Re: Dysgraphia . . . . a different interface, a world seen differently. . .
Photography may also offer some powerful and empowering opportunities for
your "dysgraphic" student. If your department or the special ed department
can make a digital camera and some photo editing software available to this
student you may open a whole "new" world of communication for him. (and for
his teachers/others to better understand his interface with the world). Set
him loose with a camera and an understanding of framing. Devise lessons that
focus first on the line and shape then move toward textures and qualities of
light and dark. e.g. go photograph things with straight lines, then curving
lines, repeating lines, don't focus on whole images or representations, just
the parts that make up the whole. As I am writing this I have just taken a
series of snapshots (in my mind) of the table lamp on my desk and met all
the criteria. After he gains his initial experiences with photography, have
him explore the works of other photographers and also painters, then repeat
the first assignments to see how his approach is changed by experience and
exposure to different ways of "framing" and "composing" the world. Introduce
him to various simple photo editing processes and then add "paint" and
drawing type layers. My bias and love of "handedness" would also direct him
to build line drawings (aka Cy Twombly) in and around his images, extending
and playing with the photo elements and drawn elements and ideas associated
with picture plane, frame, edge, bounded and unbounded limits, etc. Scale
also seems to be an important factor, how does the quality and control of
his marks/mark making change when constrained 8 by 10 versus 20 by 20 and
greater. I'd be curious (really curious) to know how many opportunities he
has had to work big. Is there a proportional element to dysgraphia? Does
dysgraphia increase in direct proportion to the scale and limitations of
lined workbooks and handwriting guides? Think interface, the privileged
norms (modern, western, aesthetic) and then think and challenge him (and his
teachers/others) to think about his unique way of moving kinesthetically,
visually, bodily through and about the world.
Although I have no literal experience to support the above ideas, I have had
a few dysgraphic students in arts based social studies classroom and their
interface was different. Images and the freedom from the need to create
formalized representations of the world liberated their thinking spirit bit
by bit. Wish I'd had thought camera back then. If you can't get a digital
camera for him to use, mention the possibilities to his special ed folks and
maybe it can be provided or iep'd.
What a wonderful opportunity to world make with this young person.
Best to you.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
UALR, liberal studies and philosophy.
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TEACHERARTEXCHANGE Digest for Tuesday, May 02, 2006.
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From: "clarkda" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 2 May 2006 07:44:49 -0400
Again, in regards to dysgraphia, when teaching my son (who is presently a
senior at OSU in Ohio, in architecture) art at high school level, ---I
required very disciplined drawings, with all the rules and tools, etc, to
teach him perspective (when he was in high school). He is 26 now and is
carrying way over a 3.0 in college. Teach it!!! Teach it!!! They are
bright and they want to learn!!!
They don't want it dumbed down. They want it the way everyone else is
getting it. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what they CAN do. He got
the technological help later. Now, he makes 3D models, hand drawings, AND
computer aided designs. BUT, the technology came later, in college, AFTER
he had learned the real deal. TEACH IT.
I have a student with dysgraphia. He cannot draw realistically but does
very interesting work similar to Cy Twombly. Also, he discover he can
make very detailed clay sculptures. He works hard and that is what I care
> Does anyone at the high school level have advice for working with a
> student with dysrgraphia? I have a special ed dept who would like a
> 10th grader with this conditon to be in my class. He is extremely
> bright but his handwriting is really chicken scratch. They asked if he
> could do adaptive related work on the computer.
> I would like to have him if I can figure out how to make it work.
> Has anyone used a tablet and a paint program to to do anything
> related to shading or for painting alternatives or perspective
> drawing? If so I would need to put in a request for assitive
> technology soon.
> Peter Pritchard
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