What is art therapy?
Art therapy is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people resolve their conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. As children with autism have difficulty processing sensory inputs and are often non-verbal, they respond well to visual, concrete, hands-on therapies.
What is the benefit of art therapy?
Research pertaining to the impact of art therapy on individuals with autism is somewhat sketchy. However, parents of children with autism have reported that art therapy helps to increase communication, ability to manage sensory issues, to recognize and respond to facial expressions. It also helps improves fine motor skills and social skills.
It is very important that the art therapist you choose understands the specific issues, challenges and strengths associated with autism, and more particularly your child. Art therapy in groups can have additional benefits of improving interaction skills and communication.