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Helping Your Child Champion Their Learning Disability Through Music and the Arts

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | Learning

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Raising a child with a learning disability can be an emotional rollercoaster for parents. You want to see your child succeed, and you can tell they are trying hard to comprehend, but some concepts are just too difficult for them to grasp immediately. You are overcome with joy when they make progress and are constantly looking for new ways to nurture their education, but have you considered getting them involved with the arts?


When our brain engages in creative activity, we are opening up new neural pathways that remain dormant most of the time. Firing up these new pathways forces our brains to work in new and unexpected ways. This can lead to better cognition and even help us overcome various kinds of learning disabilities. If you haven’t tried getting your child involved in the arts yet, here are a few ways you can bridge the gap, and open their future to new opportunities.


Make Arts & Crafts Accessible


It’s incredible just how deeply a blank canvas has been etched into the human psyche. Give a child a blank page and a brush and they will begin their first steps in the creative world. Activities such as drawing and painting are an empowering thing for a child and can unlock new potential in children with learning disabilities. To encourage their inner Picasso, you can supply them with coloring books and crayons and give them the afternoon to fill their life with color. If your child shows an interest in coloring, you might move on to finger painting, clay, and other kinds of fun crafts. The more activities you expose your child to, the more their creative minds will grow over time. 


Let Them Express Themselves Through Motion


Creativity and expression are not strictly tied to the page. For hundreds of years, humans have been expressing themselves physically through dance and movement. Music moves our bodies in incredible ways, and after listening to a tune for long enough, our bodies start to pick up the beat. Reach out to your little dancer by putting on a dance playlist and kicking off a small dance party, which can help improve their physical health and increase their self-esteem. Show them how to wiggle and shake, and see how wide their smiles can reach. 


Give Them the Freedom to Make Music


Listening to music is a great feeling, but when we’re able to create our own sounds, it can feel sublime. Out of the arts, music is one of the most technical. It requires musicians to activate equal parts of their creative and analytic brain. While you may expect this puts music out of reach for your child, it actually could be more attainable than you think.


While music and music theory can become terribly complex, it’s built off of simple fundamentals. These fundamentals can be taught to your child, and when they discover that they have the ability to create actual music, then they will be motivated to keep learning and mastering new techniques. 


You can help fuel this sense of wonder and discovery by choosing the right instruments. A home piano or a woodwind such as a clarinet are popular choices, but if you ever catch your child drumming a riff on their fingers, then it might be a good idea to buy them some bongos or a cheap drum set. The key is to find the instrument that resonates with your child, and then encourage them through lessons or online tutorials that get them started on the basics. 


As parents, the best thing we can do for our children is to provide them with opportunities. Your child with special needs has every right to enjoy the same opportunities as any other child. Through music and the arts, you can unlock your child’s creativity and open them up to a world of possibilities. Through the arts, there’s no limit to what your child’s future may hold. 


Lillian Brooks

lillian@learningdisabilities.info

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com