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Doodle art therapy as pre-writing intervention for hand-eye coordination and motor skills of differently abled children
"In fact, doodling and its pattern decoration make a special child cognitively active in a disguised way and it can be used as a pre-writing visual diagnostic tool for children with special needs and help in designing intervention for coordination and writing-hand's motor skills for improved writing or deciding about the communication mode of children for appropriate cognitive development," said Dr Alka Awasthi – the researcher based at Disha in Jaipur.

According to lead researcher Dr Kishore, doodling is the unconscious or unfocused drawings which can be converted into purposeful cognitive action through conscious pattern decorations with the strokes which are helpful for better formation of structures of abstract literacy and numeracy codes.

A lesson study done by special educator Varsha Tikkiwal with the support of two researchers led to use of doodling and its decoration by children with specials needs by interpreting the visual data in form of their pattern-decorated doodles for suggesting interventions for better coordination and righting fingers’ motor skills.

The participatory research by three researchers has led to preparing a 10 doodle decoration exercises through two patterns at a time followed by home-support practice to stabilize the coordinated hand movement for drawing patterns. The exercises have been prepared in a sequence to combine the previous pattern in with a new pattern.

It was found that doodling should have a 3-4 sections only and initially hand-held slow pattern making is required and enough practice is needed to be given to children with special needs before taking up the writing of their first alphabet.

Once children with special needs become reasonably apt in simple pattern drawing, they should be introduced the formal literacy and numeracy skill codes for writing.  Adapted doodle art, thus, can work as a both as an expressive therapy as well as pre-writing skill training for children with special needs, holds the lead researcher at Disha.

The research elsewhere also indicates that doodling is helpful in improving memory and hence leads to better retention.  Doodle decoration helps children to concentrate because it prevents their minds wandering with a focus on hand movement which is done consciously at a slow pace.

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