Art Therapy and Autism

2755 Words12 Pages
Introduction Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that is broadly defined as impairment in the individual’s verbal and nonverbal communication skills. It manifests itself through multiple symptoms such as: inappropriate social interaction, restricted interests, sensory dysfunction and repetitive behaviours among others. “Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that is characterized by impairments in social interactions, interests and activities, and language development. Children with autism are deprived of the resources from which the mind develops and organizes.” (Emery, 2004, p. 143). Description and definition of Art Therapy There are in numerous prevalent intervention treatments for Autism, but I would like to discuss using Art Therapy, which is a measured use of art-making to address psychosomatic and emotional needs. Its uses art as the medium and this creative process helps in building self-awareness, expressing and communicating feelings without verbalization and strengthening sense of self. It is a balanced use of visual arts such as drawing, painting and sculpting along with a blend of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. “Art therapy is based on the idea that art is a means of symbolic communication. This approach, often referred to as art psychotherapy, emphasizes the products--drawings, paintings, and other art expressions--as helpful in communicating issues, emotions, and conflicts. The art image becomes significant in enhancing verbal exchange between the person and the therapist and in achieving insight; resolving conflicts; solving problems; and formulating new perceptions that in turn lead to positive changes, growth, and healing”.( Malchiodi, 2009). Art therapy is fairly new and has only emerged in the last century. However, art has been used as a therapeutic process across cultures for centuries. The origin of art as a therapy
Open Document