Arts And Special Needs – All Without A Brain!?!?! 2

arts and special needsWell, 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.

Art and Hydranencephaly – Proving Once Again That ALL LIVES MATTER!

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.

arts and special needsSo 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.


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2 thoughts on “Arts And Special Needs – All Without A Brain!?!?!

  • Penelope

    Thank you for sharing this information about your son. I for one had no idea this condition existed. I had heard of the microencephaly from the Zika virus, but not of hydraencephaly.
    People with disabilities are constantly challenging what we think we know about the brain, neuroplasticity, and neurological limitations. It’s fascinating that your son’s brainstem is filling in for all the other parts, and capable of experiencing various emotions and recognizing his family, and even creating art! This should give hope to anyone recovering from a TBI or dealing with this kind of disability.

    • Hannah Levi Post author

      Hi Penelope! Thanks for reading my post about arts and special needs 🙂 Glad you found it interesting! Yes, it is amazing what the brain is capable of and so often the doctors say that there is no hope. Natan Shai has been with us since he was 4 months old (you can read the amazing story of how we adopted him here). He is the BEST thing that ever happened to us and has taught us all so much. A lot of people heard about Hydranencephaly and Microencephaly from the Zika virus – as bad as that virus was, at least it did make some awareness of these 2 conditions which are so rarely heard of. Anyway thanks again!


      P.S. You can connect with Natan Shai on his facebook page and keep up to date about his trials and tribulations 🙂