project to look.  They can regulate what they are doing themselves and gain more confidence in their ability to make decisions, execute them and have them be valued and not be viewed as “wrong”.

3. Increasing Daily Life Skills

Like representational art, abstract art can also teach fundamental art skills and skills that can transfer into other daily parts of life.  Creating a detailed design requires using spatial skills, fine motor skills, and decision making skills.  The artist is manipulating materials and using critical thinking skills to imagine, execute and create a design. 

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