Well, I don’t about your kids, but Natan Shai LOVES doing all different kinds of artwork. He enjoys the sensory part of touching the various mediums (wet, dry, sticky) and greatly enjoys coming home from school with his hands dirty and an iPad full of pictures of what he has done that day. And of course, the highlight is when he brings the pictures home and shows us all that he has made. Arts and special needs, especially Hydranencephaly seem to compliment each other very nicely.
AND – ALL OF THAT without a brain! – (Yes, our Hydranencephaly kids really do love to prove the doctors wrong again and again!).
You have to realize that when Natan Shai was born he was given a year to live and zero expectation of any kind of quality of life! We were told that he wouldn’t be able to communicate, show feelings or know who his family is. So for my little boy to be able to do art?!?! This is more than a dream come true and basically a kick in the teeth to all the ‘professionals’ who with their well-meaning prognosis’s and medical ‘proof’ almost managed to take the wind out of our sails and almost succeeded in convincing us that there was no hope.
Doing arts with your special needs child gives an out of the box type of experience for kids who generally find it difficult to express themselves in other ways. Look at art therapy as a form of speech and communication if you will. At first, you may find the whole idea of doing art with your special needs child a little overwhelming and you may even doubt his abilities to succeed. For sure you will need to be a little bit creative yourself and come up with different ideas which could help him hold a paint brush for example. But once you get started you’ll be fine and hopefully, you and your child will be having a great time together creating all kinds of different artwork as well as enjoying an emotionally uplifting experience.
Here in the pictures, you can see many different kinds of artwork that Natan Shai has created, admittedly they were done at school and not at home (because that’s where he spends the majority of his day), but it shouldn’t be a problem to do these simple art projects at home. I love to sometimes visit his school and participate in the various activities they do there. It’s a special needs school and in Natan Shai’s class, there are another 6 kids who have similar disabilities as he does. All of them love the art sessions they have.
So don’t let anybody pre-determine your child’s abilities, each child has his own special capabilities and with a little extra help, each child is capable of participating in various art sessions and many other activities that regular kids enjoy.
I’d love to hear about your child and what special activities he or she does. Please comment below so that we can connect 🙂
With much love,
Hannah (Natan Shai’s Mom)
P.S. If your child has Hydranencephaly then be sure to contact the Global Hydranencephaly Foundation for a full support system and integration with other families who have children with the same diagnosis.