26 Aug

By Rick McVicar 

  The arts, including visual art, dance, music and theatre, can be a big help to people with learning disabilities.

  The arts offer intellectual disciplines that can be learned without written language skills and rigid test taking, according to the article, “Learning Disabilities and the Arts,” found on the LD Online website. 

  “Art can help children with learning disabilities become better learners and improve their self- confidence,” the article states.

  With visual art, students learn shapes, contrasts and spatial relationships. Dance teaches sequencing and following instructions, while music teaches characterics of sound, such as rhythm and pitch. Performing in a play can help with experiencing different roles.

  Zahavit Paz, writing for the Learning Disabilities Resources Fondatiion, agrees. Paz’ article is titled, “How Art Therapy Helps People with ADHD, LD and Autism.”

  “Art therapy in schools offers a creative (and enjoyable) way to communicate without restrictions,” Paz notes. 

  Art therapy also improves self- esteem. Paz adds that children with learning disabilities and ADHD can have strong emotions with negative feelings of self-worth. The arts promote healing and calmness.

  People with Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHA) can be very creative in solving problems. They tend to be resistant to conformity and willing to take risks to find alternative solutions. 

  In another article, Paz writes that several famous people have been known to have ADHD, such as Bill Gates, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and musician Justin Timberlake. For some, ADHD might give the person an advantage in being creative, Paz writes. 

  The second article, “Is the ADHD Brain More Creative?” can be found on the Learning Disabilities Resource Foundation site.           

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