The Value Of Art For Children On The Autism Spectrum

The Value Of Art For Children On The Autism Spectrum

Over the last decade, there has been increasing publicity about autism. By definition, autism is regarded as a neurological condition that causes differing symptoms in each person diagnosed. It is present from birth but the causes are still unclear. Some of the most common symptoms of autism include:

  • Discomfort in Social Settings
  • Challenges With Communicating With Others
  • Difficulty Interpreting Sensory Information
  • Hypersensitivity To Various Stimuli

Types of Treatments for Autism

Today, we’re still learning more about autism and specialists are making significant strides in delivering management programs to help shape behavior. One of the most prevalent syllabi applied in homes and schools is behavior modification therapy.

What Is Behavior Modification Therapy?

In essence, a psychoanalyst uses a simple system of rewards to help curb habits like repetition or compulsive behaviors. Even though this treatment is effective to some extent, parents of children with ASD now have new and effective alternatives to supplement growth. Gaining rise in mainstream autistic communities is art interventions.

What Are Art Interventions?

Art interventions have been extensively studied to stimulate cognitive and emotional development. It encompasses much more than recreational activities. Art interventions for autism are created to:

  • Shape a Better Understanding of the Real World
  • Promote Verbal and Emotional Expression
  • Build a Healthy Self-Esteem
  • Give Participants a Sense of Accomplishment

Art Opens the Dialogue for Parents

Art is a suitable form of autism treatment for various reasons. Here’s why:

  • Children With Autism Sometimes Have a Hard Time With Verbal Expression
  • Art Gives ASD Individuals a Blank Canvas To State What’s On the Mind
  • Children With Autism Tend to Be Talented Visual Thinkers
  • Art Helps ASD Individuals To Express Themselves Through Drawings

Art Builds Social Skills

Another trademark of autism is difficulty with the rules of social convention. This is especially true if an autistic child were placed in an unfamiliar setting. Supposing you were given an order to place your child with autism in a room with a stranger – and to do so without any warning. In large part, this would be a very frightening and taxing experience for your child.

To help resolve these issues, art becomes a powerful motivator for building relationships with others. Just like playing a fun game, art facilitates learning about giving and taking, teamwork, and other types of social cues. Rather than talking out loud, participants get a chance to see what others are thinking through pictures and respond with drawings.

Art Helps With Sensory Processing Disorder

Oftentimes, sensory processing issues go unnoticed in children with autism. It’s important to recognize, though, that someone with autism sees and hears the world from a different point of view. For example, common sounds and ambiances usually grate the nerves of someone with autism. Like a fork on a glass or a nail on a blackboard, normal sounds and lights may be unbearable for a child with ASD.

To give you a better picture, think of these common triggers:

  • The Coarseness of a Mat or Rug
  • Glowing or Bright Lights
  • Hearing Grinding or Chewing Sounds
  • The Relentless Buzz of an AC Unit

Desensitizing the Effects of Overstimulation

To deal with hypersensitivity, someone with autism may react negatively by taking up repetitive or compulsive behaviors in order to zone out what they’re hearing or seeing. In some cases, ASD individuals simple turn off the switch and escape with a blank stare.

Art, however, is used as a mode of treatment to help children with autism better tolerate feelings of overstimulation. Think of it this way, we are told time and again that one of the best ways to manage stress is to take deep breaths and try mediation. For children with autism, art has a similar effect.

Art intervention programs are geared at slowly introducing participants to different forms of stimuli. Art intervention programs will basically encourage repeat encounters with various forms of art, such as:

  • Gluing Shreds of Magazine Paper Together
  • Letting Go With Messy Goo and Slime
  • Coloring With Neon Hues

What textures, smells, colors, or sounds that were once infuriating will later be measured as a part of everyday life. Over time, these provocations become non-issues.

Art Transforms Eccentric Behavior

Autism specialists often describe repetitive behaviors in autistic children as “stimming”. For instance, a child with autism may react to stressors by twisting shreds of paper over and over again. The interventions suggested can be used to route seemingly obsessive actions into stunning works of art.


To sum up, art is an enjoyable activity that promotes self-confidence, stress relief, and cognitive growth. It’s a liberating experience that helps children with autism become well-rounded individuals. This is why we’ve created Autistic Spectrum Digital Communications, where art sessions can be accessed around-the-clock any day of the year. Children are introduced to a diverse range of sensory stimuli to help them thrive in everyday life. To learn more about our programs, call (973) 271-2496.

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