Expressing one’s self through art has widely been practiced as a form of therapy because art brings a sense of calmness and serenity. Art is a natural way for children to explore and express themselves. Through drawing, painting, and creating, children learn about their emotions, cope with their environment, and are encouraged to explore new situations. Children with autism process the world differently and require more help understanding and developing many essential skills. Let’s go over the benefits of art therapy for children with autism.
Improves Communication Skills
Art therapy can help children with autism in expressing non-verbal conversations. For example, children can draw a picture to describe something and communicate using symbols or icons. This process helps develop communication directly and can help in their thinking process. This method can also encourage children to focus more and engage with others. Art is also great for reducing anxiety and helping improve their emotional development.
Develops Emotional Stability
Sometimes children on the autism spectrum are challenged in maintaining emotional stability. Art therapy can help children get more in touch with their emotions. It can encourage them to express feelings through drawing or craft activities such as making collages. This therapy also improves their endurance and patience in solving a task.
Strengthens Positive Behaviors
Art therapy offers children with autism an amazing way to improve their behavior skills. Children with autism exhibit fewer behavioral problems after engaging in artistic activities, mainly when engaging in individual art therapy sessions. It allows them to express themselves better, use their imagination, and promote abstract thinking. Art activities provide an incredible chance to improve cognitive development while building and strengthening visual-spatial skills.
Addresses Sensory Issues
Art therapy is an excellent technique for addressing sensory processing disorder, a pervasive problem that contributes to many complex emotions and behaviors. Seemingly harmless sensations, such as the texture of a carpet, fluorescent lighting, crunchy foods, or loud noises, may be irritating, to children with autism. A common goal in art therapy is to increase tolerance for unpleasant stimuli while channeling self-stimulating behavior into more creative activity. Because art is naturally enjoyable for almost all children, they are more likely to tolerate textures and smells they might otherwise avoid when they are having fun. Repeatedly confronting the unpleasant stimuli helps desensitize kids to them, making it more bearable when they encounter these sensations in daily life.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.