Art, Creative Expression and The Maturity Journey – My Exceptional Son’s New Found Love in Making Bracelets

 

Michael has always been artistic. He learned to sing whole songs before he could talk. He loved music and dancing to all kinds of children’s music. After that, he graduated to playing musical instruments like his toy electric piano, his toy accordion and a tamborine. He put on concerts for us where he sang popular pop song lyrics and improvised with the music on his instruments. But drawing and arts and crafts, that kind of art, was always something he struggled with both in school and at home. He’d look at me as if I had two heads if I mentioned making crafts at home or doing anything arts and crafty. Yes, he was artistic, but not in the crafty way, if you know what I mean. That is why this year at school, an now at camp, I am extra impressed and proud that he growing to regard art and any kind of fine motor art work as fun and interesting.

His favorite subjects at school are now music, science and art! The work he brought home this year blew me away! It was especially beautiful for me to see how he is growing in maturity, despite the tough year with challenging behaviors that we had. It made it even nicer to experience as a result. And now he has been at a new camp this year. It is going very well, and he started making bracelets. Yes, you heard me. He started beading bracelets on his own! He made one for himself, and one for me and his Dad (the two pictured above), and now he is working on bracelets for the rest of the family, grandparents and cousins! It has blown me away how into this he is, and I am so proud of his growing confidence and maturity. It is also helping him transition from that strange age, 10, when a child is not a baby, but not a teenager. And though he is developmentally delayed so he is not quite 10 in all areas, in many he is and is struggling with how to entertain himself when he is home.

“I don’t want to play with toys Mommy. But I hate board games. What can I do alone?”
This morning in the car on the way to camp, we talked about different games I would show him in August when he is home from camp, and different things he can now do in the evening before bed. I spoke about puzzles, drawing and painting that he likes to do, playing on his instruments and then Michael added beading bracelets. Yes, his ability to entertain himself at home, which is still hard, is on the way to being realized.  I am so proud of his maturity, and I am trying to go with his flow. A few weeks ago we bought face paint at an arts and crafts store as Michael has also become fascinated with face painting at summer outdoor festivals. In his typical ambitious style, he wanted to be able to paint Minions and Yoda tattoos as the artists there did. I had to burst his bubble and inform that it takes years of training to do that. He was a little disappointed, but I’m happy to say that he experimented and made his close approximation of Yoda and Minions that he could. He had a lot of green and yellow paint on different days to remove. 🙂 Still, he enjoyed doing it himself, and even used his chore money to buy the paint. I’m so glad that I can encourage him to explore different interests. It has truly helped him to mature and me to see that mature little boy growing.

Exceptional Parents, do you remember to let your child explore their interests and creativity, no matter how fleeting they are? Within reason of course, all parents can find ways to let their children explore their creativity so that they could hone in on things they love. You never know where it will take them in terms of development, and maybe even future job possibilities. 🙂 Remember, let your child explore, enjoy, and fall in love with different forms of art. It is truly a way for them and you to grow closer together. Until next time.

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