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Christel's Blog

A place to talk all about how artwork and coloring can do wonders to children and parents.
Christel Daundaratne

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Coloring for Children with Special Needs



Mother and a child with special needs by Gajendra Nalaka Daundaratne

Welcome to Christel’s Blog!


Coloring and special needs children have a delightful inter-connection that can help them in number of ways. Generally, children with ASD and similar conditions are more tend to have amplified sensory stimulation needs, comparably to other children. Notedly, these needs, and sensitivities are unique to each individual and there is no one size fits all when deciding which activities are more suitable for their needs.



child-with-autism-by-christel-nalaka-daundaratne

Typically, tactile stimulation is something most of these children craves and they prefer touching, feeling, and squeezing various textures, excessively. Now, we can introduce suitable coloring materials with textures and compositions that would correspond to their special needs. For example, a child who would like to feel rough solid pieces can be allowed to explore a pack of crayons. Similarly, if the little one is more stimulated by mushy and liquid consistencies, we can offer paint to play with and guide systematically to work on their own arts. Here, what we are focusing is creating child’s motivation to engage in artwork and a new activity by allowing him opportunity to satisfy his sensory needs at the same time. Consider following when planning your coloring and art project:


1. Make sure to provide Non-toxic coloring materials (Ex. Crayon, Paint, etc.). As we know children love to explore things by trying to taste or feel the textures with tongue. Also, they can get paint in their eyes and nose accidently or by purposely.


Child-with-special-needs-tasting-paint-by-nalaka-daundaratne

2. Avoid products that can be choking hazards and can harm self or others. The requirements may vary based on individual functional and behavioral profiles of the child with special need. So, it is not just reading the labels. Know your child’s behavior and manage safety accordingly.


3. Provide adopted tools like changing contact surface textures of crayons and pencils with modifications and/or products made for children with special needs. For example, engrave/scrape crayons' body with a vegetable grater or a butter knife or cover the griping area with playdoh or a bubble wrap, accordingly.


4. Let them explore much as they need. If you feel that they will make a super mess that would add to your strain as a caregiver, use protective clothing for children or table clothes before starting the coloring party

girl with special needs playing with paint by Christel Nalaka Daundaratne


5. Have their own place dedicated to play with color so that they know a particular place and a time is for an activity that they will love. This is very helpful in building structure.


I will stop for today and will be back soon with another short post about how you can use coloring and artwork to aid our children’s functional growth. Meantime, take a moment to browse through Christel's Coloring Pages to find out benefits of coloring and how to color guide to take the best out of your effort. Thank you!

Christel Daundaratne

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