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By Alice J. Wexler (auth.)

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Extra resources for Art and Disability: The Social and Political Struggles Facing Education

Sample text

Balancing stimulation and structure is important for all children, and particularly for children with ADHD, ASD, and LD who need external structure to learn self-organization skills. Through controlled expression, as mentioned earlier, children can connect to emotions. The need to communicate and release feelings is profound and affects the viewer just as powerfully. Jackson Pollack shows that brush marks are carriers of the feelings of the artist and become visible to us on the canvas. Because we know Jackson Pollack’s story, we are aware that his feelings were often overwhelming.

Again, these issues are characteristic of several disabilities that will be mentioned throughout the book. Materials teach the lesson of cause and effect in concrete and unmistakable ways. To be effective with materials, the authors say, the artist must understand and respect their laws and limits and the consequences of transgressing them. Much can be learned from their predictability, an important lesson that can be transferred to the larger, more unpredictable world. In the more unpredictable world, cause and effect is not as clear, and so it is easier to cast off responsibility and take on the role of the victim.

3 36 Art and Disability Jessy Park An infant pointing is commonplace. It is the first sign of her intentionality, desire, and relationship between self and world. Jessy’s inability to point was a significant indication for Clara Park (1982) that all was not right. To point is so simple, so spontaneous, so primary an action that it seems ridiculous to analyze it. All babies point, do they not? To stretch out the arm and the finger is, symbolically and literally, to stretch out the self into the world—in order to remark on an object, to call it to another’s attention, perhaps to want it for oneself.

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