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Need help with a thing for work please

(10 Posts)
objectivityislivid Mon 20-Oct-08 15:00:23

I am planning a piece of art/craft work for a group of teenagers with severe learning difficulties. This is part of my new job and is not something I've done before for this age group, never mind for children with SN.

Do you have any good suggestions?
tia

amber32002 Mon 20-Oct-08 15:08:11

Are the team giving you any handy hints for what's already been done in the past? What's your job - is it in a school, or some other setting? Any more info on the teenagers - are any of them on the autistic spectrum, for example? Any more info would help me think...

objectivityislivid Mon 20-Oct-08 15:17:50

Thanks, many of them are on the Autistic Spectrum and are their neeeds are quite extreme. Soem will have physical disabilities, again with some quite extreme levels of physical impairment.

I am a family support worker and am attending in the capacity of extended schools provision.

We are providing this as a one off craft event for a small number as part of extended schools provision. I'm not sure what has been done in school before but they have good craft facilities in school and the artwork around school is high standard and quite creative.

Tclanger Mon 20-Oct-08 15:54:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

filz Mon 20-Oct-08 15:58:07

i was going to suggest a collage too. You could put allsorts onto it, as tclanger suggests.

Think about your schools motos and then try to base the theme around that

amber32002 Mon 20-Oct-08 16:09:49

I love the idea of the collages etc.

As someone who's on the autistic spectrum, I can give you some handy hints for working with us, though...and I'm guessing you'll have extra support in the room.

Forget eye contact. We find it really scary.
Don't touch us. It's like being hit. It hurts.
Be positive, be respectful, be gentle.
Keep instructions really, really clear and simple - avoid using expressions and metaphors and facial expressions and tone of voice to convey meaning.
Tell the person exactly what will happen next.
Demonstrate what needs to be done in simple steps, a bit at a time.
Do expect to have to repeat it lots - we find some things so fascinating that we forget to listen and concentrate.
Don't give too many choices - I'm happiest if I can choose from one of two things at a time (though that may vary).
Do expect us to panic over certain textures/patterns/smells etc. That varies from person to person, but some will find furry things scary, some will find stripey patterns too much, some will run away from the smell of some glues etc. This is where advance knowledge will be useful.
If using glues, pins etc, make sure you have enough supervision, in case some try to eat them or don't have the physical skills to get it right (don't ask how wrong I can get needlework!!)
Don't expect people to work well in groups and pairs. We like to work alongside people, not with them.
Do expect noises and movements that seem unusual. If we're trying to cope with something very new, or really enjoying ourselves, we may totally forget what's appropriate in a public setting blush grin

Some of this may not apply to those who are not on the autistic spectrum, but in a mixed group keeping to autism standards may be best.

Romy7 Mon 20-Oct-08 16:46:37

we did under the sea this year...

we made shells and fish (cut templates out of cereal boxes - lots of cereal boxes - and lots of different shaped fish/ shells) and decorate with whatever you like - we had painted/ coloured fish and shells, but also collaged with different coloured foils/ fabrics/ paper.

unroll a roll of plain blue wallpaper along the hall floor/ wall, and paint the seabed at the bottom.

add fish, shells, rocks, seaweed (green string etc) etc (made as above) as you see fit/ however many get made.

depending on how long you have or how ambitious you are feeling, you might choose to also do one 'main' focus, such as a submarine, or octopus, or diver etc.

you can also make fish out of empty soft drink bottles which can be covered in tissue paper and glue (like rainbow fish lol) and suspended by cotton from the ceiling to hang in front of the mural...

the sky is the limit really - most activities can be adapted for an sn audience.

have you got plenty of helpers lol?

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 20-Oct-08 20:08:51

If the kids have SLD'S the project should be about the process of creating the work as well as the finished product - if the kids have SLD's then some may not have any concept of a finished product- they will benefit from exploring the materials. (I went to a talk on art lessons as ds1's SLD/PMLD school last week ). Give the kids a chance to explore different textures and different materials. Provide different sized brushes, rollers, room to squidge paint through hands (some children with LD's and /or autism might be defensive about what they touch, but many won't be- ds1 now loves to cover his hands in paint). Some children don't like to be touched, but many with SLD's might need some hand over hand instruction. Just be aware that you might need to back off.

You can provide shapes already cut out into something recognisable (eg a car) for the kids to paint. Different textures of paint. At ds1's SLD/PMLD school they base quite a lot of art projects on modern art- using lots of colours and big bold expanses of paint.

I was given a list of ideas last week. Will dig it out and add any I think are good!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 20-Oct-08 20:10:21

Oh one bit of advice I remember was have disposable gloves handy ready for children who don;t like getting hands dirty but will wear gloves. And use washable paints become some won't wear aprons.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 20-Oct-08 20:26:23

OK some extra advice that I'd forgotten cribbed from ds1's (wonderful) SLD/PMLD school. This school will cater for your client group.

Bear in mind that some children might just like t mix the paint, rather than use them on paper. That's fine as well.

Simple ideas are the best.
Provide different sizes of everything - paper, pencils, crayons etc. Some children prefer large, some small.
Printing you can use anything, hands, etc.
Cut fabrics into shapes or strips and make patterns (think you would have to do the cutting).
Copy simple ideas (this was the modern art thing I referred to earlier - perhaps browse some books).
If a child finds it difficult to hold brushes etc then hand over hand following their eye movement.

Advised to avoid tearing up newspapers of magazine (some children go home and do this - unhappy parents!)
Don't use household spray bottles for paintsprays. Again in case they go home and use toxic stuff stored in the spray bottles at home.

Wish I could credit the school but I'd better not

My advice really if you have no experience of SLD's is to forget the idea of success meaning a finished product. Some children might enjoy that, but others wouldn't have a clue that was even a possibility (my own son aged 9, with autism and SLD's doesn't understand about creating a picture with the aim of it looking like something. He just enjoys putting marks on paper).

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