What precisely does the teacher mean by his/her request? Good programs can
be developed (see the NJ guide for Art in Special Ed) for children in this
situation which are directed to their mental and physical skill levels.
Jimmye Livingston wrote:
> Several of you have asked for more info on my TMH and severely handicapped
> kids. TMH stands for trainable mentally handicapped. Their IQ's range
> should range from 40-55, but she has a couple who may be up to 60. The
> severely handicapped are lower than that.
> They can follow simple instructions and some can even follow two step
> instructions, but any instructions must be simple. I have found that they
> do not take any intiative for their work. As an example, there was a day
> we were drawing indian designs under my direction. When I told them to
> begin coloring in their designs, many of them had to be directed to color
> in the teepees, suns, etc. before they knew what to do.
> Some have physical handicaps. A couple are nearly blind so their lines
> must be really dark if I give them something to cut. A couple have limited
> use in one hand (especially the one who is in a wheelchair). I have two
> who cannot speak and one who is a selective mute....as a result, I am
> learning sign language from them.
> Also, these kids are kind of tricky because they are teenagers, yet their
> mental and motor skills are like a small childs. Their teacher has
> specifically told me she wants their lessons to be "age appropriate". Now
> try to find something they can actually do without it being too
> childlike!!! It's been tough.
> Anyway, I'm just asking for some ideas that are simple. 20 years ago when
> I first started teaching, I taught grade school art for 5 years, but that's
> been a long time ago and I no longer have that information.....thought I
> would never use it again since I will retire soon and I am at a high school
> ....so I threw it all out a year or so ago. (BIG MISTAKE!)
> All in all, this has been a challenge for me since I have been at the high
> school level for 20 years now. But, I must admit, these kids are enjoyable
> to work with. They are so happy to do "stuff" with me. It's a whole
> different ball game!!!
> Thanks for helping
> Jimmye Livingston
> Cameron High School
> 1022 South Chestnut
> Cameron, MO 64429