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Best Practice [Question]

Inclusion in the Artroom

Started on Aug 28, 2012 by Jenncook678
Last post on Sep 23, 2012

Art lends itself really well to inclusion. I usually do quite well at accommodating my lesson plans for everyone's needs. But I have a severely autistic child coming into my classroom this year and I want to meet their needs to the best of my ability. Any lesson plan ideas or advice?

2 Keeps, 1 Likes, 10 Comments

  • mcohen56 08/29/2012 at 02:25pm
    I teach at an autistic/behavioral school. I use all the same art lessons Ive used in the past just modified. Maybe have the first few steps completed for them so they can continue and complete the art project. You will also see the level your students will be on and be able to better assess their ability. Some may have trouble with gross or fine motor skills so you may have to have things cut out for them or organized for them to work through more easily. Also keep in mind that many autistic students dont usually like to get to dirty, in terms of sticky glue or paint on their hands. Its a tactile thing and it may make them feel very uncomfortable.

  • Jenncook678 09/01/2012 at 09:03am

    Thank you for your consideration on this matter. I really like your approach and that is the general idea I had in mind. I wanted him to be trying to do the same projects as everyone else.
    You're very right about dirtiness and his fine motor skills. Have you ever been able to make progress with their willingness to touch new materials?
    Mcohen56, do you pre assess your students? And if so, how?
    I don't have much time with him and I want him to get the most out of the art room that I can provide.
    Thanks again.

  • ronnidart 09/01/2012 at 12:20pm
    I need help with this as well. This year I will have severely disabled students. Disabilities include Autistic, Learning disabled, CP, and just about everything else, including a blind boy. I want to make sure all students get a quality art program. My 5th grades have 32 students with the inclusion students.
    I have found that the special ed teachers and the assistants are helpful.

  • Jenncook678 09/01/2012 at 01:25pm
    I'm happy to see that there are other educators out there concerned about this as well. Art already gets a bad name as a "bird course", it's important that we can show the relevance of art programs for all learners in the classroom.
    Another topic that I've struggled with that goes hand in hand with planning for inclusion, is the assessment of students with exceptionalites.
    This year I'm really for focusing on creating SMART goals for each of my SEPs, I hkope this helps guide me through the process.
    Does anyone have some SMART goals that they would like to share?

  • urbanart 09/05/2012 at 07:00pm
    I have done sculptures with pipe cleaners for students with autism.

    If you want to try a painting or other wise dirty project, provide him with hand wipes ahead of time so he can clean his hands as needed. Also, some students enjoy wearing gloves.

  • Jenncook678 09/13/2012 at 06:39am
    First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for considering this issue, your comments and concerns have really helped.
    Okay, so I have made myself a plan for my student that I was concerend about, and it seems to be going really well. I based the work off the elements of design and he seems to be making progress already.
    I uploaded the plan to the exchange! I'd love some feedback and new ideas. I plan to extend the plan when he masters this one to include the principles of design as well.

  • Jenncook678 09/15/2012 at 06:20am
    Okay, so thanks to all of you I now feel that I have a better handle on how to plan for students with a special learning plan, let's also consider the other side of inclusion. The gifted child. Have any of you had students who surpassed your abilities? If so what were your goals for that student and how did you handle it?

  • ronnidart 09/16/2012 at 10:27am
    I like your goals and projects. If it's OK, i may use some of your ideas to create my own plans for my sep students. I teach elementary so I don't have students who have surpassed me yet. I would like to do something special for the gifted kids. Perhaps variations on the basic project to allow for more freedom or expression of their talents.

  • Jenncook678 09/16/2012 at 10:41am
    Use any and all! I'd love to have other people trying it. Maybe we can compare notes.
    So far I've had difficulty with him using line to complete a happy or sad face (line, 3&5). I've recently moved to him using cut outs instead of creating the lines himself and he is still struggling. I cut out a bunch of pictures of people for him and made a graphic organizer with a happy face on one side, and a sad face on the other. He can tell me where the picture goes but I can bridge the gap between the image of happy and a symbol of happy...if that makes sense?

  • ronnidart 09/23/2012 at 04:57pm
    Makes perfect sense. Maybe he can't transition because the social nuances (please forgive my spelling) are something his brain can' t process.
    I have had a rather unexpected success with one of my older autistic kids. He came into the special ed room pretending to be a magician. The next day, I brought him a cape and vest. He was thrilled, his mom was thrilled, and he now looks forward to art class. I have him in an inclusion class and also a short art class with just the special needs kids. I think we are going to make magic wands next week.
    One of the goals I have for him is to get him to enjoy art. I think he sees it as too much work. Perhaps if he sees art as an extension of his imagination, of which he has plenty, maybe he can relax and enjoy it.