The Value of Art Therapy for Those on the Autism Spectrum


By Kate Lacour, The Art of Autism, 20 September 2018

The most popular treatment for Autism is behavior modification therapy, which aims at shaping behaviors through a system of rewards and consequences. In recent years, caregivers seeking alternative or complimentary treatments have a broader range of options available. One such treatment is art therapy.

Art presents an Alternative to Verbal Communication

Art therapy is a natural fit for autism for several reasons. Verbal self-expression and language is often especially difficult. Art offers a way for people who have trouble “speaking their mind” with words to express themselves directly, without words.

Art therapy can help with social skills

Autistic people also tend to struggle with social issues, such as interpreting tone of voice and facial expression, and may feel uncomfortable relating to others. As the two share focus on the client’s art-making, a powerful bond can be forged without the initial need for direct, face-to-face interaction.

Art therapy can address Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Art therapy is ideally suited for addressing sensory processing disorder (SPD), a pervasive problem in autism which contributes to a great deal of difficult emotions and behaviors, yet is too often overlooked.

Art therapy is a unique form of treatment for autism, as it helps mitigate symptom, while also channeling autistic behaviors into an expressive, creative outlet. It promotes communication, emotional growth and sensory integration while also fostering social interaction in a fun setting.

This article stresses the value of art therapy for people with Autism. It explains the benefits of participating in art therapy, like helping with social skills and sensory development.