Sunday, July 31, 2016

How Artsonia Became a Resource for our Child with Special Needs

I have been using Artsonia as an educator for the past four years.  I enjoy having students excited to see their artwork in our school's online gallery and seeing the smiles on their faces when parents and family members comment on their artwork.  I could not wait until my child had her own account at school!

When my older daughter entered 1st grade, her art teacher created her account and posted all of her artworks for my family and I to see and comment.  She would ask us all the time if Nana or G.G. had something to say about her artwork.  I even been using Artsonia to upload her personal artwork from summer classes and home, and I kick myself for not starting one sooner with all her little drawings she created at home or in Preschool.  I have raved about how Artsonia helped improve my classroom and even how parents can benefit from the online gallery as well.  With our recent family developments, we have discovered another benefit that helps me as a parent and educator.

A year and a half ago, our younger daughter was diagnosed developmentally delayed with sensory issues.  We received therapy for her through Early Intervention, where therapists would come to the house each week to assist her with her speech, motor, and sensory development.  I was noticing her therapists were creating projects with my daughter to help her with fine motor, and a lightbulb went off in my head: creating an Artsonia profile for my younger daughter to document her artworks throughout her therapy.

For the past year, I have been taking photos of my daughter's artworks to document her growth in fine motor development (and because I'm a proud mommy).  I've even added her therapists as fan club members so they can see her progress as well.  Now that my daughter has aged out of Early Intervention, she will be attending school at a Special Education Center, which also uses Artsonia!  It was very easy for me to contact the online gallery and have her account added to the school.  Now having previous documentation of her progress, her new art teacher will see how far she's come along and can continue her artistic skills and motor development.

It means a lot to my family and I that a program like Artsonia is available, especially for monitoring our child's growth in creativity and motor skills.  The online art portfolio became another tool for our therapists, social workers, and educators to use to document our daughter's progress and we plan on continuing our use of the online gallery for many years to come.