5 Ways to Help Your Child with a Learning Disability Get Started in the Arts
Article By: Lillian Brooks
For a child with a learning disability, it can feel impossible to succeed in school. When conventional education methods don’t work, it’s easy for the child to get discouraged and feel like they are incapable of learning. It’s also difficult for parents, when all you want is the best for your child.
That’s where the arts come in. For a child with a learning disability, the arts can help build their self-esteem and enhance their overall learning. Here is how you can help your child get involved in the arts.
Understand the benefits.
The first step of getting your child involved in the arts is to know why you should. Whether it’s dancing, painting, drawing, music, or any other kind of art, it provides your child with an outlet for expressing thoughts and emotions, and allows for them to flex their creative muscle. Having such an outlet also provides a foundation for avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as drinking and using drugs. The arts can significantly help in child development by improving hand-eye coordination, motor skills, problem-solving, memory, attention span and communication skills. Furthermore, the arts can help children build their self-confidence and learn life skills that will help them succeed for the rest of their lives.
When you’re trying to get your child involved in the arts, you should plan on diving into it with them. As it’s always important for parents to be supportive of their child’s endeavors, perhaps it’s even more important for you to show support if your child struggles with conventional learning. Regularly providing them with positive reinforcement can do wonders for their self-esteem, and they can then use that confidence to fuel their pursuit of learning the arts. Here are just a few ways you can stay involved:
Learn as much as you can about your child’s disability
Learn about the art your child is practicing
Track your child’s progress through their art teacher
Join your child in their art room or art class and participate in their activity
Look into several different arts.
Maybe your child knows which art they’re interested in. Maybe they’ve always wanted to play guitar or learn a certain dance form. But if they don’t show an evident inclination for any particular art, you’ll need to explore with them. Look at all kinds of arts. Take your child to an art museum, craft show, pottery convention, live concert, or play, and observe their reactions. They’ll likely express clearly when a certain discipline has peaked their interest.
Help set your child up for success.
When you and your child are choosing an art discipline for them to learn, pick one that you think they will succeed in. Success doesn’t mean they become a world-renowned artist, it just means they’ll be able to excel in the art enough for it to be enjoyable and enhance their learning skills. Individualize your child’s learning by considering their unique abilities and challenges, and choose an art discipline that will benefit them.
Create an art space.
Last but not least: designate an area of the home for your child to practice their art. This could be a space in their bedroom, a corner in the living room, or anywhere your child is able to sufficiently engage in their activities. It’s also a good idea to let them personalize their art space. Look online for cool art space designs and take them to the store to pick out supplies and decorations.
There’s no doubt that a learning disability makes it challenging for a child to learn. But practicing the arts can help them build their self-confidence and garner skills that will help them both in school and life in general. As a parent, educate yourself on the benefits of the arts, stay involved throughout the process, and explore several different art disciplines. Also, help your child choose an art that meets their individual needs and make sure they have an inspiring space to practice their art.
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Check out more by Lillian Brooks at: LearningDisabilities.info