When you have a child with autism, therapy becomes a word that is often spoke in your vocabulary. There are all sorts of therapies out there, may of which fill up your planner! Though many children with autism have therapies outside the home, there are several therapies that can be done at home. Art therapy is one of those options. So, what makes autism art therapy so great? Today, we are going to go over the benefits of art for autistic children along with some great ways to implement autism art therapy at home.
Autism Art Therapy
Though it may seem cliché art and autism are a great combination. For those of us who cannot always get words to come out of our mouths, art offers a way of self-expression. For children, it allows their imagination to run wild and come to life before their eyes.
A major aspect of autism is difficulties in communication. This can be anywhere from completely non-verbal to having a hard time processing language and turning it back into a smooth conversation. Though communication may be difficult, we still want to express ourselves. Art allows for those with autism to speak visually.
Art therapies can be free flow (our preferred one) or structured. There are many places that offer art therapy for patients, and many psychologist will use art as a way to communicate with autistic children.
The benefits of art for autistic children
- Offers a visual communication
- Easy way to help resolve conflicts they can not verbally express
- Reduces Stress
- Helps with imaging and thinking symbolically
- Improves the ability to recognize (and respond) to facial expressions
- Helps with Self-Esteem and Self-Awareness
- Can be used to help with Sensory Processing Issues
- Improves fine motor skills
Ways to Incorporate Autism Art Therapy at Home
Paper and Crayons:
This is the easiest way to get started. Get out whatever art supplies and let your child have fun. Autism art therapy does not have to be complicated or even overly structured.
Use to De-Stress
Another way to incorporate autism art therapy at home is using it as a redirection. Redirecting a child who is overwhelmed with art is a great calming technique. Before getting into a meltdown, have them draw out how they are feeling or what they want to happen. Not only will it help with communication, but it will cause them to focus on one activity and calm themselves.
Pinterest is an autism parent’s best friend! There are so many diy crafts out there for all kids. One of our favorites we have made is the DIY Sensory Bags for Autism. They are so easy to make, super cheap, and a perfect calming tool for later too!
Have Supplies on the Go
One thing about being at home is that you are not always at home! We have to go to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, and schools. A great way to use art therapy when you’re out and about is simply being prepared with the right supplies.
One of our favorite ways is using our ChalkWild Wearable Art Therapy. It is an erasable book bag that give your child (or you) the capability to give autism art therapy wherever you are! You can check Chalk Wild out here, and make sure to use code “themomkind” at checkout to receive an extra 10% off!
There Ya Go!
Autism art therapy is an amazing resource for children with autism. It is so easy to incorporate into everyday life. So get your pencils out and get to doodling!
Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the “Amazing Moms” coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho. She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.