Arts to the Rescue

In this book, Elena offers art focused advice for parents of children with disabilities. She tells the story of raising her daughter who has Auditory Processing Disorder, while giving practical advice to the reader who may be in a similar situation as a parent.

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About Biryukov Academy

Elena Zelenina’s journey as a mother has personified the very spirit of Horace’s

philosophy. Her fascinating background within the art community and education taught her how

to navigate through life’s normal trials and tribulations. However, it wasn’t until her daughter

(now fourteen) was diagnosed with a life-altering disability that she was able to truly find her

muse.

Elena is the founder and director of Biryukov Academy. She holds a Masters in education

from the Moscow State Pedagogical University and has 30 years of teaching experience. Lena

comes from a family of artists, most notably Nikolai Gladkikh (1926 - 1995) and Mikhail

Biryukov (1927 - 1995), both Soviet era painters and Russian academicians of wide notoriety.

Elena’s currently started a movement “Paint Your Breakthrough” in hopes to change the

current state of the art education in the US.

Zelenina suspected something was inexact as her child’s speech caused her concern around

age three. After several visits to different speech therapists, one therapist mentioned the phrase

“Auditory Processing Disorder.” While Elena feverishly researched the potential disorder,

something she had never heard of, her daughter was placed in special education classes as she

began school. Finally, after close to four years of debate and searching for an answer, Elena

Zelenina’s presumptions about her daughter’s possible disorder were verified. Her daughter was

finally diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder at age seven.

Elena decided empowerment through education and art would not only be the most

beneficial choice for her daughter. Armed with about thirty years of teaching experience, and a

natural affinity for art and music, she began a pursuit of healing for her daughter.

A crucial path to self-discovery for both Elena and her daughter was about to be brought

to light. Zelenina decided to host classes in her home when she discovered that many schools

had cut art and music programs to the bone, and share what she had seen work for her own child

with others. Then in 2003, she opened the academy to broaden the reach, influence, and positive

messages of her programs further. The academy is proud to have provided life-altering lessons

for hundreds of students.

Biryukov Academy is dedicated to both the social and cultural enrichment of students,

offering art, music, foriegn language and theater classes that foster personal empowerment, and

teach self-esteem & community responsibility. Classes are for children and adults of all ages and

curriculums are designed for students starting at beginner level expanding to professional level

courses.

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