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[teacherartexchange] Need help with student who has degenerative neurological disease.

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From: Rebecca Burch (mamallama_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 10 2005 - 08:15:36 PST


Hi, all!
I need help with a student who has a degenerative neurological
disease. Apparently, this poor kid has a disease (I'm not sure
what... I don't even think I'm supposed to know he has anything wrong
with him at all) that causes him to lose control of his motor skills
over time, and I think there are also cognitive issues, as well. The
parents refuse to discuss it, and this is a Catholic school, so no
IEP's.

He gets really frustrated with drawing or anything that requires
delicate fine motor skills, but he enjoyed working with Photoshop.
The thing is, I don't have photoshop in my classroom so I can't
exactly put him on photoshop all the time.

Do you have any ideas for lesson plans that would allow him to be
creative without feeling so frustrated that his art doesn't look like
other kids'? Also, how do you deal with special needs kids without
making them feel singled out? How can I approach him with alternative
assignments without saying, "Okay, you are going to get frustrated
with this project the other kids are doing, so here's this other thing
you can do?" I don't have a lot of experience with special needs kids,
can you tell?

Any suggestions or advice are appreciated. This kid is starting to
really love my class and I don't want to mess that up. I think art
could be of real benefit to him, because I know bad times are coming,
and I also know he feels comfortable expressing himself through art.

Rebecca Burch
Charleston Catholic High School
Charleston WV

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