“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
People with autism are unique individuals. Activities that work through their communication, interaction, and sensory challenges can be difficult to find. Fortunately, art is an activity where choices abound. Creativity is expressed in many ways. There’s something for everyone. Art can be an effective way to empower. Art Therapy and ASD magazine published a systematic review of art therapy for kids up to 18 years old with autism from 1985-2012. The review determined that further research is needed for more empirical evidence. However, the results thus far are encouraging.
In what ways can art empower people with ASD?
- Art can increase flexible thinking. Tied in to art is the ability to look at one thing and recreate your interpretation. It is not an exact copy. In creating art the mind becomes more and more flexible.
- Art can be relaxing. It is a wonderful way to regulate emotions, and self calm after a stressful moment.
- Art improves self accepatnce. It embraces and celebrates the beauty of imperfections.
- Art improves communication. For individuals struggling to get their points across through speech, art can be a conduit for connection.
- Art encourages interaction. People like to share art. It is a conversation opener, and can be the start of wonderful relationships.
How does art accomplish this?
Art is a sensory experience, working with people through the senses they prefer. Textures, colors, depth and brightness can speak. With a variety of communication styles available, each individual can be confident in their chosen mode.
Explore art to find the one that suits you best. If you’re local, join us for our Art Show January 27, 2019 at the Brushwood Center
“Art Therapy With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: a review of clinical case descriptions on what works.” By Celine Schweizer MA, Erik J. Knorth PHD, Marinus Spreen PHD, The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 41, Issue 5, Nov. 2014, pgs. 577-593.
Rebecca J. Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help creating positive strategies? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.