I work with people that are mentally disabled and am looking for simple to hard crafts intended for them. Does any one know of a website that may be available out there to help me?
By lee298 Editor's Note: The language in this post has been changed to avoid an offensive word. We have left the references to the word in the feedback below, to educate future readers.
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I also work with mentally challenged individuals. I have used several sources for my craft ideas. Thrifty fun has been a big help. Also I use www.familyfun.com, www.kaboose.com, Pac O Fun magazine, and look at Oriental Trader's catalog. Often I take an idea and change it to meet the abilities of my students.
I used to care for 2 mentally challenged people and what they liked to do was plastic canvas. They started me on it too. It is fun and easy. The plastic canvas is cheap and just use regular yarn. I know they would like it. There are several free projects for plastic canvas on craftbits and several more websites. Good luck and have fun.
I'm a mom of a son with Down syndrome and I've worked in classrooms for mentally challenged children, a home for adults and am a special Olympics coach. Lots of experience here! A lot depends on the abilities of the people you are working with. Most of the people I have known have loved paint by number kits, loop potholder kits, stringing beads of any kind, simple sewing projects, making things with Popsicle sticks, gluing puzzle pieces to picture frames, putting puzzles together and gluing them to make a picture, many love clay or play doh projects, anything with glitter, stencils & stickers, making sock puppets, gluing things to clay pots, making clay pot figures, planting almost anything, decorating a pillow case or a tee shirt with fabric paints, Sassier299 mentioned plastic canvas which is good and some may be able to actually do cross stitch.
I taught a 7 year old autistic child to crochet, the possibilities are endless depending on the capabilities of each person and the patience of the teacher. Oriental Trading is an excellent place to find kits. Michael's crafts has a lot of ideas on the website. Look at teacher oriented websites and at websites for home schooling. Also, get into the craft section of About.com for ideas. Just go for it! You'll have a lot of fun working with them and you will also learn from them.
I'm sure you meant no offense in using the term 'retarded', but as a parent of a son with Down syndrome, let me say thank you to beacondtspec & to sassier299 for saying mentally challenged. I'm OK with it, but you may want to be more politically correct because some parents & relatives get very offended by the 'R' word.
A very dear cousin of mine, who is thirty nine years old and mentally challenged, is very good at decorating boxes, envelopes and writing paper with stickers and/or paints. He also likes to help cook and bake.
He loves to do physical work whether it is cleaning, sweeping or washing the car. He tells me he likes doing those things more than crafts ;-)
I too appreciate reading (or hearing) the term mentally challenged rather than the negative implication of the word retarded because the 'R' word is basically the same as calling someone useless and a failure. When my cousin hears that word (he can not read) he becomes agitated. His mind is that of a six or seven year old but deep down inside he must understand the negative connotation or else he would not become so upset :-(
My sister is a Downs adult. She loves to do hook work, Christmas banners, rugs. Also scrapbooks with cutouts and stickers. She takes photos and chooses what ones she wants. Sites to go through for various crafts is WonderTime and FaveCrafts - both free with many ideas. You can subscribe to their newsletter that comes around holidays.
Thank You all for your help and feedback. You are all a great help.
We have a center here where I volunteer. We make a lot of cards especially at Christmas and we sell them. We do ceramics and had the keel donated to us. We took small tiles and painted them and decoupaged them and sold them as coasters. We take old clear vases and drizzle several colors of paint, one at a time, down in them. We are now painting bird houses. We found someone kind enough to cut them out of wood for us. We bought clear glass Christmas ornaments and drizzled paint down in them and swirled around. Last Christmas we made ornaments out of little Caesar's dog food bowls. Now we are making our own beads and painting them, then firing them, and making necklaces and bracelets. We have a great time!
Here are a few of the craft sites I use:
I hope at least one of these will prove to be helpful to you. God Bless you as you serve the special needs people. It takes a very special person to do your job and I am thankful that this world has people like you.
May God's richest blessings be yours,
Check Carewear.com. It's an org that volunteers provide baby things for hospitals including stuffed animals. They have a very simple pattern for a rabbit and a dog which you cut out two pieces and sew together and stuff. I know there are some groups that have someone send the pieces already sewn to them and have their participants stuff the animals. Worth checking out.
Both of the following are a link to a book of crafts for the mentally disabled. (I think one you can actually buy it off the site)
Its not exactly cheap though :(
I must quite agree that the 'R' word is a negative one, and I am quite sure you meant not to offend. I am a mom to two autistic beautiful children. I have found a site that both my 5 and 8 year old can navigate easily. It was designed by a grandfather for his autistic grandson:
Might some of them be inclined to colour pages and make up a story to go with those pages, even if you wrote them?
A few more, not designed specifically for autistics or special needs, but you may get some ideas:
These are just some of the sites I found through google.
I hope they help.
I don't care for the use of the "r" word, either, unless it is used in its true context which it seems in this case it is/was. Society has, unfortunately, put the stigma on the word.
But I, too, am the mother of a wonderful young man who happens to have autism and am a special education teacher as well, and I have to say that the big letter introduction by the grandfather at www.zacbrowser.com using "suffering from... autism" is offensive as well. I typically use "lives with autism" or "endures autism" or "happens to have autism".
As for crafts, Discount School Supply (.com) has a lot of good craft items and kits: http://tinyurl.com/nxneq3 I particularly like the picture frames that can be decorated as they seem to be favorites of children and adults as well. They also have a blog for persons working with people with challenges and many excellent resources and links. Sending blessings to all.
A diagnosis IS politically correct. If you are that sensitive about correct usage of the word, maybe it's because of the connotations in your own mind. My client has a MR diagnosis. That doesn't mean she is useless. It is just a term that describes her.
Well, first off I would suggest refraining from using the word "retard". Our clients are people first, which is why we say "people with disabilities". If you ask any person who struggles with illness, using the word "retard" is very rude.
Now to answer your question, any arts and crafts would be fine. Really, it depends on your clients mobility and mental determination. Start with something small, I,e. modelling clay, finger painting, paper mache...
If your clients seem to take this head on and enjoy themselves then move up to something that requires a bit more patience and skill. I hope this helps you on your journey!
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