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Art therapy ‘best way’ to fight intellectual disability

January 22, 2017

Students with intellectual disabilities need a special approach in education to refine their lives and artistic skills so that they become more useful and productive members of society.
Zaki Alloaim, a professor of art education in Al-Ahsa, has contributed in the treatment of special needs students by exploring their abilities and talents, and then implementing them through several types of activities and art works.
“There is no problem in the failure of such students to do certain type of work. I do not care about the product quality as much as I care about the involvement of the students to prove their abilities, regardless of perfection or quality; this is the therapeutic and psychological side for the student,” he said.
Some treatments may take a full year, as instilling confidence in the student needs patience no matter what the results are, Alloaim said, referring to the importance of developing intellectual education.
He called for increasing the professional classes, providing motivation and encouragement for special education students through gifts and rewards for their efforts, confirming that artwork here is not a goal but a means.
Alloaim said cited two cases of special needs students who suffer from a disability preventing them from writing and holding a pen, but after a period of gradual training, they were able to hold the pen normally.
He explained that an intellectual student’s productivity may outweigh the ordinary student, revealing that one of his students became able to create designs using a computer program and worked as an assistant designer. Such success results from giving students the opportunity to experience and make mistakes, he said.
Alloaim said art education can be a therapy for some of the students’ health problems, as well as behavioral problems, particularly the mentally disabled, who suffer from dispersion in mind during studying regular school subjects.
Speaking about his experience, intellectual education student Hussain Al-Hudabi said: “I have learned from Professor Zaki Alloaim how to use the brush for dyeing and how to put paste on walls and wood.”
Due to his excellence and perfection in work, Zaki Alloaim won the Abdul Wahab Al-Mousa Award for Scientific Excellence, along with praise granted from the Ministry of Education and Al-Ahsa Education.



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