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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Badrock

Let's Chat: Navigating Non-Verbal Cues in Art Teaching for Individuals with Autism

Art is magical, isn't it? It's a language that doesn't need words, a canvas where emotions come to life. Now, when we're talking about art classes for our fantastic individuals on the autism spectrum, understanding those non-verbal cues becomes a superpower.

A woman holding a drawing of a koala
A woman with special needs in an art class in Benalla

1. Facial Expressions:

- *Happy Faces:* So, you see those smiles? That's the green light, folks! It's the universal signal for "I'm digging this."

- *Not-So-Happy Faces:* Frowns, grimaces, or the classic "avoid eye contact" move might mean we need to switch gears. Someone might be feeling a bit sensitive, and that's totally cool.

2. Body Language:

- *Open and Relaxed:* Think comfy chair vibes. It says, "I'm ready for this art adventure."

- *Closed or Defensive:* Crossed arms, shoulders hunched — classic signs of 'maybe a little break, please?'

3. Eye Contact:

- *Eye Love:* Maintained eye contact is like a thumbs-up. It means we're on the same creative wavelength.

- *Avoidance:* No need to panic if eye contact is brief or intermittent. Some of our art superstars just express themselves differently.

4. Gestures:

- *Jazz Hands:* Expressive gestures mean we're in the groove. Jazz hands all around!

- *Repetitive Moves:* Maybe some repetitive gestures are happening. It's like a dance of self-soothing, and that's okay.

5. Verbal Sounds:

- *Humming Along:* Non-word vocalizations? It's a symphony of comfort and excitement.

-*Silent Mode:* And then there's the silent art ninja approach. Silence doesn't mean disinterest; it's just another way to rock the canvas.

As an art teacher who specialises in teaching people with disabilities, i can simply dance through these non-verbal cues like a pro. I have a passion for inclusivity and a knack for tailoring art experiences like a bespoke suit.

From choosing colors that feel like a warm hug to adapting techniques that suit individual styles, I can break down the traditional barriers that may have hindered artistic expression before.

Art by Samantha Badock's NDIS-funded art classes in Wangaratta and Benalla aren't just about colors on a canvas; they're about breaking down barriers, creating connections, and celebrating the uniqueness in every artistic stroke.

And there you have it, the lowdown on navigating non-verbal cues in the art room. Until next time, let's keep the conversation colorful and creative!

- Autism Spectrum

- Art Teaching

- Non-Verbal Communication

- Inclusive Learning

- Artistic Expression

- Autism Awareness

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