I have a student, a 3rd grade boy, with CP. He's a nice kid, all boy, happy and enthusiastic and likeable. The right side of his body is affected by the CP. He wears a brace on his right leg, walks with a distinctive gait, and his right arm is essentially useless, flopping around and getting in the way. He is also blind in his right eye, though I didn't know that until today. (Wouldn't that be something that perhaps someone would have mentioned to the art teacher?) He's a bright boy, and while he has an IEP and goes for OT, he is not a kid who needs a 1:1, like some of my more severely handicapped students.
Up till now, I haven't had to adapt much for him. He cuts somewhat OK, and is a messy-ish painter, but not too bad. I always make sure he has paint/water on his left or he ends up flopping his bad arm into stuff and knocking it over. He never complains. His parents, rightly so, want him to learn to do stuff independently and not rely on help from others. Ironically, his parents were also my students! They are very young parents, raising 3 great kids. His mom was an exceptionally bright student and a talented young artist, and they are doing a great job as parents.
Anyhow - I said I wanted advice. We are making papier-mache masks in grade 3. He was not able to tear or cut tape for assembling his mask armature, and did something he has never done before - asked for help. He cut what was needed and held stuff in place while I taped, which meant I was doing it FOR him, and not available for the other students. We got the armature done, but next is the papier-mache, which is to me a very 2-handed process. I spoke to the teacher and his OT and also our special ed administrator, who suggested that I ask the network of art teachers I know, in other words, YOU, my blogger-friends! Why hadn't I thought of that myself?
He has art tomorrow, and we're going to start to "do the goo", so here's what I'm thinking so far: I'm going to anchor the project to a surface so that it will stay in place. I'm thinking that maybe I'll put a thin layer of papier-mache paste on some newspaper in a flat tray, and let him rub his newspaper strips on it to saturate it. I don't know if it will work, but I'm at a loss for other ideas. What's your experience with a student like this? What do you do/not do? How do you adapt to help him succeed? What can I be doing to help him with his independence?
Thanks in advance, because I know you are going to have some great ideas!