Artistic Expressions

One of the things that I keep hearing about Tad during his ABA and speech therapy sessions is how imaginative and creative he is with toys and drawings.  And while Tad likes to color, he’d rather draw.  Staying within someone else’s lines is not his strong point.  And yet drawing is the more expressive – and difficult – skill to achieve.  After all, his mother does rubber stamping because her drawing is pathetic.  But that’s a story for another day.

Naturally, Tad’s favorite subject to draw is sharks.  Is anyone surprised?

Most of the time, his sharks come out looking like this:

This is Tad’s rendition of a great white shark.  Note the squiggle at the top that denotes the shark is under the water line.  See the gills, the jagged teeth, the fins.  The boxy shape in the middle is supposed to be the tail.  Most of Tad’s sharks look like this – big oval, box tail, toothy mouth, sometimes with a stick-ish figure swimming away from the shark or a seal in the shark’s mouth.

His ABA therapist has been working with him in drawing, so he would get out of the habit of drawing only sharks.  Using shapes and specific step-by-step instructions, Tad has drawn a cat, a horse, and a dragon.  And then Halloween came around, and look what he was able to do with shapes:

It was so exciting to see those little jack o’lanterns appear on the Doodle Pro that I just had to take a picture.  He has drawn other jack o’lanterns with feet and hands as well.  But I was so thrilled to take this picture to his speech and ABA therapists and show them his work.  Clearly, he can imagine and create beyond just the concept of his favorite thing, which is wonderful.  (And can I just say how GREAT the Doodle Pro is for a kid like Tad?  When we do let him draw on paper, he goes through so much of it because when he makes one little mistake, he wants to start over.  If it’s on paper, he wants a new sheet.  If it’s on the Doodle Pro, he simply erases the whole thing and starts over.  He gets to use a whiteboard in therapy, which is also paper-saving and Tad-friendly.)

But lest you think Tad is giving up shark drawing, let me show you his most recent piece of art:

This picture is inspired by Tad’s favorite shark documentary, Air Jaws, which features great whites leaping out of the water to grab seals.  Note where the squiggly water line is.  And look at the improved tail!  I was glad I had the camera on hand before it got erased off the board.  It was one of those times where I wished the drawing was on paper, because I would have hung it up to keep.

It is so easy for me to focus on what Tad is lacking, and forget about his strong skills, his creative mind, and his imaginative play abilities.  And I do us both a disservice when I don’t dwell on the positives.  His therapy sessions are just as much for me as they are for him, because they constantly reinforce what a special, talented kid he is and just how far he has come.  And just how much my life would be lacking without him in it.

2 Responses to “Artistic Expressions”

  1. Ressis
    November 2nd, 2010 13:39

    Isn’t there some Doodle-Pro-type thing where you CAN print the image? I kind of remember seeing a commercial for that a while ago, so who knows if it’s still around.

  2. Deanna's Corner » Blog Archive » Tad Draws
    February 17th, 2011 01:19

    […] Part of ABA therapy is making sure that he has enough “flexibility” to draw other pictures than just sharks.  For a couple of months, his therapist was giving him pictures made solely out of shapes that he could draw easily.  He learned how to draw cats, dogs, dragons, houses, cars… but the real breakthrough came when he learned how to draw jack o’lanterns at Halloween. […]