Working with Special Needs Students

Read about how MADLOM works with special needs students. See below for more about our classroom philosophy.

patch-logoMaya Milenovic Workman—Empowering Kids With Special Needs

At MADLOM, we believe that all life adds value to the community regardless of age, ability, or background and that the arts can be a vehicle for developing self-understanding as well as empathy for others.

In our experience, we have seen that when diverse people join together the energy generated is exponentially more than the sum of its parts. The inter-subjective experience, which is so inspiring to the artist, is enhanced when differing perceptions and ways of expressing are included.

Rather than segregate classes strictly according to labels, we choose to give young people, all of whom have strengths and weaknesses, the opportunity to create together in an inclusive, accepting atmosphere. Our goal is not limited to the production of a time limited performance, but is to create a space where children, with and without, special needs, learn to trust, start to share, grow in confidence, and become more resilient.

The MADLOM process begins in the preschool to elementary years, when, developmentally, children are more open to cultivating particular abilities and allowing their creativity to be unleashed. As students mature, the challenge and delight is to continue that growth and expand creative and critical thinking. Within the safety of the MADLOM community, preadolescences and adolescents are able to explore their identity and start to figure out who they are as an individual as well as develop empathy and compassion for those who may seem different.

At MADLOM our concern is not only for developing individual ability, but for expanding the capacity of the larger community to embrace difference and the unexpected.

A girl with cerebral palsy and an amputee create their meaningful presence and critical importance of their being conveying a story with a professional cast.