When we express ourselves creatively, we find a productive way to unload our emotions, deal with stress or simply enjoy some downtime. As a result, it is unsurprising that art therapy, or even just the act of drawing, can positively affect those with autism and related disorders.
Here are five reasons why.
1) It can help them express themselves.
Children with autism and related disorders often find it difficult to express themselves in the same way that a neurotypical child would. However, by encouraging your child to be more creative and make art, you are giving them the chance to express themselves in a nonconventional way. For example, if they are feeling angry, they may not know how to fully express this verbally but could convey their emotions in the work they create.
2. It allows them to use their imagination.
Children often have a sense of imagination like no other, and encouraging them to participate in artistic endeavors helps bring their ideas and thoughts to life. They also make great keepsakes! However, children with autism or related disorders may consider themselves to be more practical than imaginative. They like to follow specific rules and regulations in everyday life. But in art, there are no real rules. While this may take a little getting used to, it can also help them think outside of the box and let their imagination soar.
3. It can help with sensory regulation.
Many of those with autism deal with sensory issues in their daily lives. Their responses to certain stimuli can be described as hypersensitive or hypo sensitive, meaning they have an intense reaction or an under-reactive reaction. This can prove challenging as they may not like the touch, feel, or of certain items and may have to avoid them. This, for example, can make it hard for them to try new foods. However, by using various materials when creating art, you can help them better manage their sensory issues by slowly introducing new textures.
4) It gives them the chance to unwind.
Children with autism often put an innate sense of pressure on themselves. Many are academically gifted and feel as though they have to work hard 24/7. This means they can spend a lot of their free time studying. However, you must encourage them to participate in hobbies that allow them to take a step back from their academic pursuits. Art can be a great outlet, whi.ch can help minimize stress and anxiety while allowing them to still feel productive.
5) They have the potential to create something great
Children with autism or related disorders often take to artistic pursuits with ease. This is because they are often detail-orientated, which means they will take extra pride in their work. However, you must let them know that the art does not have to be perfect. You aren’t creating to make something wonderful, but for the act of creating itself.
In short, there are numerous benefits to encouraging your child to participate in an artistic hobby. Thankfully, there are plenty to choose from. This could include:
– Putting together a scrapbook
– Model making
At Alee Behavioral, we have years of experience working with children with autism and their families, ensuring that they can reach their full potential. As such, we are on hand to provide you with any advice you may need, alongside offering a range of in-person and online therapy services.