Having been through a phase in life where they have not achieved at all in terms of academic excellence and have been branded in school puts children with Specific Learning Disabilities under a lot of pressure. Arts are the only media through which we can reach out to them and bring about holistic development to restore their damaged self-esteem. A group of six adolescents with Learning Disabilities were chosen from Deepika School, Bangalore for the pilot project and the same six were the clients for the Action Research Project. Triangulation was achieved by using three different perceptions for data collection. The following were the sources:
- Therapist’s Notes
- Feedback from the teacher in class and the observer in the ABT session
- Video recording
The data driven method was adopted so that a pattern could be established from the collected data. This led to inductive conclusions, which could be verified using the video recording.
- Attention span of three clients has definitely increased. This was reflected in their ability to answer questions in the class.
- Reading Comprehension has improved in three clients as seen in the classroom setting.
- Two of the clients have improved their social skills, they were hesitant earlier
- One of the clients, who has dyslexia could associate a similar letter with the colour and his name which was an accomplishment.
The structure in music and rhythm definitely helped the clients become more organized and structured in their day to day lives. Rhythm led to increased attention spans and this created new patterns of learning. Movement and dance played their part in enhancing cognition skills and memory. For adolescents to regain their childhood spirit, movement was a prime motivator. Mask making helped unlock deep-seated inhibitions and clay therapy was an effective way of tactile expression.