Thursday, January 24, 2013
VISUAL arts helps students from Pusat Ehsan to improve and fine tune their motor skills and express their knowledge or ideas through creative art.
According to Shane Butuyan, occupation therapist at Pusat Ehsan and professor alumni from the University of Makati, visual arts can help encourage students at the facility to be more functional by using their hands more often.
"Before providing the task (creative art), we would evaluate each student first if they can do the strokes on the page, because the task of stroking is contraindicative to a child with autism. If the task requires scribbling, it will encourage the student to do that little movement," said Shane.
The tasks would also require moderation by the faculty such as holding students' hands for support, but the faculty let students create their own art as a way to encourage them to be more independent.
The founder of the programme called "Big Ones Little Ones (BOLO)" originating from Sydney, Australia, Trish Amichi went to Pusat Ehsan yesterday morning to conduct an art workshop for special students from the early years, middle, upper and pre-vocational classes.
Trish is currently in the country for the BOLO Brunei Exhibition. The exhibition is being held at the Art Gallery of the Royal Wharf in Bandar Seri Begawan, from January 19 to February 19, 2013.
BOLO is a unique trans-generational and cross-cultural arts/education programme which recognises and acknowledges the significant role that art played in childhood development; education and learning, communication and culture. It started as an art and education programme designed especially for under-privileged and special-needs children.
"Big Ones" are categorised as older children, teenagers or adult artists who act as role models and teachers often passing on on cultural information, practices and traditions to "Little Ones" who arecategorised as children aged five and above.
According to Trish, the children comprise those living in communities across the world, many of which were remote, war-torn, marginalised or otherwise disadvantaged. "Working with students with special needs or illness, you need to be flexible because it is dealing with children with shorter attention spans, and you need to make it accessible. These students like having fun, they love being creative, and they love hearing and telling stories."
At present more that 1,000 children from 50 communities in 30 countries have participated in BOLO Exhibitions.The Brunei Times
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