The arts offer a huge range of ways for your child to express his or herself and boost their self-confidence.
From arts residential weekends for children with cancer and their siblings, to multi-sensory theatre productions for children with multiple learning disabilities, you’ll find dozens of opportunities in these pages.
So if you fancy giving a Rodin sculpture a hug, or dancing like a sugar plum fairy, this is the place to find out how.
Here are a few great ideas to get you started....
Art for Special Needs
The arts offer a huge range of ways for your child to express his or herself and boost their self-confidence. From arts residential weekends for children with cancer and their siblings, to art workshops for children with multiple learning disabilities, you’ll find dozens of opportunities in these pages. So if you fancy giving a Rodin sculpture a hug or if you’re planning a day out, you’ll see that most of the big museums and art galleries have great interactive events for special needs kids either in family or schools groups. Have fun!
A free lending library for pre-schoolers to adults. They cover everything from fine art to space travel to Peppa Pig to Dinosaurs!
Descriptive Folders are available at the Portico. These are free to use. Each folder focuses on two paintings including descriptive text and interpretation in either large print photographic reproductions or tactile images.
Find loads of other art organisations and ideas...
Use our directory to find lots of groups and adventures.
Music can have enormous benefits for children with physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Music therapy can even help with language development. Technology has opened new doors for special needs children, enabling absolutely everyone to be able to make music for themselves. A great example is soundbeam– a virtual sound machine.
The range of opportunities is extraordinary, from The Squidz Club, which features young DJs and artists in a fun and friendly atmosphere, to The Golden Chord, which translates sheet music into braille. Contact you local authority disability officer and local special needs schools to make sure you’re kept in the loop about special events near you.
The Squidz Club is a night for young people with learning disabilities (aged 10-25) their friends and families.
Featuring young DJs and artists in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The club is a chance for you to have a good time, make new friends and be yourself!
Produce music-related and other materials in Braille.
Examples include a piece for an exam, a vocal part for a choral singer, a study score, programme notes, exam papers, books and articles and orchestral parts.
OpenUp Music empowers young disabled musicians to build inclusive youth orchestras. Together we develop accessible musical instruments and repertoire, challenge expectations and forge new progression routes through the creation of great music.
Browse loads of other musical adventures
Use our directory to find lots of other organisations to make sweet music with.
Drama can be fun and hugely beneficial for disabled kids whatever their needs. It can stimulate their imagination, their social skills, and improve their confidence and communication. It can even help kids cope with challenging times by giving them a platform to express their feelings. Drama groups are also a great way for your child to meet new friends.
Many special needs drama groups will use all sorts of multi-sensory tools like voicebox technology, hydro-therapy pools, trampolines, aromatherapy, video projection, animations and puppeteering to engage kids even more. Some professional theatre groups also run workshops for kids, so look through our quick links to see what’s out there.
Graeae champions creative platforms for D/deaf and disabled artists, children and young people through our productions, training and creative learning projects.
They provide empowering workshops and training programmes for young artists, led by inspiring role models
They deliver magical, memorable, multi sensory experiences for children and young people with moderate to profound learning difficulties as well as those with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Find loads of other dramatic possibilities
Use our directory to find lots of organisations to play with.
Dance classes are great fun, great exercise, and a great way for your child to make new friends. It’s wonderful, too, to watch your child express his or herself independently. From wheelchair dancing to dancing lessons for teenagers with learning difficulties, there are plenty of opportunities around – you’ll find links here to get you started.
A good example is ActOne ArtsBase. They run vibrant, all-ability dance, theatre and arts projects all over Hertfordshire and the surrounding area. They make the performing arts accessible to all, regardless of disability or circumstance. http://www.artsbase.org.uk/
A lot of dance classes for disabled kids get unique funding, so are one-offs lasting a few weeks at a time. Contact you local authority disability officer and local special needs schools to make sure you’re kept in the loop and don’t miss out. You may find that some local mainstream dance classes can support your child’s needs.
Anjali Dance Company enables people with learning disabilities to achieve excellence, provides positive role models and encourages the integration and inclusion of people with learning disabilities in the Arts and in society. Their innovative and pioneering work has created a radical new perspective for contemporary dance.
Anjali also has a successful youth dance company, Young Anjali, and a unique Education and Outreach team of dancers with learning disabilities who teach and lead workshops.
Candoco Dance Company is the contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.
They have learning projects and activities we provide access to the highest quality of work for people participating in contemporary dance for pure enjoyment, or as part of a developing career.
Dance your way to loads of other performances
Use our directory to find lots of other ballet and dance organisations.