Ruben is a creative and he just came out that way, it’s hard wired into him. It’s part of who he is and the way he looks at the world. Call it a gifting, an ability an aptitude, but for me it’s just him.
The artistic temperament comes with it’s own challenges like high sensitivity, Sensory Integration Issues and for him also the fact that he is 2e. Art for him is a refuge, a safe place and a vast inner world that balances and regulates his being. Energy banking when he feels physically and emotionally drained and depleted.
His voice to communicate his thoughts and special interests and his emotional expression, since verbal expression is a foreign second language, as is the case with many people on the spectrum.
Homeschooling him has been a joy from the start. He is knowledge seeking and has a natural love of learning that just needed sunlight and a nourishing, stimulating environment to flourish. When he was young his art and creative expression was very organic, intuitive and it would just pour out of him continuously. He loved his art classes, pottery classes and online art lessons.
The teenage years and high school brought a shift. His process changed and became much more intrinsic. With a lot of creative writing and journaling, world building, delight directed research and independent learning based on various special interests.
It became a challenge for me to find a homeschool art curriculum that would challenge him but also teach real art skills in a logical and structured way. Specifically aimed at building an art portfolio that he could use to apply for tertiary studies, since he will definitely pursue a creative career pathway. After all, he is an INFJ with an AIRCES aptitude.
Then we found OCAD Arts, an accredited online art school in Cambridge, UK: https://www.cambridgeonlineeducation.com/
What an amazing treasure. Yes, it’s hard and challenging but it is so worth it. He is currently busy with a 2 year Level 2 Art & Design course, Ofqual regulated and BTEC equivalent (IGCSE equivalent): https://www.artcoursework.com/class-courses/level-2-art-design-gcse-equivalent/
It is just amazing to see how Ruben’s skillset and ability has grown and evolved over just a few months of doing this course. I think the photos speak for themselves. He is only halfway now with the 17 Tasks of the Skillbuilder, I can’t wait to see the rest.