Monday, July 6, 2009

The Importance of Arts and Crafts for Special Needs Children

From AJ Tyne of the Raleigh Parenting & Autism Examiner. AJ is the mother of a 10-year old with autism who is mostly non-vierbal. She writes regularly about raising a child with autism - the emotional issues, resources, support and tips for managing challenging behaviors.

Arts and crafts projects, as well as music, and the natural world should be taught regularly to all children, but are especially important for special needs children.
With parents so busy these days, and many schools cutting costs, it's easy for the importance of teaching our children arts and crafts to be lost along the way.
Many special needs children, if not all, need extra sensory stimulation. They can't gather information from their environment, or from their bodies interacting in their environment, the way that typical children can. This can be the result of physical disabilities or developmental disabilities. Adding more sensory input helps to calm these children, as well as helping them to explore the world around them.
Older children are often isolated from activities that could help them.
Often it seems teachers and parents concentrate on arts, crafts, and related sensory activities in the early years, but after about age 4 or 5, they tend to leave this method of teaching and exploration behind. It's important to continue this type of learning experience for many reasons.

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