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Here's how Nonverbal Autism Homeschool teaches art

education Feb 26, 2023

Each month at Nonverbal Autism Homeschool, we do a group art project. And we don't just do crafts - we learn real art techniques, concepts and history! I share photos of monthly student art with the families in our program, which contributes to our sense of community.

Last month, we learned how to draw and paint folk art trees, like this:

This month, we learned painting, cutting and drawing techniques to make cookies like those featured in the book, The Smart Cookie. You can see my student's cookies at the top of this post.

This book also allowed our students to practice their reading and to learn from the book's message: everybody learns differently and everyone has something special that they can share with the world. What a great message for our students!

Our approach to art is different than what you might be used to. We don't require our students to manually create every component of their art, because so many of our students struggle with fine motor skills. 

This is art class, not OT.

Instead, we focus on teaching the art technique or concept, and allow our students to art direct.

What does that look like?

In our cookie example, I assisted my student with stenciling, cutting and gluing of small pieces so he wouldn't become agitated. However, he did select all of the colors, decide where each small piece should be glued, and he added the smiles himself. He also did all of the painting because that's his jam.

Assisting your student with their art projects to accommodate their physical disability isn't cheating. In fact, some of the most famous artists in the world don't actually do the physical work required to create their art. Christo and Jeanne-Claude didn't wrap bridges, buildings and islands with cloth themselves. Dale Chihuly doesn't blow his own glass. Christian Siriano doesn't sew his own haute couture. Instead, these accomplished creatives "art direct" - which means it's perfectly okay for your student to do it too.

Interested to learn how Nonverbal Autism Homeschool accommodates students to facilitate learning? Click here to view a video tour of the program and/or schedule a free Zoom consultation today. You can still join in on the fun now, or plan to begin in the Fall.

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