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RE:[teacherartexchange] Art and Disabilities


From: familyerickson (familyerickson_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Apr 13 2006 - 06:03:21 PDT

OK I'll chime in here. My husband, the architect wants to take issue with

Oh.......wait a minute, he left the room-he had to go take his Ritalin.

Yes, he has ADHD and has been a very successful architect for over 20 years.
I have never seen anyone who can shift gears so quickly from one thing to
 (a super advantage when you are managing multiple projects and multiple
draftsmen under you).
He is also the most flexible person I know which has enabled him to work
with allllll kinds of personalities, bosses, clients etc.
Yes, he's impulsive but he has learned to manage it and even turn it to an

Life lesson I have learned---- We all have disabilities--some of us are just
able to hide our disability better than others.
My job as a teacher is to help ALL kids see beyond their disability and to
help them to see that creativity can help you to develop strategies to
succeed in whatever you want to do. I say this not in a trite way because
I also have a son in a wheelchair who is dev. disabled. The challenge
above extends to me as a parent too. It has taken us 3 years but we have
found a very meaningful job for my son. He goes to the Pet Resort and he
is in charge of playtime for all the dogs who are boarded there. What a
joy to watch him using his skills in an area that really fulfills a need and
frees up the vet techs to use their skills in an area where they are gifted
too. Thanks for letting me talk about something I am passionate about.

-----Original Message-----
From: clarkda []
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2006 4:59 AM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: RE:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: April 12, 2006


I HAD TO RESPOND TO THIS ONE!!! Our son, a senior at OSU in architecture
and construction management systems (will receive 2 degrees in Win08), HAS
DYSGRAPHIA, has always had it. Definitely looks like chicken scratch
unless he takes his time. He does cursive better than manuscript because
the letters are connected and we worked with this with much discipline.
Seems nowadays, there is not the emphasis on discipline as there once was in
the area of handwriting. When applying to Knowlton School of Architecture,
we asked if the dysgraphia were a problem, if the LD aspects of limited
attention span, etc. would hinder his degree seeking. They laughed and
said most architect students and architects themselves are LD. I am not at
all surprised at Woody's story about the LD kid who did the perfect
icosahedron. Most architecture students "see in 3-D." Whereas most of
the rest of the population sees limitedly, in 2-D. Our son is an awesome
artist and makes the most gorgeous building designs!! And of course, he not
only makes 3-D models with all kinds of materials (Bristol board, chipboard,
etc.), but as well, works with CAD, FormZ, Photoshop, InDesign, and many
other computer aided design programs. I love LD kids!!

Donna in Ohio

Subject: Re: Dysgraphia
From: Woody Duncan <>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 21:08:48 -0600
X-Message-Number: 11

I always received paperwork to fill out when I had special ed students.
It would ask if the grade assigned was based upon special criteria.
I don't remember the exact wording. Often my special ed students
were graded just like all other students. Sometimes they out performed
the "normal" students. I remember one young lady, who was in
special ed for math, constructing a perfect icosahedron before
anyone else in class. I proudly showed her work to the principal.

Woody's sooo-oooo right, as usual. The SpEd kids always seemed to excel
in art class, even if their work was clumsier-looking (but often,
however, it was really good); I think it's because they were so used to
having to work so much harder to accomplish anything.

Like Lauren, I believe it's better to give them the same assignments as
the other kids--with adaptions if necessary.. My tactic for dealing
with SpEd kids was always to concentrate on what the CAN do, not on what
they can't.


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