Today I did my cafe journaling and I had a lot of things to write about. One of the things I penned was about the creative conference that I attended last week. I am an artist who loves to teach other’s about art especially children as they have an untainted view of art. I found the speaker’s to be very inspiring and very much in sync with the opinions that I hold in regard to teaching children anything creative.
However I did have a little sadness within me as my Son has an intellectual disability and his creativity has been somewhat limited. I know this because as a playgroup volunteer I do lots of creative activity’s with young children all the time. My Son’s participation and engagement is very different as his concentration does differ a lot from children his own age.
After being inspired from this creativity conference I tried to get Zachy to draw using a big charcoal stick, he wanted nothing to do with it. Well I did make him get off the X box!!!! I was left feeling somewhat disappointed so I said a little prayer to God and asked The Lord for a strategy. After a moment of tantrum throwing Zachy then said to me that he wanted to go to the park.
So off we went for a walk to the park and this is where I got my idea. I would stop him, pick up a leaf and got him to look at the straight lines that were on the leaf. It was a little challenging at first, as sometimes it’s hard to get him to stop and look at something for more than a second. I then made him do a straight line in the air with his finger in which he participated in. We continued to walk and I continued to stop and encouraged him look at anything that was a straight line. We looked at a blade of grass, power lines, the foot path and the stem of a flower. This exercise in observation was a success and I was encouraged that digging a little deeper for my Son is important and rewarding.
I also thought about the things that interest him, such as music. He has a wonderful ability to hear bird calls and imitate them. He likes to make abstract sounds where I then have to whistle in response, he loves to rhyme and he does love to belt out a song on the top of his lungs. Can you see where I’m headed? I realised that my Son’s artistic vocabulary is different to mine, however it’s just as rich .
As I was writing these reflections in my journal I was feeling excited about my Son’s creativity. One should not underestimate those with an intellectual disability. I feel that I’m called to dig deeper so my Son can have the same opportunity as the children I share my artistic ability with.