Monday, May 1, 2017

Art Therapy and Writing Issues with 2E Kids

My son's first painting on canvas which he did in school

As you may know, my son is a 3-year old twice exceptional. He is both hyperactive and gifted. To develop his focus, my sister, who is a SPED specialist recommended Art Therapy. My son loves art so this was an easy choice for us. It's also a huge blessing that we have an Art Teacher/Therapist at school who also happens to be a SPED specialist. He understands how my son's mind works that is why my son adores him. He always looks forward to Art Class. They have one-on-one sessions every week.

My son has been into art ever since he was 5 months old. I would give him some finger paint, put him on the floor with a cartolina in front of him and let him do his own thing. As he got older, he developed more sensory issues so finger painting was out. We had to discover new art materials and media. Of course, the most obvious choice was crayons but for some reason, he didn't enjoy using them to color or draw (or doodle) when he was 7 months old to about 1.5 years old. He liked holding them, playing with them and doing some "architectural" pieces with them but never for art.

I started buying him different kinds of art materials such as coloring pens, different shapes and sizes of crayons, twistable crayons, erasable crayons, scented markers, etc. We're also lucky that my aunt in the US sent us a box of Do-A-Dot markers. These helped us out a lot.

There aren't a lot of choices for art materials in the Philippines so I am very happy that Maped is here to the rescue. I know Maped from way back in college as I used to buy their staplers and other supplies because I really liked the ergonomic designs. They stood out in the sea of plain-looking supplies in the bookstore. Now that I have a child of my own, I have rediscovered the brand and I am so thrilled to find more choices. Not only do they have the usual school supplies but they also have different art materials now. Here's what we have:

Gel and Smoothy Peps


Jungle Peps


We will try their crayons soon. I put this box in our Prize Organizer

I also lwant to try the Plasticlean crayons soon. My son has the 120 Crayola crayons and the 64 Crayola crayons but one can never have enough crayons, in my opinion!

We are also loving these Black Peps. My son loves the triangular shape of the pencil. I love how dark it writes on paper. The triangular shape also helps with his tripod grip.


Straying from the art and writing materials, we also like this wheel eraser and we have several of their sharpeners. The Croc Croc bunny sharpener is a good practice for fine motor strength. The bunny's teeth will "chomp" on the pencil if you rotate it in the right direction. 


We are also loving these neon color pencils or Fluo Peps. We found them in a Maped School Supplies Kit. These are just some of our Maped stuff. We have several more ((Twist N Flex Ruler, more erasers and sharpeners, scissors and my stapler from college) and others that we have yet to open. I use them as prizes for when my son does a good job in his studies. 




These are some of my son's art work using the Gel Peps and Smooth Peps.




He loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and he drew these from memory from the game app.



He loves using the Gel and Smoothy peps as they glide smoothly on the drawing book.

Now, a some parents might think that our art materials are too much. Well, not a lot of parents have 2E kids and if you have one, you'd understand where I'm coming from. 2E kids get bored easily and they need to work on their focus. My son needs to keep changing media from time to time. I'll give you an example. For answering Math problems, he prefers using his cute pens or nowadays, his Fluo Peps. For CA work, he prefers a pencil. For writing practice, he prefers crayons. Had I not discovered this, he would be in tears every time we have homeschool. When we only had pencils, he refused to write. I was thinking that maybe his fingers were not ready yet. So I experimented with the crayons and it was a hit! I then moved on to the different materials that I mentioned and now, I'm happy to say that he is comfortable using pencils, especially his favorite Black Peps from Maped. Nevertheless, he still loves changing pens for each lesson.

If you have a gifted, special or 2E child, try some art lessons at home. Give them different kinds of materials to work with. I have seen great results. Sure, it's a huge pain to shop for all those supplies and it can cause a huge dent to your budget but it's totally worth it, especially when I get to have some Me Time or a few minutes of sleep while he is busy drawing, painting or coloring.


*This is not a sponsored post by Maped. We just happen to really like the brand.

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