Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Drawing with Alternative Materials

Some children on the spectrum seek sensory input when I work with them in art therapy. One client that I work with can not use tradition drawing materials for any focused amount of time. I have found that there are other ways to "draw" images that keep him engaged better.
Wiki sticks are thin, bendable waxy materials that stick to surfaces and each other. We have been able to use them in image making quite successfully. This child loves the "stickiness" of the sticks and it encourages him to explore twisting and shaping them to create images on the paper. The sticks can be cut as well to help manage details in picture making. What is wonderful about this method, is that I am able to help the child learn some basic drawing skills; while at the same time engaing him and adapting to his sensory needs.

Model magic is another material that can be used for picture making. I think I have showcased this before, but can not emphasize its usefulness. This child was able to manipulate the modeling material into shapes thius creating the whole image. As he "practices" with engaing materials, his drawing skills improve and traditional media can be introduced gradually.