Five Ways Art Can Positively Benefit Children with Learning Disabilities

Children with special needs deal with the world differently than everyone else. They might have trouble coping, expressing themselves, understanding what’s happening around them, absorbing information, and working through problems. Disabilities such as dyslexia and ADHD are more common than you might think, and a child could be quietly living with a learning disability that you can’t detect. Enrollment in special needs schools should be sought for these kids, but getting them involved in the arts while maintaining a positive home can have a tremendous benefit as well.

Drawing and Painting

You’d be hard-pressed to find a child who doesn’t enjoy these activities. Drawing and painting can help a child learn about color, sizes, shapes, boundaries, and spatial relationships. Art can also be an emotional outlet for special needs children who have trouble expressing their feelings.

For instance, drawing offers many benefits for children, including improved concentration, motor skills, and visual analysis. That’s why you might even want to consider enrolling your child in an online art class.



Get your child into crafting or making art with his hands in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional way. Children learn a great deal from building things, whether it’s a sand castle, a clay sculpture, or an origami crane, and crafting allows them to learn about texture and problem-solving in ways that drawing alone might not.


Thematic learning box filled with science activities, literacy and craft supplies. (Photo credit: Squizzel Box) 


The benefits of music are plentiful. Learning and playing music can help with brain development, IQ, language development, and spatial intelligence. For a child with special needs, adding music to the curriculum can enhance his mental development. Every child will be drawn to a different instrument, so take yours to a music shop and let him play around until he finds the right instrument.



Movement is wonderful for the body, and a dance class can teach your child rhythm and sequencing in a social environment. An added benefit is learning to follow directions, which can be troublesome for children who don’t focus well. Dancing is a form of emotional expression, stress-relief, exercise, motor skill development, and creativity. For children with learning disabilities, these benefits to their physical and mental fitness can be even greater.


Performance Art

Encourage your child to perform theater arts, which along with acting can also include singing, dancing, playwriting, and stand-up comedy. Not only do these activities help with confidence and self-expression, but theater has also been shown to have positive effects on academic performance. If your child is stage-shy, he might enjoy watching, writing, or working on the technical side of plays instead of acting in them.


If implemented as part of their regular curriculum, art can make strides in the mental, emotional, social, and behavioral development of children with special needs. While helping your child cope with a learning disability, you can feed his creativity and imagination too. 


About the Author: 

Alyssa Strickland created for all the new parents on the block. Alyssa believes the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, but she also thinks it takes a village to raise a parent! Millennial-Parents is that village. Today’s parents can be more connected than ever and she hopes her site will enrich those connections. On Millennial-Parents, she shares tips and advice she learns through experience and from other young parents in three key areas—Education, Relationships, and Community.

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