Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Remediation Through The Arts

The following activities aren't done just to fix my son, I also enjoy them! Some researchers claim that autism is due to too much connectivity in the left side of the brain, and not enough on the right (or is it the other way around?), and with minimal connections between. I'd like to think what I do helps, but even if it doesn't we have fun anyway ...
Narrative: I'm still working on this with my son. I taught him how to start a story with a main character, a goal and some obstacles. I demonstrated how most stories have a first and second "turning point". He can't write, but he dictates stories to me, and I create little "books" out of them. He also likes to try to pick the turning points in movies and stories. What does this do for autism? I think it helps them understand patterns in social interactions and activities.
Art: This is definitely not my son's strength! But I bought some of those lovely Lyra colored pencils and we sit and draw a picture together sometimes. He will only draw trains, so often I'll turn the train into something else, or create something humorous about it, ie have it skiing down a mountain, or have flowers growing out of the window. I try to open his mind to new possibilites. Also, we play a game where I do a squiggle and he has to make it into something, and we swap over. Great for increasing non-linear thinking.
Literature: Good literature is my passion! I'm sure this also infects my son as well, as I love reading to him. Currently we're reading Story of the World by S Bauer. Stories enhance the imagination, which is lacking in autism.
Theatre: We love all the plays at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre: they are amazing quality production. Our favorite so far is The Arrivaland its coming again in November. See my previous post about The Arrival here
Time: I recently realised that my son has no ability to perceive "time". I've just started on trying to teach him visually, ie by drawing a plan of the day divided up into hours.
Drama: This would be good, but still haven't done much about it ... Great for "putting yourself in another's shoes".
Theology: I help in the Sunday School class each week. Great compass for kids with SNs who might find themselves disorientated in a world of moral relativism. Also teaches kids that it's good to be good, not for a reward.
Karate: Not "arts" per se, but exactly like the DORE program, except that it's super cheap, by comparison, and a lot more fun. Plus you interact and get different colored belts!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a dedicated Mama, how did your son get lucky enough to get you.

Jodi said...

You are so creative and wonderful with your son! I wish I could think of the things you do. You would make a great homeschooling mum!