The Arts—music, acting, dancing, painting, drawing, even writing—have long been a source for people to express themselves in ways they otherwise could not.

In fact, writing these blogs each week has helped me cope and come to terms with my son’s developmental delays. 

The Arts can be a powerful tool to help children and people with special needs reach their full potential.

In a time when the Arts are becoming less and less important in the education world, our children actually need them more than ever.

This world is tough for anyone, especially those who are different.

Enrolling your child in an art class, or a children’ theatre, or even signing up them up to learn a musical instrument opens their world up just a little bit more and allows them to work out their own emotions through creative expression.

Involving your child in the arts can also reveal abilities you never knew your child had—which in turn results in a major boost in confidence in your child.

You can also learn a new way of communicating with your child by sharing your own love of the arts with your child.

Music is a big influence in my home, and some of my most cherished moments with my son include dancing and singing along to the 80’s and 90’s music videos VH1 Classic shows in the morning time.

We also make up silly songs to express how we feel and to get through less-than-fun tasks like brushing teeth before school. Having an art session where you and your child draw photos on blank pages or canvases can also reveal how your child feels by the picture they draw.

I consider reading and writing art forms, and I strongly encourage reading books, real books, to your child.

I don’t mean throw away the children’s books, but every now and then, read poems and chapters from classic literature to your child.

Words are beautiful and if your child is capable of writing, they may find a new outlet in expressing their feelings by keeping a journal.

I could list a thousand reasons why the Arts are crucial to development in anyone, not just children or people with special needs.

But instead, I’ll just ask you, my fellow parents, what art form(s) speak to you?

Think about how art has helped you release emotions, even if the most art you’ve ever done is sing along with the radio in your car.

Then, think about how hard it can be for your child to communicate just by speaking.

Doesn’t it make perfect sense that your child could find new ways to communicate or release emotions by way of art? 

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