Working with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Asperger’s Syndrome with Art Therapy
Why Art Therapy?
Art Therapy has been recognized as an effective therapy for people with autism. People with Autistic Spectrum disorders or ASDs often have difficulty processing sensory input but respond well to visual hands on therapies. Some people with ASDs are nonverbal and have challenges with traditional talk therapy. Art Therapy helps to engage the client nonverbally in order to increase communication and social skills, help them develop a sense of individuality, build relationships and facilitate sensory integration.
Art Therapy with ASD children.
Children are naturally creative and are familiar with art. Art making provides a window into your ASD child’s inner world. Art therapy groups are a great way to facilitate socialization within a frame, which is familiar and safe for your ASD child. Individually art is used as both a sensory exploration as well as to help your child begin to communicate first within the art or as characters later with the therapist or family member directly.
Art Therapy with ASD Teens
Teenagers on the autistic spectrum are often focused on their special interest. Many of which can be incorporated into the therapy work with a trained art therapist.
Art Therapy with ASD Adults
Adults with ASDs or Asperger’s syndrome and their family members will find Art Therapy a safe affective tool that meets clients where they are. Because traditional therapy relies so much on verbal communication it can be alienating at times for clients who feel more comfortable with nonverbal dialogue. Art Therapy is a safe strength based modality that allows clients to express themselves fully in a way that is comfortable to them.
Art Therapy for Families and Couples
I have found the treatment for couples of people with an ASD and for family members extremely helpful. Often family members or partners report finding communication and responsiveness to needs an area of difficulty. Therapy can provide an environment where the needs and expectations can be heard and addressed in a safe nonjudgmental way.