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Get Creative This Learning Disability Week!

Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,002

Scope community team

edited June 17 in Learning difficulties
This week is Learning Disability Week (Mencap), and the focus is on art and creativity.

People with learning difficulties aren't represented enough in the arts, so this week is about celebrating the artistic talent and creative flair of people with learning difficulties.

Here are some activities to try out this week.

Learn some Makaton

Take part in Harry's taskmaster challenge

People with a learning disability from all across the UK will be sharing their artwork and creative hobbies, using the hashtag #LDArtWeek.

To help you get involved, Mencap’s very own taskmaster Harry Roche has got a crafty task for you: Create the #LDArtWeek hashtag out of anything you have at home and take a photo of it from above.

You can use absolutely anything - here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Pens and pencils 
  • Colourful scarves 
  • Your favourite mugs in the kitchen
  • Lots of socks
  • Sticks or stones in your garden or the park
  • Bits and bobs from your favourite hobby
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK - so you have 1.5 hours to complete your artwork. Your task begins now!

Try out some tasty recipes

Get creative in the kitchen with these great symbolised recipes from Tom Kerridge’s best-selling cookery book, Lose Weight and Get Fit!

There are recipes for fudgy chocolate brownie, chicken tagine traybake, peri-peri chicken, and spicy Mexican-style bean burgers- who could resist?

Try some activities from Mencap's activity pack

Mencap have put together an activity pack with instructions on how to make a handprint splatter, organisations that have exciting creative opportunities for people with learning difficulties, and an invite to answer a question on why creativity is important to you. You can view the pack here.

Is creativity important to you? Why is creativity important to you? Do you think there are enough opportunities for people with learning difficulties to get involved with creative activities? 
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  • craftyartscraftyarts Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Art and craft is more important than any other subject , because it teaches us so many many different concepts . Size , shape , colour numbers and interest in our surroundings ! Did you know there is a intelligent test that is based on drawing if my memory serves me well it is called the Goodenough test … lol yes it is I have just googled it . Not only is art good for cognitive development, it is also good for hand eye co ordination and hand control. Also it is a great tool to counsel some one while they are doing their art work …which is a well known tool to help all kinds of people and it is called Art therapy . I have been privileged to learn art therapy techniques and part my art techniques for the art therapist to use with their patients .
    I now find myself as severely disabled and art and craft is my salvation and I know if I did not know what to do my physical functioning would be severely impacted as well as my mental well being ! 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,002

    Scope community team

    It's certainly an important activity for us all to do @craftyarts :) It's really cool that you've learnt some art therapy techniques, would you like to share any with us?
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  • craftyartscraftyarts Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Art therapy is not what people think totally based on analysing someones art work once finished . Although can be a useful tool when analysing several pieces together to help with deciding a area that may need to be explored . Basically art therapy is a counselling session while the individual is executing their piece of work so you are as the therapist exploring why they did that shape or put that object in a particular place . Our brains are very complex and often when we do our artwork we dislose more of our hidden self our deep thoughts and feelings . Which can then be explored by counselling techniques.  So for my social work training one of my models was on art therapy, so I  am not a art therapist but found the technique very beneficial. I am a qualified counsellor and a art and craft teacher so obviously I  found it fascinating.  When I left working in a psychiatric hospital as a occupational therapist helper to do my probationary teaching year the hospital begged me to stay and be seconded as a art therapist. However my passion was to teach in a special school and I have a full-time job up for a term ...then half term ...then half term,  term and half a term ...so I got my probationary year done but could not be interviewed for the job I was doing as there was a glut of teachers and that was their ruling if you did not have a permanent post you could not be interviewed for a permanent post! Hence why I worked in Day care for people with a physical disability and trained as a social worker.  
    I hope that explains art therapy and what my background comes from?  
    Using art and craft as a therapeutic tool is something quite different and is all about maximising or maintaining someones physical function, using it as a educational tool and a way of communication. Like holding a pen, colours shapes textures and expressing how someone feels . Everyone's individual journey is totally bespoke to them and it is having techniques that a individual will find fulfilling .
    It is finding what that individuals key is and then unlocking it ! I have been fortunate to turn many many keys and see that person grow ! It is also a great tool for people who have suffered a stroke a head injury  as you can find where the persons solid foundation is and repair from there . It is no good just building from where a individual presents as the foundations need to be firm and repaired before you build on and that is where my teachers training was so valuable. I now find myself severely disabled but art and craft is my salvation ! 
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