ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Art has helped in teaching children with special needs

Updated on September 19, 2011

art in education

all rights reserved
all rights reserved

Art in Education

Back in the sixties, when I went to art school we were told that out of seventy students that were in our class, only two or three would actually become successful in the field of art taught at that school. This was a brutal wake up call for many of us in that room. As it turned out I only lasted one semester and left there to later enter junior college. Those words continued to ring in my brain about only a few becoming a success in art. I was an artist from the time that I could hold a crayon and draw at the age of four. I often filled old laundry bags and sacks with my artistic scribbles as a child. My parents only encouraged onward about my art. After struggling in junior college, I decided to major in the field I knew most about. Of course, it was art. I graduated from junior college and entered a four year school, where I actually excelled in my chosen field. I had to decide whether to become an illustrator or an art teacher. I chose to become a teacher and completed my educational courses. I graduated with an art education degree and began to teach in 1970.

My assignment was in a junior high school and I was immediately faced with a multitude of problems. A big class size five times each day and very limited supplies most of which I had to purchase on my meager salary, made this a huge challenge. I struggled through the year using an old phonograph player and dusty records, and the spirit of hope in my heart. I met and worked with several kids in my classes that had severe learning problems caused by debilitating conditions. I became close to these kids and decided to change my major to Education of the Handicapped. I learned that I could teach on a provisional certificate and attend college classes in the evenings, until I earned my masters degree in that field.

My kids were mostly self-contained and that meant they spent most of the day with me. I took some of my art work to school one day and much interest was sparked in my kids' attention. They wanted to paint and draw too, and I soon learned that I would need to bring art materials to class with me each day. We studied math skills, english, science, reading skills and social studies. I decided to include first aid and survival skills. The art time activities would serve as a reward for honest effort in doing all other class work first. This worked like a charm, and soon I had my kids making better grades in academic subjects and loving art in any shape or fashion that we tried.

Over the years, I moved to new schools and worked with severely emotionally disturbed children. I worked with kids who had learning disabilities and behavior problems. I used my art at every opportunity and saw amazing improvements in a lot of kids. Some of my emotionally disturbed kids actually improved a lot and I had many positive compliments from other teachers who taught them. Principals and parents, as well, saw big improvements in the children in my special needs classes and wherever I went, I utilized my art ability. Over the years I have looked back on that day in art school to the time, when I felt so overwhelmed, and I think to myself that I must have been one of those successful two or three the head of the school was referring to at that time.

I still paint and specialize in wildlife art. I also draw cartoons and write on occasion. I miss working with those kids and the great feeling of self worth it gave to me. I had to stop teaching in 2004 because of a brain tumor and other medical problems. I will always remember how I was able to influence many kids and give them a reason to stay in school. For me, my art has been a successful story.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • whonunuwho profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      The artist has given permission to use the art work.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)