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How the arts can benefit children with learning disabilities

Dad Watching Her Daughter Make a Christmas Letter
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For children with learning disabilities, being involved in the arts can help in emotional and cognitive development. Additionally, it can also serve as an effective method for improving social skills and building self-confidence.

In this article, Disability Insider shares insights regarding how to involve your child in the arts and the beneficial effects it can have on their development and growth.

Provide Them Exposure

The best way to spark your child’s artistic interests is to expose them to the world of arts.

A trip to your local museum can help your child learn about the various types of painting and drawing techniques. During your tour seek to educate them through stories of famous painters such as Leonardo da Vinci who also suffered from learning disabilities. This can act as encouragement for your child to consider trying painting themselves.

Similarly, allow your child to explore various instruments at a music store. Music can serve as a beneficial outlet for your child as it will help them build a greater sense of logic and confidence. Additionally, as reported by Friendship Circle, music being a form of non-verbal communication, helps children overcome difficulties they might have expressing through speech.

There are various other avenues to explore such as taking them to a theatre show, attending a crafts or pottery class, and more!

Support Them in Learning
As reported by Scholastic, once your child has selected an area of interest it’s best to let them develop it at their own pace. Depending on the type of learner they are, assist them in integrating with the activity as follows –

Visual Learners– Make notes, draw or use pictures as these learners understand best by seeing or reading. Arts such as drawing or writing may interest them the most.
For example, helping your child make observational drawings is a good start. This involves mimicking a scenery or an object. Consider taking them to your local park or giving them an object such as a fruit or flower to mimic. Drawing will help them develop useful observational skills, improve depth perception and provide an outlet to express their creativity.

Auditory Learners– As learning through listening is key for these learners, utilize audiobooks, music, and verbal discussions.

Learning an instrument can be beneficial for auditory learners. Music helps build the auditory, motor, and spatial cortices of a child’s brain, resulting in increased self-esteem, motivation, and attention span especially among those with learning disabilities.

Kinesthetic Learners- These children learn the best by being involved in physical activity rather than listening or observing. They are able to process information better when it involves utilizing body movement and interaction with objects. As a kinaesthetic learner, enrolling your child in a theatre club can prove to be useful.

As theatre involves the enactment of various scenarios with others it improves the child’s ability to understand facial expressions and emotions. Additionally, it helps to develop their critical thinking ability and reduce aggression.

Create a Safe Space

Develop a safe space in your home where your child can practice their art without distractions. The perfect option would be to transform an empty room or an unfinished basement into an art studio. The goal is to make your child feel comfortable and give them the freedom to express their creativity without boundaries.

Make necessary modifications such as installing good lighting, repainting, and adding furniture as needed such as easels, music stands, etc. You could even create a chalkboard wall by painting one wall of the room matte black. Additionally, ensure that there is plenty of open space for your child to move around.

An added benefit of making renovations to the room could be an increase in your home’s value. Which will prove beneficial if you plan to sell your home in the future.

Practicing the art of their liking will provide an outlet for your child to express their creativity and grow. At each step, it is vital to support and provide encouragement towards their progress.

About the Author

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Rob Woods

Rob Woods is a dad from Philadelphia, USA. He is passionate about raising his two children and enjoys working on DIY projects. Rob is the co-creator of Fix It Dads which offers tips for home improvements.