By Jodee Kulp with Ann Yurcek


Development is variable as we grow – when you first learned to ride a bike you fell off – when you first learn to walk you had to get back up… When you first learn to spell you forget…. when you first learn to read – you stumble on words – ALL of these skills take multiple developmental abilities in many areas of the brain and our kids with neurodiversity often need to reroute neuro passages – not everything reaches developmental maturity at the same time – not everything reaches maturity – EVEN FOR US!

Working with Toni Hager we discovered that a working circular system to climb the developmental structure helped us see the areas still needing work while discovering ways to complement learning at age appreciated levels. We do not necessarily use age appropriate as is can be dismissive to the individual.

Our family learned to always return to center and focus on the Metabolic structure then stabilize with interests, talents, strengths, and challenges. And at different stages of huge brain and growth like during puberty we have the opportunity to layer those areas, cement, and grow. This is a time to look at missing developmental areas and lags. It is a time we can develop playful strategies to help those layers have the accommodations to build the other layers. We all learn better when we are having dun.

For Ann’s son, Mac, he cannot see well, so his development is skewed. In Mac’s case adding in new technologies, different colors, movement, and revisiting learning to read at age 12 is helping other areas develop and connect.

Once his family discovered he had a tethered cord and afer his tethered cord surgery Mac was able to learn to feel his feet, increase motor abilities and build the skills he couldn’t when he was tiny. (Note: this also affected bowel and urinary issues)

With puberty fast approaching he has an implanted DBS and what his brain was unable to do on its own, it can with his new robotic partner! Mac is focusing on building motor, small motor, speech and everything that his initial wiring had skewed and is building new connections and cementing them. This is providing for higher levels of learning and skill development.

“A brain can do what a brain is ready to do” – Toni Hager, founder of Can Learn Academy (https://www.canlearnacademy.org/)

Dr. Lyelle Palmer shares his Auditory and Visual steps. Caregivers please realize that a child will be unable to read until these developmental pieces are in place.

This is explained better in Our FAScinating Journey Keys To Brain Potential Along the Path of Prenatal Brain Injury by Jodee Kulp

Some children Hear but cannot process what they hear… mixing flipping and confusing words and sounds.
For those who have watched Ann’s journey she had to teach MAC to see and GUESS WHO IS READING
More about all this to come!

Words that work to build strength in children by Dr. Fun

Wisdom from Dr. Lyelle Palmer

Illustration from Furry The Penguin The Little Penguins that Could

Children will typically flock to an adult who understands the nature of this situation and who encourages challenge and expressive fun. I am so excited to feature the world of Dr. “Fun” Lyelle Palmer.

Use language to build your child’s strength of character. Words to share with our children to create excitement and encouragement?

By Lyelle Palmer, PhD “Dr. Fun”

Children consider playground activities “circus performances” and they hunger for recognition.

Goal: Children are encouraged to work out on the playground equipment by the presence of an adult.

The greatest luxury of a child is to have an adult who will watch the performance with full attention. By full attention, we mean that the adult is looking and commenting to the children, rather than reading, talking to another adult, or being distracted or absorbed by internal thoughts unrelated to the children. “Being present to the children” is another way of describing this full attention condition. Adults should verbalize action or use emotional sounds or exclamations in order to intensify the experiences. For many students, the activities introduced at school will be a first experience and the only opportunity for participation.

Here are some verbal tools for adults to use in interacting with SMART children.

Voicing Emotion:

  • Wheeeeeee! (sliding/flipping)
  • Zoom! Zip! (intoned during action)
  • Boom! Bump! Ka-Boom! Splat! (Intensifying the experience)

Being Impressed (Rewarding the experience)

  • Wow!
  • Amazing!
  • You did it!

Giving Attention: (Rewarding the experience)

  • Look at you.
  • I see you.
  • Hello, (name)

Naming Experience: (Rewarding specific activity)

  • You are hanging upside down.
  • You are swinging high.
  • You are climbing up and up.


  • I see you swinging.
  • Look at you flip on the bar.
  • Hello, upside down.
  • I see you hanging upside down.

Rewarding desired action: (Attention reward)

  • You are locking your feet under the bar.
  • I see you keeping your feet on the board.
  • You are tying your shoes.
  • Good job. Give me five!

Redirecting: (Diverting attention to desired action)

  • Now I want to see how you jump rope.
  • Now it is time to use the overhead ladder.
  • Everyone is hanging. That must be fun.

Meeting Resistance: (Reversing opposition)

  • I’ll bet you can’t hang upside down.
  • You’ll really fool me if you can jump rope.
  • Don’t let me catch you doing flips.
  • You will never be able to…

Voicing limits: (Objective/non-personal control)

  • Bars are not for jumping from.
  • Gravel is not for throwing.
  • We give others a chance to swing.
  • Children are not for hitting.

Alerting to Time:   (Avoiding unpleasant surprises)

  • We go to class in three minutes.
  • You have five/two minutes left.
  • Now it is time to do flips.

Suggesting:   (Linking positive emotion to future expectation)

  • You will want to do this again and again.
  • You will hardly be able to wait to come back here.
  • You will feel so proud to tell __ about your flips.

Reminding of Skill: (Picturing past success, linking to positive emotion)

  • I remember how you flipped yesterday.
  • You are getting stronger/bigger/faster.
  • You like to see the world upside down.

Reflecting Emotions:    (Naming emotion experienced, instant rapport)

  • It’s a bit frightening to do this the first time.
  • It’s exciting to finally be able to do it.
  • It is maddening when that happens.
  • It is scary to think it might happen again.
  • You are really proud of yourself.
  • You are having a happy time.

Reminding of Rules:  (Objective reminder/refocus)

  • Remember the rule: use both hands.
  • Our rule tells us to always line up one by one.
  • Take turns is our rule

The 3 Best Ways for Parents to Encourage Kids to Engage in Safe and Active Outdoor Exploration

By Tilda Moore

All kids should spend more time outside to get away from their screens and burn off some energy. Some parents also want their kids to be comfortable outdoors to prepare them for summer camp. No matter the reason that you send your kids outside, you need to ensure they can engage in safe exploration around potential hazards like fire from a fire pit (which is a great addition to the backyard to have family fun time once the sun goes down). The following tips from Red Shoes Rock will help you get your kids actively exploring the outdoors. Nature and neurodiversity often offer our children and adults the best enrichment and long-lasting learning opportunities.

1. Provide Just Enough Structure with Organized Activities

Kids who feel the most comfortable exploring the outdoors do so with some guidance from their parents. Metro Parent notes that structure makes kids feel safe and secure, so don’t plan to throw open your back door and order them to have fun and explore. Rather, invite them to discover, create, and explore with messy play ideas. Show them that they can have fun outside, expand their imagination and creativity, and learn more about themselves and the world around them in the process.

One way to acclimate your kids to the outdoors successfully is to create a scavenger hunt. At Tinkergarten, we often “Go on a Bear Hunt” looking for a baby bear to reunite with mommy bear or vis versa. You can do this in your backyard, a public park, or a campground. The kids will focus on the hunt itself and less on the fact that they may be a little uncomfortable outside. They’ll also be excited about competing against one another.

To get your kids actively exploring the outdoors, create a list of natural items for them to find, such as a certain color leaf or a specific size rock. Have a copy of the list for each child and adjust for your kids’ ages and abilities. You can have the kids compete individually or in teams, and it may be helpful to team a younger child with an older child. Be sure to explain the rules before you give the kids their lists. And have small prizes on hand to reward their hard work.

2. Create Opportunities to Learn about Nature Together

You also can provide structure to your kids’ outside time by organizing a family bird watching day. Childhood by Nature says there are all kinds of advantages to becoming a birder, both for your child and the pair of you.

To start, it’s an opportunity to learn about your immediate environment: exactly what kinds of birds (and other animals, such as squirrels) live there, the kinds of habitats they live in, why your area’s climate is ideal for them, and how different animals have adapted to human presence. Your kids will enjoy learning about the wildlife that lives in their own yard, and they’ll take pride in being able to identify various species that share their outdoor space.

One way to be able to study nature just outside the home is to attract birds and butterflies to your property with an intentional design in your backyard landscaping. Bring on the help of professional landscapers, who will know what native plants and flowers to include.

3. Teach Your Kids Outdoor Safety

To put your kids’ minds at ease—and your own—Scholastic points out that it’s important to teach them outdoor safety tips. Kids are curious, and once they feel more comfortable outside, they will take more risks. Equipping them with general knowledge about the outdoors will help them stay safe, no matter the situation.

Safety for bikes, skates and scooters—Teach your kids not to do any of these activities without first putting on helmets and pads. Show them where to ride safely, such as in your driveway, and review the rules about riding near or on the road.

Safety with insects and animals—While you don’t want to instill fear in your children about insects and animals they will encounter outside, you do need to prepare them in the event they come across some that can harm them. Instruct your kids to avoid spiders, wasps, bees, and ticks because they bite and sting.

You also need to teach your kids about the various animals they may come across in your backyard. Make sure they know to stay away from snakes and wild animals. Also, ensure they know what to do if they encounter an unfamiliar dog or cat.

Parents know the value of outdoor play for kids. To encourage your kids to participate in safe, active play outside, start by providing some organized outdoor activities. Then, learn about nature as a family and teach your kids outdoor safety tips.

This article is brought to you by Red Shoes Rock, a global awareness campaign giving voice and support to those affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. For more information, please contact us today!

Jodee Kulp , co-founder of Red Shoes Rock FASD aware has been a Tinkergarten Leader since 2019 and encourages parents of children with neurodiversity to join her in-person nature classes for ages 18 months to 8-year-olds in the Minneapolis area. Tinkergarten is available in the USA as an early childhood program – Check out their website it is filled with FREE IDEAS.

Finding the Perfect Gift for the New Parent in Your Life

Photo via Pexels

by Tilda Moore

Parents often say that while having a child was the best thing that ever happened to them, it was also the scariest. Becoming a mom or dad can create anxieties we never even knew existed, and it’s easy to forget about our own needs while we’re looking after those bundles of joy. If there’s a new parent in your life, one of the easiest ways to show them you care is to give them a gift that will speak to their specific needs. Courtesy of Red Shoes Rock, here’s a list to help you get started, and never fear; it includes budget-friendly options.

Creature Comforts

Make life a little easier for the new parent in your life with these recommendations:

Around-the-House Helpers

With a new little one board, it can be easy to lose control of normal household chores. Help your loved one(s) stay afloat with these options:

Partner-to-Partner Gifting

If you and your partner are the new parents, it can be special to give them something to commemorate the moment. Here are a few suggestions:

Other Gifts

Are you still drawing a blank on what’s best for the new parents in your circle? Here are a few more options:

The perfect gift doesn’t need to be elusive. Shopping specifically with your loved one’s needs in mind will allow you to take care of their needs, which most parents could desperately use a little of. You can also find items that will get more than one year of use, which will help the parents in your life stretch their own budget.

Red Shoes Rock is a global awareness campaign giving voice and support to those affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. Let us know how we can help!

Join us in supporting sobriety during pregnancy, families after birthing, and individuals throughout their lives.

How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Self-Care

By Justin Bennett

As a parent, you know the importance of “me time” all too well. And with children prenatally exposed to alcohol or other toxins, we understand this becomes more difficult.  You need a TIME OUT for yourself – one way to do it is to TEACH YOUR KIDS to do self care giving you a break in-between as they learn. Your kids need to practice self-care too!

Teaching your kids the value of self-care can help them learn to identify and tend to their emotional and physical needs. A family self-care practice is a great way to help your kids establish healthy habits that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Better Endings New Beginnings and Red Shoes Rock explore some ways you can encourage your kids to practice self-care!

Model Good Self-Care Practices

Kids naturally mirror the actions of their parents. If you want your kids to grow up with good habits, Verywell Family points out that you’ll need to exhibit healthy behaviors yourself. Plus, taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing will keep your mood and energy levels balanced so you can better support the self-care needs of your kids.

Managing work stress is an important element of self-care for busy parents. If you’re concerned that you may be headed towards burnout, look for ways to reduce your stress load. ZenBusiness suggests techniques to improve your focus and productivity, so you can spend less time stressing over the tasks on your to-do list and more time getting things done! Use project organization strategies to sort and organize your priorities so you can stay on top of things. And remember to schedule time for rest and relaxation!

Start the Day with a Positive Morning Routine

Starting the day with a healthy morning routine is a great way to instill the importance of self-care in your children. Big Life Journal recommends creating a morning routine that includes dedicated time for reconnecting with your kids and coming up with affirmations that encourage your kids to speak positively about themselves. Remember, self-care is about more than taking care of your body. While eating a nutritious breakfast is an important part of any healthy morning routine, this is also a good time to support the emotional health of your kids.

Help Your Kids Find Self-Care Activities They Enjoy

Self-care means something different to everyone. Your idea of a relaxing self-care activity might differ from that of your kids. Encourage your kids to discover self-care activities that they enjoy! Some ideas include playing outside, listening to calming music, creating art, playing instruments, meditating, doing yoga, and journaling. Consider also teaching your kids some mindfulness and relaxation exercises that they can use to calm themselves in stressful situations. For example, Connecticut Children’s suggests using fun strategies to teach your kids about deep breathing.

Encourage Regular Exercise

Exercise is another important element of self-care. Thankfully, kids are naturally active and love running around. It can become challenging to preserve the same level of activity as your kids get older, so you may have to step in and provide some form of motivation. For example, be sure to choose the right activities for your kid’s age to prevent them from getting bored or frustrated. Preschoolers typically enjoy playing tag or running obstacle courses while school-age kids prefer activities like playing sports or biking around with their friends.

Build Downtime into Your Schedule

We all need downtime. Between school and extracurricular activities, many kids are overscheduled, constantly moving between practices, games, studying, homework, friends, and family obligations. Kids rarely have a moment of downtime, but they need time to unwind and eliminate stress. If you’re concerned that your child is too busy, help them pare down their schedule. Make sure they have a few free days every week when they don’t have to think about their obligations. Most importantly, let them do what they want during their downtime, whether it’s playing outside or resting on the couch.

Teaching your kids how to practice self-care will lay the foundation for a healthy future. Help your kids learn to be mindful of their mental and physical needs so they can take control of their whole-body wellbeing. As a parent, this is a great chance to evaluate your own self-care habits too!

Better Endings New Beginnings provides hope for children, teens and adults living, laughing, learning and loving through the challenges before birth — including alcohol exposure (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders-FASD) and other toxins. Reach out today to find out more!

Red Shoes Rock provides Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness to the global community.


Invite your local community and neighbors to become part of this international essential movement


Join the Red Shoes Rock Movement – Embrace Our Truth
Each one can reach one.


Visit us at www.embracedmovement.org to learn more about the 90-minute documentary and 4 educational community films.
Join us is sharing the Red Shoes Rock FASD Aware information at www.facebook.com/RedShoesRock/

Warrior Mother Takes on FASD

Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneer – Birth Mom,
Warrior Mom, Karli’s Mom Kathy Mitchell – Thank you!

Moms who drink while pregnant need Hope. Kathy is the sword of truth that cuts through the darkness.

Shared by Jodee Kulp

Kathy Mitchel, spokesperson for NOFAS and her daughter, Karli.
Kathy Mitchell, spokesperson for FASD UNITED and her daughter, Karli.

I met Kathy Mitchell at the FASD Teen Adult Camp in Michigan in 2004. This incredible camp had been designed and developed by the incredible Wrybrecht family you met yesterday in my blog post—Barb, Ted and Rob, and a team of Michigan professionals and families. Their son, Rob, was the first infant diagnosed with FAS in the United States. Barb was a nurse and active in the international FASD community. Kathy and I were campers, along with Deb Evensen, Teresa Kellerman, and Ann Yurcek.

I had arrived alone, so it was a relaxing couple of days enjoying time with caregivers and professionals, teens, and young adults. Evening campfires were a calming time. That is, is unless you put Kathy Mitchell with Jodee Kulp to become the party girls in a skit to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. We were on it with full expression, and we acted our roles well. Claps and laughs and hoots, and an, “Oh, you must have been something as teenagers,” from Dr. Ed Riley followed with crowd filled laughter. Kathy puts her ALL into whatever she does and it shows. So do I.

Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell, M.H.S., L.C.A.D.C., Vice President and National Spokesperson, is a noted international speaker on FASD and Women and Addictions. She is a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor and thirty years experience as a national educator, clinician, and lecturer.

Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell is currently the Vice President and International Spokesperson for the FASD United. Formerly National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), FASD United supports families living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and prevents prenatal exposure to alcohol and other substances harmful to human development. Please stop by and dig into the new FASD United Website – it is updated and filled with current data.


She has authored several published papers and chapters about FASD, the FASD Certification curriculum for addictions professionals (F-CAP), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; a Guidebook for Parents and Caregivers, and co-authored Making a Difference: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Public Awareness Guide. She served as an FASD expert and advised the writers of NBC’s Law and Order; Special Victims Unit to create an episode about FASD: “Choices.”  She provides live media interviews and has been featured on NBC’s Later Today Show, NBC’s Real Life, BBC Radio, The Washington Post, PA Today and Glamour Magazine. She has testified to the United States House of Representatives.


Kathy is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

“Kathy Mitchell’s story of recovery is the most powerful story of recovery I have ever heard,” says Deb Evensen. “She walks her talk.”


Most importantly she is the mother of Karli, and is transparent in being a birth mother with a history of alcoholism.

“Today, I have a 37-year old that plays with baby dolls; she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and intellectual disability. I have another daughter that suffers with chronic migraines and a host of other health problems. My last two children both died before they were three months old. There is not a day that goes by that I do not regret the fact that I drank while pregnant. I would not wish that on another mother. – Kathy Mitchell

Kathy has conceptualized and facilitates an international birth mother mentorship programs

Her truth is the truth of many women and she shares her story below. I call her brave. 

Meet Kathy – tireless advocate for understanding and prevention of FASD.

Kathy Mitchell Tells Her Story

Recovering Hope – Part 1 – Mothers & Children on FASD

Join the Red Shoes Rock Movement – Embrace Our Truth
Each one can reach one.


Visit us at www.embracedmovement.orgto learn more about the 90-minute documentary. Join us is sharing the Red Shoes Rock FASD Aware information at www.facebook.com/RedShoesRock/

Early Diagnosis Changes the Game

your family changed the lives of many families for the better!

“This family is one of our giants!” And FROM THIS FAMILY we have evolved. Thank you!” — Red Shoes Rock


“We are… sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” — RJ Formanek quotes from the 12th century, attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Author John of Salisbury used a version of the phrase in a treatise on logic called Metalogicon, written in Latin in 1159. Its most familiar expression in English is by Isaac Newton in 1675: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Barbara M. Wybrecht, is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Nursing, with post-graduate studies in the School of Public Health. She is one of four recipients of the 2009 Excellence Award given by the National Association of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFASD).

In 1973, the year FAS was identified in the United States, Barbara and her husband, Ted adopted their son Rob, the first infant in Michigan to be diagnosed at birth with the syndrome. After some articles were written, Ken Warren told Ted that Rob was the first infant diagnosed in the US. Ann Streisguth also confirmed it.

As a result of this event, and the learning that came from it, Barbara professional focus shifted to full-time work in the prevention of FASDs. Since that time she has presented her message over 900 times.

In addition, to this couples contribution to the world of FASD, this wee baby was blessed with an incredible and loving family; his father was an educator/school principal and his mother a skilled nurse. They had just skills needed to help this little one.

“Barb and Ted Wybrecht were an amazing team. Not only are they off-the-charts, great parents, but as a married couple, they have one of the most beautiful relationships I have ever seen. When you are lucky enough to get advice from them, pay attention.” — Deb Evensen

“My oldest son and I attended one of Barb’s trainings to help my son understand his little brothers and sisters. Midpoint in the day, he looked and me and said, ‘I have fetal alcohol, too.’ Barb you gave my son acceptance of himself, his disability and the courage to move into adult life. Our family thanks you. “ — Ann Yurcek

c88a3-18167423-9052034In 1992, Barbara coordinated the first conference in Michigan for parents and children with FASD, and successive national conferences in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1997 for parents and professionals.

“Thankfully, FasLink connected Barbara with our family in 1997. Barb and her husband, Ted, became trail guides to help me live, love and laugh with our daughter. Barbara was always forthright and honest in her discussion. She challenged me. She made me think and then think again. She thought with me, adding her years of experience. To you, Barbara, I am eternally grateful,” – Jodee Kulp

In 2002, Barbara created “Living and Learning with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,” a summer conference to help individuals with an Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Alcohol Related Neurodevelopment Disorders to understand their disability and find better ways to live with it. Teens and adults with FASD made up over 50 percent of the planning committee. She also coordinated a parent-mentoring program for teens, and women in treatment for substance abuse.

“It was a time when all of us came together, we shared what we learned. We leaned on each other. We became a world of friends from many countries and in many languages.” Shared Barbara. “All of our lives changed as we raised our children. Our children became our teachers.”

These camps were significant in that they brought together individuals with FASD, parents and caregivers and professionals in a relaxed camp setting. By taking down the barriers of distance and creating conversation opportunities, many friendships that had been formed only on the Internet through FASlink and Forums were made forever.

Having a diagnosis at birth was extremely helpful to both their son and significantly helped in their ability to parent him.

Although there were no conferences or books or videos on FAS in 1973, having the diagnosis helped his parents think and parent differently. And it was their thinking and parenting that blazed many trails for others to follow, tiny step-by tiny step. Since 1973, Barb has been instrumental in the development of diagnostic clinics and support groups that have been beneficial to those affected by FASD throughout Michigan and on a national level.

Barbara has continued to present workshops and she is among the leading authorities in Michigan and nationally on FASD. 

Most workshops are day long, are multidisciplinary and geared to those new to the world of FASD and related issues. Others are specifically designed for teachers, nurses, law enforcement professionals, mental health professionals, child welfare workers and parents themselves.
Specialized workshops include those on:

  • FASD and Sexuality
  • FASD and the Law
  • FASD across the Lifespan – Strategies and Interventions.

MCFARSMCFARES (Michigan Coalition for Fetal Alcohol Resources, Education, and Support) came about as a result of a call to action by Barb Wybrecht in the spring of 2003

Agencies and families came together to develop a plan to address the issue of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Macomb County. Since 2003, MCFARES has succeeded in gaining local, state and national attention by providing training, support, information, and services for anyone impacted by FASD.
MCFARES has an incredible website filled with links you need to know about. They have truly done the work of sleuthing out the details well.

Check out Michigan FASD Task Force
Barb’s determination and perseverance were an example to her son who followed in her foot-steps as an influential advocate for FAS in his own right.

“Her son, who I respect immensely,” says Jodee Kulp “really became part of the solution to the FASD puzzle. His contributions need noting.”

  • He has been involved in the areas of prevention as well as intervention. His bumper stickers patterned after bus signs in Seattle have found their way to Capetown, South Africa, and Paris, France as well as all 50 states.
  • He was featured on the video Students Like Me”.
  • He was on a national committee, NAG (National Advocacy Group) for Justice, to help individuals with disabilities understand their rights in the criminal justice system. He and his father wrote a manual to help persons with FASD navigate the Justice System.
  • He has trained peers, based on their project, “The Right Rules”.
  • He was the SAFA (Self-Advocates with FASD in Action) Project Coordinator
  • He assisted in planning the first ever conference by and for Individuals with an FASD. He was also a presenter.
  • He has In May he spoke at the FASD Center for Excellence, Building State Systems conference
  • He attended his first steering committee meeting for the FASD Center for Excellence, under SAMHSA.
  • He is the first person with an FASD to be on a national committee for FASD.
  • And he has recently married and moved into living his life.

“It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended,” shares Deb Evensen.

Red Shoes Rock says Thank You to this family of dynamos!

Join the Red Shoes Rock Movement – Embrace Our Truth
Each one can reach one.


Visit us at www.embracedmovement.orgto learn more about the 90-minute documentary. Join us is sharing the Red Shoes Rock FASD Aware information at www.facebook.com/RedShoesRock/

Introducing Children With Learning Disabilities to the Arts and How It Helps Them

by Tilda Moore

Being involved in the arts can help children with learning disabilities overcome challenges they face with traditional education. Additionally, it provides them with a creative outlet to express and serves as an effective medium to learn. This guide created by Red Shoes Rock explores how to involve your child in the arts and the benefits it provides.

Here are the various type of arts your child can partake in:

  • Dancing – Does your child have a favorite singer or music group? You’re sure to find a dance tutorial of their songs online. Encourage your child to dance along with the video and join in with them. If they show interest, it could become their favored activity of the day.

For example, through dancing, your child can develop the ability to comfortably express emotion, improve balance and coordination. Additionally, being an intensive activity helps physical development and improves endurance and fitness levels.

You can consider enrolling your child in a dance class if comfortable with the idea. By engaging in dance as a group, they will learn social skills and read body language.

  • Painting or Drawing – Introducing your child to these activities is simple. Demonstrate to them the basics of how to use crayons or paints and let their imagination go wild. As they paint they will develop an understanding of colors, patterns, and textures.

Next, you can encourage them to mimic fruits, toys, or even scenery items. This helps build spatial understanding, development of motor skills, and size and depth perception, as reported by The Artful Parent.

  • Crafts – Engaging in craft can provide similar benefits as painting or drawing. Additionally, it can be used as an effective medium to teach mathematical concepts such as angles, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and more.

A child with a learning disability might find it difficult to grasp these concepts through problems given in textbooks. But, craft encourages them to be hands-on and make it simpler to understand concepts.

  • Music – As an activity that requires concentration, and the ability to multi-task it contributes immensely towards your child’s cognitive development. According to Learning Potential, music aids in developing the left side of the brain which is responsible for language and reasoning skills. Moreover, a common advantage of playing an instrument is strong hand-eye coordination which can benefit your child in other aspects of life too.

Music can also be used as a suitable learning medium, as it is easier for children to remember information when presented as a tune. A well-known example is the alphabet song. You can adopt the same method towards teaching multiplication tables, history lessons, science concepts, and more.

Irrespective of the art form your child chooses, Bright Horizons explains the importance of showing your support to build their self-confidence. For example, if your child has shown interest in painting, collect their art pieces and frame them around the house. You can also organize an art show by inviting friends and family. Similarly, if they are a part of a dance or music group, make it a point to attend their practices and shows.

You can also pair permanence with your dedication to your child’s new world in art by creating a dedicated space in the home, whether a studio for dance or music or a workshop for painting and crafts. Adding this area as an update to your home can make good financial sense as well, as multi-use rooms can add to a home’s appraisal value; they’re much in demand among homebuyers who can fashion the space to their own likings, such as a home office or gym.

Once your child is involved in the arts, you will notice a positive difference in mood, confidence, and physical development. If this encourages you to help other kids with a learning disability, you can choose to start your own teaching classes. Utilizing your experience and knowledge, you will make a significant difference in the lives of each family you work with.

As a tip, make sure to register your teaching business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Hire a formation service such as ZenBusiness to handle all paperwork, regulation, and document submission in your state to allow you to focus on your business.

Art is a beautiful medium that helps children’s cognitive and physical development with learning disabilities. As a parent, take the initiative to expose them to various art forms and support them in expressing their creative side.

Red Shoes Rock is the global voice for prenatal alcohol exposure, raising awareness and giving voice and support to those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Contact us today for more information or to join the cause!

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