Art therapy is the expression of thoughts and feelings through the creative process of art. Art therapy offers a safe atmosphere as a relatively non-intrusive form that persons of all ages can use as expressive communication.
There are specific advantages inherent in the act of making art that are uniquely beneficial to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Art therapy’s goals are to help the peoples with autism grow developmentally and socially. By helping autistic children grow in these areas, the hopeful result is to reduce the child’s anxiety and frustration and allow them an outlet for interacting with society and expressing themselves. Because autistic children often have trouble with language development, creating art is a wonderful way for them to express themselves.
The art therapy also promotes a positive social relationship between the art therapist and the autistic people. Initial sessions involve family consultation, observation, assessment, establishment of treatment goals, and relationship/trust building. Therapy is often (but not always) long-term (as are most ASD therapies) due to the pervasive and permanent (though improvable) nature of autism.
Art therapy helps treat:
- Imagination / abstract thinking deficits
- Emotions / Self-expression
- Development / Growth
- Recreation / Leisure Skills