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Art Can Transform the Lives of People with Down Syndrome

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — March 4, 2020 — 3 min read
The creative talents of people with Down syndrome are being increasingly recognized. Artistic expression can have a very positive effect in the lives of people with this condition. Many cases show how these individuals find joy, purpose and fulfillment through their creative work. 

In many countries, local artists with Down syndrome have been recognized for their painting abilities and sold their work. Others are known for their abilities in dance and drama, among other disciplines.

Why Is Creative Expression So Important for People with Down Syndrome?

Most people with Down syndrome have difficulties to express themselves through spoken language. Talking and writing can be challenging. There are exceptions and some enjoy writing poetry and can express themselves verbally on stage. However, while many may not share their feelings through words, they can express very eloquently through dance and movement or through painting.

The key is for families, schools and communities to be able to see beyond the usual expectations. People with Down syndrome deserve the chance to learn and succeed. This can happen through art expression and it could transform their lives.

Creating art gives people the opportunity to express their beliefs, interests and understanding of their world. This form of communication can be especially valuable for teachers and parents. It offers a window into their loved one’s perspective and inner world.  

Art can also give people with IDD a sense of pride. Creating something they are proud of can provide a great boost to their self-esteem. This is especially important for those whose confidence is already low. Art can also improve the well-being of individuals who struggle in social or academic environments.

Art projects also give people the opportunity to explore different textures, smells, and sights. It is a chance to explore the world around them.

Meet Some Inspiring Artists

We invite you to check out the work of these pioneering artists. Many of them have been recognized by experts in the field. They have also showcased their art around the world.

Locally, in Winston-Salem, N.C., artists with IDD diagnoses share their work through exhibits and art sales throughout the year.  In Charlotte, InReach also works with individuals with IDD on various artistic projects.

While progress has been made, we still have a long way to go to change attitudes and break down false assumptions. We need to raise expectations so people with Down syndrome and other IDDs have equal access to:
  • Quality teaching
  • Employment
  • Commercial success with their work

Experience the Power of Art in your Own Life

If you need more inspiration, meet Isabella Springmuhl Tejada. She is a fashion designer from Guatemala. Isabella has been recognized as the first fashion designer with Down syndrome. Her designs were showcased at the International Fashion Showcase segment of the London Fashion Week in 2016. The same year she was voted one of BBC 100 Women.

You can experience the power of art in your own life or the life of a loved one with Down syndrome or other IDD. Check out our art and crafts workshops throughout North Carolina. These are free and open to the community. All the details are available in our events calendar
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