Exploring the Benefits of Artistic Expression
July 25, 2022
Exploring the Benefits of Artistic Expression, by Dorothy Watson
Children with learning disabilities can sometimes struggle in a mainstream classroom, but parental support and encouragement at home can make a world of difference. Involving kids in the arts, in particular, can open up new pathways to learning, as well as create an environment in which kids feel accomplished and self-confident in a whole new way. Here’s how you can make it happen.
Benefit of the Arts
According to Parent Talk, creative pursuits make the brain work in different ways than traditional classroom learning of traditional educational subjects. In fact, studies show that kids who excel in the arts often develop new skills that can help them from a traditional academic standpoint. Artistic expression can lead to the creation of new friendships, and help kids who have learning disabilities recognize they have their own unique skills and talents, which can go a long way in building self-confidence and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Dance and Music
Rhythmic dance can create a sense of freedom in which a child is more in tune with their physical body rather than an academic mindset. This is especially important in programs in which there is not necessarily a “right” or “wrong” way to move or feel the music. Dance also provides physical activity, which can stimulate the brain, and it also helps with coordination skills.
Playing a musical instrument can also flex new parts of the brain, and playing freestyle – without being confined to reading music – can create a sense of creative freedom that boosts self-esteem. Your child may also want to visit the music therapy specialists at MusAbility. Music therapy can help your child learn, grow, and reach their full potential!
Painting and Drawing
Using color as a form of self-expression allows kids with learning disabilities the opportunity to control their own artistic environment by exploring various mediums. According to LD Resources, kids with learning disabilities can benefit greatly from having an artistic outlet, particularly when it comes to learning how best to express themselves. As a non-verbal approach, kids have an outlet for emotion and have the opportunity to explore their thoughts and feelings through different creative forms. Consider watercolors, pencil, and chalk, or modeling clay as good places to start.
Making It Work
Consider setting up a studio in your home to encourage your child to partake in various types of arts and crafts pursuits. You might convert a basement, garage, attic, or loft space into a haven for your child – such a retrofit can not only provide dedicated creative space for your child, but it can also help increase the appraised value of your home when it’s time to sell. This is especially true if the conversion allows you to update, upgrade, or add on to your home. Encourage your child to help decorate the space in a way that feels right for them. Consider a cozy seating area, workspaces, and storage capacity for different supplies.
Parenting a child with learning disabilities can be challenging and even frustrating at times. Providing them opportunities to find their own unique strengths and talents will help them excel in the long run.
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What our friends say about us
We use MusAbility for several of our clients who are currently, and have previously been through the medical negligence court system. MusAbility’s services are not only professional, timely and evidence-based in their clinical assessments, but the clients also show real developments in long-term work where many other health professionals declared none were possible. A truly inspirational team.
Medical Negligence Lawyer
Not only can we see the clear changes in behaviour for the children that attend music therapy…but it’s giving the staff new skills and techniques to work with the children that need a little extra support. Just brilliant.
Classroom Teacher, Mainstream School
It is absolutely fascinating to see how this child responds in music therapy…to be surrounded by verbal interaction, then be met in an environment when words are sometimes not used at all…it is incredibly impactive. I think it should be available to every child!
Support Assistant in Mainstream School
I have honestly never seen anything like it…music therapy reaches this child at such a profound level, we are in tears of joy every session, and their development visibly increases week to week.
Teaching Assistant, Specialist School
Some of the children in our school are that bit older…and they really struggle to engage both in the classroom and with staff on a 1:1 basis. Music therapy breaks down all boundaries. They love the sessions, and they think it’s so ‘cool’ that they are pushed to reach their potential…sometimes without even realising it!
Deputy Head Teacher, School for Children with Special Needs
Our music therapist is an integral part of our team. Not only do they engage clinically with the clients, but they also liaise with staff within the multi-disciplinary team…most importantly always putting the client first. We absolutely could not do without music therapy…and our clients wouldn’t allow it!