Find a Path Into the Arts for Your Child With Learning Disabilities

Guest post by: Jenna Sherman |

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ENABLE Special Needs Planning.

Your child’s school may not help them develop their creative skills because of funding cuts, which have hit art programs particularly hard. It’s part of a general trajectory that began decades ago and may not cease anytime soon. That’s especially true for youngsters diagnosed with a learning disability, so it’s up to you to get them drawing, sculpting and playing a musical instrument.

The reasons for doing this are clear in numerous scientific studies. The arts are a wonderful way for children to channel their emotions in a healthy way while developing a variety of skills crucial to their mental and physical growth. In addition, they find a source of joy and confidence that can keep them from harmful behaviors such as drinking and doing drugs. If that’s got you interested, here are a few suggestions…

Set an Example

Your child has their eyes and ears on you, so be the change and they will follow. Dust off that guitar that’s been sitting in the closet unused for years on end and teach them a few chords when you have some spare time in the evening. If that’s not your thing, get out some paper and pencils and look up a drawing tutorial online. You may even have more fun than your little one while sketching an animal, a superhero, or a monster.

You can also set an example by spreading your love of the arts to others. You can start by teaching other kids around the neighborhood. If you want to expand your outreach, consider teaching lessons on a part-time basis. However, if you decide to do so professionally, make sure you’re covering all of your bases by properly registering your business with the state (for example, learn about what it takes to register as an LLC in the state of Indiana). That way, you’ll protect yourself as you pursue this venture.

Visit a Music Store

A music store is a fascinating place for a child to enter where they discover dozens of instruments, many of which they’ve never seen before and have the chance to pluck at the strings and tap on the keys. The staff can provide useful insight into selecting the right one for your youngster’s age and ability, while helping you get the information you need to enroll them in music lessons and find an appropriate instructor.

Make an Art Space

Easy access to the easel would encourage your child to explore their ideas in the comfort of your own home. This isn’t as hard to do as it sounds, and all you need is a spare room or quiet corner with a source of natural light, some storage space for supplies along with a table and chair. Bear in mind, of course, that things are going to get messy, but it’s worth it. That’ll be perfectly clear when you see the smile on your little one’s face and their first picture, which would make an excellent decoration for their new studio.

Play With Clay

Clay is something you should stock in your art room as it serves as an excellent introduction to ceramics and pottery. Art forms have gained ground throughout the country because they connect people to the earth and help them become more mindful through a connection with the movement of their hands. There are plenty of lessons available for the little ones, who take to this skill quickly thanks to the sheer tactile pleasure of wet clay and pride in making something they can use everyday.

Or, if you want to have a fun weekend activity with your kids, you can encourage them to dig in and make homemade clay, too.

Watch Dance Videos

And a lot of them, as there are so many different styles from the waltz to the tango to hip-hop, all of which serve as a means for self-expression through movement while doubling as a form of exercise. It’s a two-for-one deal that’s hard to turn down. Once you’ve got your child’s attention, it’s time to start looking into lessons so they can advance in their new passion. A writer with ThoughtCo suggests visiting studios in your area.

Now you’re off on your adventure into creativity! This is bound to be exciting for your child, and you’ll take great joy in seeing them grow, develop, and learn.

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