Fall 1996, Vol. 8 No. 1
reviewed by Judith Hendricks
Imagine children with disabilities in speech, language, vision, cognition, and fine or gross motor skills being able to participate in the wonderfully motivating, hands-on, multi-sensory experience of creating arts and crafts. Pat Mervine, in collaboration with Michele Burton and Lynn Wood, bring this vision to life in their new book, Art For Me, Too! (Mayer-Johnson).
Art For Me, Too! is a comprehensive curriculum guide featuring 45 thematic units which can be integrated into a variety of classrooms. Each thematic unit can also be used in conjunction with the 45 cooking activities presented in Pat Mervine's previous cooking/communication book entitled, I Can Cook, Too! (see TECH-NJ, Vol.7, No.1 for review).
The book is designed for children on a pre-reading and early reading level, and each unit contains both words and symbols. The curriculum encourages the development of literacy and functional communication and provides practice with visual and auditory attention, olfactory awareness, fine and gross motor skills, receptive and expressive language, cognitive development, choice-making, and social skills.
The uniqueness of the book is its focus on communication and adaptations. The suggested adaptations allow children with disabilities to explore their creativity by adapting each project to meet their individual needs and abilities. Adaptations include the use of switches, computer interfaces and alternate inputs, and a number of low-tech modifications used for painting, writing, stirring, and other motor skills. Communication boards for each activity are an invaluable feature of thi s book.
Art For Me, Too! is an indispensable resource which is a must for every teacher of young children with disabilities.
Judith Hendricks is a graduate student in the Department of Special Education at The College of New Jersey.
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