Tips for Teaching Jewelry Making to Developmentally Disabled Adults

by Nancy Hatcher.
(Republic, MO)

I worked with Developmentally Disabled individuals until I retired. One of the crafts they enjoyed was making jewelry.

Here are a few hints I found to be invaluable:

1. Bright pretty colors are a must. Shapes like hearts, animals, fairies, sports, etc. were always favorites.

2. Use large holed beads – many I worked with had shaky hands due to either medications or health problems.

3. Use a good quality stretchy beading cord and glue.

4. Most of the people I worked with were very loving and giving individuals. Suggest making a gift for a loved one or friend.

5. Use the jewelry they make as a fund raiser for a special trip or event. We used some of the money to buy a WII and one to eat out. We also made money to give to someone else whose need was greater than theirs. The extreme joy of being the giver instead of the taker was tremendous!

6. Most important! Be patient!! You may get frustrated trying to teach but can you imagine how frustrating it is to learn with a disability? Can you also imagine the joy when they do learn and can say “I made that”!

Working with people with disabilities was the most satisfying job I’ve ever had. If you are as fortunate to meet and/or work with them, one of the first things you’ll learn is to live in the moment because that is where they live.

Nancy Hatcher
CaN Bead

Information contained in this website should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. No products mentioned in this post have been tested or endorsed by Rena Klingenberg.

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