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


From: Ann Heineman (aiheineman_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 10 2005 - 17:20:04 PST

Hello Rebecca,
    There are many kinds of degenerative neurological diseases. For your own
information, try reading up on "ataxia" because that disorder seems to
describe some of your student's problems with motor skills. I would
recommend some projects involving weaving, printmaking, collage, papier
mâché, etc. Show him and his classmates examples of art by the German
Expressionists among other "free flowing" styles of expression.

 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?"

    That's a tough question! But I think the special needs students and
their classmates are already much more aware of individual differences than
we think they are and can be helpful to each other. I am sure the student
would want the opportunity to do the same lesson as his classmates. The key
is in providing a healthy, compassionate environment for all types of
expression to be honored, where every child can feel "singled out" in the
best way.

                        Ann-on-y-mouse in Columbus
                        Art teacher, K-5, Retired

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