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Lesson Plans

Re: artwork as sign of LD

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Ken Rohrer (kenroar)
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 20:38:10 -0600

Carol said....

>What do you mean by art therapy in this context? I teach art but there
>is no way I qualify as an art therapist. I am reminded of a story about
>a child who always drew and colored with a black crayon. Everyone was
>pretty worried about him. That black color must mean he was depressed
>or at least very worried about something. Someone finally got around to
>asking the child why are your pictures always done in black? His
>response, "That's the only color I have."
>Examples of student art work can show developmental or learning
>disabilities, your staff was on target collecting and using that
>example, but that is not art therapy. Carol

Yes, I know. Public schools usually aren't into art therapy as a single
occupation. Our school is part of a cooperative which has a special
education office. They use many aspects of counseling including art
therapy. Many times a regular counselor may use art therapy at times to
suppliment what they do.

Let me give an example of one art therapy technique that I am personally
aware of. Three brothers were asked to color a picture of their family
(whose parents had recently divorced, with the mother re-marrying) One
colored a picture of themselves in the center of a circle of people who
named off each of the family members around them. The second brother
colored his family in random patterns on the page. The last brother only
colored a picture of himself with his mother and father- totally
eliminating his stepfather and other brothers. As you can probably guess,
the first one was the most adjusted to the situation, the second one was
diagnosed with ADHD, and the last one had emotional problems resulting from
the divorse and was not accepting of the situation.

The example you give of the black pictures is an example of bad art
therapy. Good art therapy should be a release or another way of expressing
emotions that may be otherwise kept hidden. Just because a student colors
pictures of bloody bodies doesn't make them murderers (which I did when I
was young- too much Creature Feature on the TV, I guess).

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