I was delighted to be invited to Macau last weekend to take part in the first forum on Arts for People with Intellectual Disabilities there. A celebration and promotion of the key role of the arts, and hosted by the Association of Parents of the People with Intellectual Disabilities of Macau (AFEDMM). It was a two-day event with lots of parents as well as professionals. On the Sunday night we were treated to a range of amazing art performances by people with intellectual disabilities from Sri Lanka, China, Korea, Macau of course, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. A real celebration of talent and parental delight. On the Monday there were various panelists who spoke about their experience of how the arts had helped them and their children.
I talked on how the arts can help develop life skills and how they are not an added luxury but an imperative right for all children and their main modality of learning as the arts are rooted in play, and one which has great relevance to children who learn differently. There was great interest in my new book “Fighting the dragon, finding the self- why art and play matter in early childhood” and I hope by next year there will be the first bilingual edition in Chinese.
If you would like to hear more about the conference do tune into the two radio podcasts I did while there.
How great if we can build such inclusive forums for celebrating the arts in the field of intellectual disabilities that is inclusive of parents, children with disabilities and professionals all working together. The arts as an inclusive medium.