Right now I'm just doing a lot of research to find what's out there (Autism & Art in my community and elsewhere). That's all I set out to do. It didn't take long before I started getting a bad taste in my mouth about it all. What was it?
Something about having to google and find these ugly sites that list other ugly, non user-friendly sites that you have to sift through and then sign up, fill out applications, call for information, pay fees... Well, it all reads like something that was not designed for the actual people who would be using these programs. Not anyone who is looking for something on his/her own, not even most overwhelmed parents who are already dealing with multiple therapies, IEPs, meetings with family support and dealings with medicaid to whom it just seems like MORE stuff to complicate life.
Then when you GET anywhere, what do you have?
What's wrong with classes? There are oodles of art classes. Paint with seashells. Fun with pipecleaners. You know what I'm talking about. You have a teacher on one side. You have students on the other side. And folks, my six year old could school all of you in her sleep when it comes to arts and crafts.
The classes, and the programs, and the sites... They're all about "US" helping "THEM". That's what rubs me the wrong way. I'm NOT about that. I don't want the studio to be about that. I want the studio to give people freedom to create and possibly teach others. I want people to bounce ideas off of eachother, not get taught by some neuro-typical how to tear paper.
I'm talking about a self-directed program. I don't mean that I want you to just come and be brilliant and I'll promote you and help you clean up your mess. But maybe I do. Maybe. Maybe that's what's missing. You share the ideas. You tell me what you need. We help eachother. We invite the community in.
Hmm. Hmmmm. Lots to think about. And it's midnight, and I have dishes to do, and I might have to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of sick kids, so I have to force myself to stop thinking about this. I know this sounds rough around the edges and even kind of hostile... I'm just brainstorming publically so bear with me!