Five percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with a learning disability. According to Ldonline.com, a child with a learning disability experiences difficulties when “reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.”
Children who struggle with learning disabilities often feel frustrated or sad because they don’t represent the idea of what traditional students are and what they’re expected to do. But just because a child has a learning disability doesn’t mean that they’re not as intelligent or gifted as other kids. In fact, they can be just as successful in school and in a future career. One way to help boost the self-esteem of children with learning disabilities is to get them involved with the arts.
Why is it so important for kids with learning disabilities to have the chance to pursue the arts? The reasons are simple. If children struggle in academic subjects, it doesn’t stop them from fully participating in artistic activities alongside children who don’t have learning difficulties. It levels the playing field, making everyone equal as they express themselves with artistic pursuits.
Read on for various activities in the arts that may appeal to a wide array of students.
Painting and Drawing
Not only do many kids think painting and drawing is fun, but also the act of controlling a paint brush or pencil strengthens fine motor skills. It also helps kids identify shapes, learn math concepts and understand spatial differences.
Lots of kids like to make things from paper, cardboard and recyclable materials. Making crafts fosters creativity and problem-solving skills. It improves fine motor skills too. Kids even improve their sense of focus when they work on crafts and learn to control their impulses as they make that macaroni necklace or paper princess tiara.
Get your child involved in dance. There are plenty of dance styles to choose from. Ballet, tap, hip-hop, jazz, ethnic dance, modern and ballroom are good choices. Bigthink.com reports that dance classes help kids learn to follow directions, communicate and cooperate with others. Dance forces children to focus and pay attention to detail. It makes them work to perfect their movements to the best of their abilities. All of these requirements benefit all children–not just those struggling with learning difficulties.
Learning to Play a Musical Instrument
Students who struggle with academics or have special needs may gravitate toward music. The Peterson Family Foundation states that learning a musical instrument provides an abundance of benefits for children. It improves math skills, listening skills, coordination, reading skills and reading comprehension. It boosts memory skills and teaches perseverance. Kids who learn to play musical instruments feel a sense of accomplishment.
If your child is interested in music, visit Music & Arts to pick out an instrument that is best suited for your child. But how do you choose the right instrument for your child? First consider your child’s age. If your child is young, the violin and piano are smart choices. Violins are manufactured in sizes perfect for small hands. Pianos don’t require physical strength in order to play them. Both instruments provide a strong musical foundation that allows children to choose different instruments as they grow older and have the ability to hold heavier instruments including trombones or saxophones.
If your children are up for the challenge, enroll them in a drama class. Some cities offer acting classes for kids and teens. Kids learn self-expression and a boost in self-confidence. They build new friendships and strengthen their social skills. Kids can even branch into other avenues that include working as a stagehand, painting scenery or writing plays.
Children who struggle with learning disabilities may often feel frustrated and unhappy because they experience difficulties in an academic setting. Providing them with opportunities to explore the arts allows them to discover other ways to express themselves and find success. If you have a child with a learning disability, consider introducing them to the arts. It builds their self-esteem and often offers a way for them to strengthen their academic performance.
To contact Lillian Brooks directly, you can email her at lillian@learningdisabilities.