Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hobbies for Heroes

I am starting a new series of paintings entitled "Faces of War". This series will contain both originals and prints. These paintings are being done to help fund the Hobbies for Heroes program which is the brainchild of my wounded warrior son, Michael.

These paintings will be done from photos he took in Iraq before his vehicle was blown up by an IED. His brain injury has been helped by his involvement in art and hobbies. There is documented evidence of the difference it has made in his brain injury and therefore his life.

The testing has found that his visual spatial has improved 25%. This means that there are significant improvements in executive abilities. This is his ability to judge what is happening in the environment and make decisions. It is an important skill to prevent accidents and react to things in the environment. Safety issues are a big area of concern, such as responding to an emergency in the home such as fire, and preventing accidents.(i.e. leaving the stove on, etc.) Visual spatial also tells us about our position in space, as when we are walking to avoid something that might be in the way causing the person to trip and fall because of poor visual spatial abilities. Visual spatial abilities are integral to interpreting and responding to everything in our environment for all of our activities all day, every day. It will also give them a new since of self confidence and accomplishment. This program will target the needs of these once active soldiers who are now forced to stay at home with out the purpose they once had and try to give them a new one they can do at home. Through practice, they will even be able to tap their competitive nature at art and craft shows. The occupational therapist, speech therapist and the psychiatrist at the VA are really excited about this new program.
I will be posting the paintings here and on my website as soon as they are completed.

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