Aspergers and tactile issues-HELP!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by love2teach_art, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. love2teach_art

    love2teach_art Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2010

    I'm doing a paper mache project with my 2nd graders.
    A student of mine refuses to touch the paste because he is sensitive to the texture of the paste.

    What do you guys do with students who have keen sense of touch?
    He says he's fine with using clay?
    Do I have him make the project with clay instead of paper mache?
    Or do I allow him to do little at a time?? And have him paint an already made paper mache animal?
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Apr 28, 2010

    Does he receive OT services from the school? If so, ask the OT what should be done.

    Otherwise, I would suggest either having him do it with clay or paint a pre-made paper mache (Or maybe he could help you while you touch the paste, so he feels like he helped with making it)
     
  4. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Apr 28, 2010

    It's definitely not a good idea to force him to do the project with paper mache. I'd let him use any alternative medium he's comfortable with, but as a side bar, see if- via an OT or his parents, perhaps- it's possible to get him move in the paper mache direction by, say, playing with some fine clay and getting it wetter and wetter until it has similar slickness. The Aspies I'm familiar with really balk at sensory stimuli that are well outside their current range, but can often widen that range a step at a time, if it's more of an exploration than a push from outside.
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Apr 29, 2010

    Gloves?
     
  6. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Apr 29, 2010

    I say forget it, don't try to intergrate him, that's for his therapist and OT to do. Give him an already made paper mache thing. Before tell him you understand his needs and that is why you got him this (fill in blank) to paint with his peers. there. done. Next project!
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    :confused:
     
  8. amaran20

    amaran20 Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2010

    I'm with Mrs C... aren't you supposed to be making accommodations and modifications for him?
     
  9. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I think by intergrate, hac meant integrate, and I think by integrate, hac meant accommodate the students, and don't make him do the same as the other students if he is uncomfortable with it. It is the OT/Therapist's job to get him to the point that he's comfortable with that sort of thing, if they feel that is an important goal. At least that's how I understood the post.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I really hope you're kidding! :mad:
     
  11. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    I certainly hope you are because I am astounded that any teacher today would think forcing a child with asperger's and sensory issues to do something that sets off his sensory issues is anything better than one of the most horrible ideas you can possibly do. That's like say "I know you are allergic to pollen, but we are learning about how flowers smell different so you need to take a deep sniff of each of these 10 flowers. We aren't making any modifications for you, no matter what unneccessary pain our activities will cause you"
     
  12. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Once again, I don't think YTG disagrees with you on this... i think the word "integrate" was a poor choice of words, and gives the opposite connotation of what was intended, and that is what YTG and many other posters responded to.
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    There is nothing wrong with differentiating projects for the needs of kids, whether they have "identified" needs or not. If he can use clay, let him use it.
     
  14. newbie1234

    newbie1234 Companion

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    Apr 29, 2010

    Autistic kids don't usually mind doing stuff that's different from their peers; the kid in this situation probably won't care that he or she is using clay while everyone else is making papier mache.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I used to have sensory issues, I still have some. Mostly regarding shaving cream. It just feels.... WRONG

    They used to have me play with it in physical therapy.

    It was incredibly unpleasant and I hated the feeling of it. My hands would the shaving cream all over them. I did not like that.

    I have a feeling your student feels rather similar. Probably anxious. Like an itch you cannot scratch. Help accommodate and mention it to their case manager as a concern.
     
  16. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2010

    Well first I would think about what do you really want this student to take away from this lesson. If it's more of a focus on how to create three dimensional sculpture than the medium doesn't really matter, modify it to suit his needs.

    If you want him to learn the procedures of paper mache then offer an alternative like gloves so the tactile experience isn't a negative one. As art educators we have a lot of flexibility in what each student can take away from a lesson, a change in material doesn't mean he won't have a valuable art experience.
     
  17. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    I don't know what school systems some of you work for, but it is very clear we all work for different establishments, each with their own way of doing things. I did mean integrate (please note the e and r keys are next to each other) and I meant by it was don't try to slowly make him get use to sticky substances, that's for his OT and parents to decide. If has Aspergers, he/she won't care if he is painting a picture and other kids are eating popsicles...He can't use paper mache? Cool, I wouldn't make it a big deal. Get him clay or a box to paint or have him make a collage...
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The way you stated it sounded very harsh and sarcastic at first.
     
  19. cheer

    cheer Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2010

    ok

    I am not too familiar with paper mache but... don't you have to cut up stripes of paper?? Can't this child work with another child on this project. One can cut the paper (with lots of praise from the partner) and the other one soaks it and sticks it. While that student is slopping in the paper mache cant the paper cutter draw a plan of how it will look in the end. (using markers, chalk, paint?)

    Also isnt there another way to make a sculpture with spray startch and cheese(?) cloth? maybe he could do it that way. Worth a try?? You make a form out of a bottle and wire hanger and drap it with cheese cloth and spray with heavy spray startch??
     
  20. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    I believe that spray would give him as much trouble, if not more, than the glue, were it to accidentally get on him. Since he is okay with substances like clay, his problem is likely the way it feels when it begins to dry on his skin, which does happen immediately. So anything that would begin to dry on his skin would cause sensory issues.


    I used to have sensory issues with sweat pants. They made my legs feel like they were on fire with all those little nubs. My parents would force me to wear them (even though there never was a reason too). I'd have them above my knees trying to rub the pain away, and screaming to change them the entire time.
     
  21. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    My thoughts exactly. Depending on the child's age I make it into a game or something....Tell him/her that you have awesome gloves that make everything feel special. You should put on the gloves too. Show him/her what to do. I was a TSS worker for kids with autism for about 4 years.
     
  22. MrsCase

    MrsCase Rookie

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    I agree with what several have said before me: allow the student to do an alternate project with similar objectives. What are you aiming for as far as what you want the students to learn? I'm assuming its not "how to make something out of paper mache" so there must be specific elements you are looking for in 3-d artwork. If clay would be something the student is comfortable with and would allow you to apply similar artistic elements, then go for it. We SHOULD (and in cases of an IEP are legally required to) make accommodations to class work to fit the needs of our students. We should NEVER just say "forget it" and expect them to do the same thing as everyone else all the time. I'm sure you'll be able to find an alternative that works for your student and you!
     
  23. cheer

    cheer Comrade

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    Wow it really helps to hear from someone who has experienced sensory issues. It really puts it all into perspective. I guess you are right about the spray.
     
  24. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    May 2, 2010

    I teach a lot of autistic kids and we have latex free gloves for that purpose. If a child vehemently refuses, they have to make a plan for what they will do instead.
     

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