Biyernes, Hunyo 3, 2011
How My Daughter Found Her Voice In Art
February 23 2011, 11:56 PM
LIFESTYLE PARENTING - LIFESTYLE PARENTING PARENTING
How my daughter found her voice in art
February 16, 2011
My daughter is deaf, mute and has Down Syndrome— but she paints the most wonderful pictures
CLARISSA TIONGSON-ORTIZ is a young adult with Down Syndrome, who is also deaf, mute, physically handicapped, and bipolar. When she was 18, I started home-schooling her because I wanted her to do as well as she could academically, and still enjoy life without the undue pressure of competition, either with regular kids out there in the world or with her peers in special education programs.
I believe parents are the best teachers for their children, because we are able to instill in them our personal values through our teaching.
Home-schooling Clarissa enabled me to discover her strengths and weaknesses, as well. I became more involved in my child’s education, and my daughter received a one-on-one education unmatched in the private setting, enabling her to make the most of her talents.
Teaching a hearing-impaired child can be very frustrating. It is truly a case of E-G-R (Extra Grace Required)! When I began to home-school her six years ago, I repeatedly taught her at home what she had been taught in school and in her speech therapy class. I continued to pray for my daughter’s ability to speak.
As I write these lines, Clarissa hasn’t spoken except to say “Papa,” but that one word gives me every reason to persevere and trust that God will not fail me.
I thank the Lord for giving me the ability to draw and paint. As a Fines Arts graduate majoring in Interior Design, I am able to teach my daughter through the talent He has given me. Home-schooling a child is very challenging, what more one who is deaf, mute, and has Down Syndrome? For her to understand what I am teaching, I have to draw everything. I had no other way to teach her except through pictures and signs.
I was delighted to discover Clarissa’s artistic ability. At age 15, she started copying my drawings of men and women, and drew stylized portraits of family members and friends. Believe it or not, others have said these portraits are reminiscent of Picasso! She uses vibrant colors, and the color combination she chooses are amazing.
Clarissa is also a lifetime scholar of Silab Artreach by teacher Nick Calma, who helps hone her talent. Both teacher Nick and I make collaborative paintings of Clarissa’s works. Our walls at home have become a mini gallery of my daughter’s oil pastel and acrylic paintings. She is truly gifted!
God is good. Clarissa cannot hear or speak, but He gave her eyes to see colors and hands to paint faces. Truly, with God, all things are possible.
Malu Tiongson-Ortiz is author of the book “Embracing God’s Purpose for My Special Child.”
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