From: Pam Whisenhunt, Kingsbury Day School, Washington, D.C.
Hi Linda! Thank you for reporting similar findings! Betty, you are right in
that not all LD kids draw. In fact, some of them are terrible due to fine
motor issues and visual perception difficulties; at least once a year I will
even get a student whose dyslexia seems to extend to her drawing, i.e. concave
and convex surfaces will be inverted. Also, depth perception is a difficulty
among some. Having said that, I will still maintain that for a certain
percentage of these kids, drawing is their "language". I am thinking of one
student in particular, who is very poor at verbal communication but can draw so
rapidly and accurately it's amazing. He does fit Betty's description of someone
who practices a lot and gets reinforcement for it, bur it is almost as if
drawing is a compulsion. Another aspect of art I haven't mentioned with LD
students, is that many of the ones who are poor drawers, seem to have a really
intuitive feel for color; when I do projects that are primarily dependent on
color, these kids often come up with some combinations that are very striking,
also design work. I also get a certain number of kids every year , usually
boys, that do very well at perspective, love to construct, and seem to be future
candidates for Architecture/Engineering fields. I think, in defense of our
teaching field as well as these types of students, it is good for us to bear in
mind and point out to our adminstrators that art can help these students who
may wind up in related fields.
Thanks for listening everyone - some of this is pent up from so many
years of "fighting the good art fight" and constantly feeling that art
teachers are an endangered species! - Pam W.