Children with autism are so visually oriented, it makes perfect sense to engage them in art activities, be it formally with an art therapist, casually in other classes or at home.
Art therapists report that children with autism who engage in one-on-one sessions show an improved ability to imagine and think symbolically, enhanced ability to recognize and respond to facial expressions, new ability to manage sensory issues such as a range of texture and greater fine motor skills.
One of our students finds it exciting making homemade clay, the feeling of kneading the warm dough, then folding in the colours. I kept easels set up on the porch and she painted nearly every week. Doing art fostered pride in themselves and their creations.
Art gives children on the autism spectrum a powerful means to channel their inner life and experience. During quiet time at home, you could have your child make his or her own guide to feelings by having them draw pictures of “Happy,”“Sad,” “Scared,” “Mad” or “Frustrated” faces. Laminate or otherwise protect the pictures and have them on hand for your child to identify how he or she is feeling when words cannot. Buy them a sketch book and encourage them to keep a daily art journal. Creative self expression in all its myriad forms is going to be a key to enhancing your child’s well-being.