Friday, March 1, 2013

The Draw-a-Man test

This is a picture that Shanna drew of a person not long after her 4th birthday and a full year before she entered kindergarten

I had a friend whose job was to screen children for kindergarten readiness. A quick screening tool is to ask  them to draw themselves or a man. The drawing should have a body, head, arms and legs. All other body parts are optional. This is not a test of artistic ability but rather that of perception. Shanna drew the elbows as lumps on the arms. She has the correct number of fingers. I am not sure what the lumps in the neck are. Shoulders? If the kid draws legs coming out of the head, maybe they are just not mature enough.
Shanna seemed to pass all these tests with flying colors more than a year before school started. One of the tests is seeing if a child could correctly identify 6 colors. Sounds easy right? Josh could not do it. He knew the names of colors but could not match them up. No he was not colorblind, just totally uninterested in color. I am not sure if he could draw a person because he would not sit still enough to do it. He signed things with a backward "J'.

Naomi had lots of artistic talent and her pictures were  quite elaborate. She seemed ready for kindergarten. She could even read. But as it turns out, she had a well hidden disability which did not surface until second grade. After much testing, it was decided that she had some sort of language processing disorder. She has an inability to make inferences. This has very much negatively impacted her life. How do you treat it? The 'experts' didn't know.

February is finally gone though March right now isn't much warmer. I am so ready for spring!

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