“pen” de résistance

Unshackle the artist within…

How does a child who has no independent or purposeful movement draw or colour-in on his own?  

How does a child who is unable to grasp or hold things draw on his own?

How does a child with significant vision impairment draw on his own?

It was one of my biggest concerns.  I wanted Mac to have the luxury of being in control of some of his art – I wanted him to draw on his own…

I have been harassing Mac’s Pa for a few years to make him a ‘remote control texta’ (among other things).

I didn’t need to.  Thankfully in 2007 Gwen, from RC Art, did it for us.  

Mac received his Color Bug for Christmas this year.  I haven’t been able to find them in Australia, but a friend sent it over from the USA for us.

We have modified Mac’s remote control by putting a single bar across the two levers.  This allows him to use exactly the same drive action (differential drive) as his modified electric car.  It is much easier for him to learn to use one style of switch for the same action (makes it easier for us to drive too). 

This is Mac’s Remote Controller and Color Bug

The 'bug' and the 'controller'and this is his first artwork he and his Dad did in collaboration.  Mac was in control of blue and orange, and Daddy, the green.

 To find out more about the Color Bug (or for us Aussies… “Colour” Bug) visit www.rcarttoys.com and watch the video.

We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the ‘bug’


Filed under The 'mod' squad, What's in my Pencil Case

7 responses to ““pen” de résistance

  1. Loryn

    Isn’t it amazing, the things they come up with? That bug is awesome, and look at the drawing! Did you hang it on your fridge? I know I would have.

  2. n0thingbuteverything

    Wow! What a cool tool ;-). An excellent product. Thanks for sharing. And lovely artwork Mac!

  3. Naomi Rohr

    Loving the blog and thanks for the link, i’ll definately be looking this one up for Caden. I’m like you are think art is such an important form of expression for Cadenand he enjoys it so much. I think this may have the be an early early birthday present.

  4. Claire

    Hi Gina
    I’ve come here via a link on one of your postings on the P2G forum and love your blog. I have quite a bit of reading to do to catch up with Mac’s story…
    I work with children with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties at a special school in England and ICT is one of my passions as it has the potential to offer so many opportunities for our children.
    I love Mac’s drawings – and how great for him to produce these independently. I hadn’t heard of the Color Bug (or Colour Bug for us too) and I want to look in to getting some for school, if I can find them here in the UK.
    It sounds like Mac is lucky enough to be pretty tooled up with ICT kit. Having read this post, I wondered if you knew any of the Q&D Multimedia software titles? Pretty Things allows children to use a range of creative tools to make pictures, however they access a computer and whatever level at they are working at. Both this title and Noisy Things (which is based on music making) are great for children establishing an understanding of cause and effect as well as those making a transition from pre-intentional to intentional actions. Pretty Things is the very best piece of creative software I have found for switch users working at fairly early developmental levels. In fact, it’s great for all kids, young or old. I sound like I’ve got some vested commercial interest, I know, but I promise I haven’t – I just love the range of software titles from Q&D and what they offer my pupils and thought they they might have something to offer for your son (who is gorgeous and very photogenic, by the way).
    I’m looking forward to reading on…

  5. Gina

    Claire, thanks for your kind words. I will have to check out Q&D – I don’t think I have seen them before, thanks for the heads up.
    Gina (& Mac)

  6. Was wondering if you knew of the Queensland company Spectronics, which imports so much overseas software and hardware for inclusive learning.

    When I saw Spectronics, I saw the Out and about series, but probably none of the early learning from Q and D. Perhaps Out and about would be good for Mac when he is an adult.


    Also there is a Wagga Wagga workshop.

    (16th of September: perhaps a little late).

    There is another ‘creative’ programme called ReacTickles, which I had known about for some 5 years, but never got to try on my computer because of JavaScript issues.

    Bonomo is great fun too. http://bomomo.com/

  7. Gina

    We use Spectronics for some of our stuff – pretty good company & have a great conference every second year I will be trying to get to next year.
    I’ll check out the other programs… thanks.

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