Accepted paper:

One sense at a time workshops for children with Autism


Manasi Dash (Bidirectional Access Promotion Society)
Arun Mehta

Paper short abstract:

Children find it harder to learn when multiple senses are involved. For persons with communication or social challenges, this is a bigger problem. One sense at a time approach, focuses on technologies and tools related to one sense at a time to reduce sensory overload.

Paper long abstract:

Children under the age of eight typically use only one sense at a time to judge the world around them. For those with autism, multi-sensory information overload is a bigger issue, as they have deficiencies in the interconnection between different parts of the brain. Teaching arts that employ a single sense has worked well here, as shown by workshops with children at Ashish Center, Dwarka, Delhi. More senses are integrated gradually in this approach, as in cooking and gardening, which helps caregivers identify talent early, and guide the child towards an appropriate career choice. Different senses were addressed in these, via vision, hearing, tactile, movement, etc. For developing vision, children were encouraged to use cameras, colorful objects, paint materials, etc. Singing, using a combination of online and face to face interaction, and sounds of animals and objects were used to train the ear and help children develop their imagination to build stories. For touch we used clay modeling, for movement we invited artists in contemporary and classical dance. These workshops also provide skill upgradation for caregivers, encourages them to think creatively and intuitively. Learning together connects child and caregiver better, which is critical in autism, a communication disability, many of whom are nonverbal, and hence need avenues outside of the verbal to express themselves creatively.

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Art workshops for children with autism