The Importance of Art for Autistic Kids

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
19 Sep 2013

Q: What does practicing art do to anybody?

A: It expresses a person’s feelings, thinking, talents and wants.

Children with autism are most of the time stuck inside their own mind. They have poor communication abilities, it is hard for them to initiate any conversation, therefore, they avoid talking to others. Their social skills are not adequate to decipher the conventional social cues, therefore they find other people strange and unapproachable. When being offended, agressed or bullied, kids on the autism spectrum have difficulty speaking up and standing up for their rights. Consequently, they resort to living in isolation from their surrounding world, to make sure they are safe. It is simply a survival or defense mechanism.

When given the opportunity, through art, they are able to open new channels  to communicate with the world. Releasing their supressed energy and talents fulfills their needs. Art may work as therapy for everybody, but for individuals with autism in particular.

  • Singing, dancing, playing an instrument, acting…are very liberating and freeing.
  • Drawing, painting, sketching, sculpture, cut-and-paste, papier maché, mosaic,…deliver creativity.
  • Constructing and building small models of objects, making maquettes,…empowers imagination.

All the above activities, and many more, represent a universal language. Arts and crafts connect people naturally,  smoothly and humaely. Through art individuals with autism don’t have to struggle with their condition to communicate with the society. Their frustration melts away to get replaced with deep satisfaction and fulfillment. What a great therapy!

Furthermore, practicing art improves fine and large motor skills. It also imporves balance and coordination. Different parts of the brain get to work in harmony. Art engages many skills at the same time. By doing art the brain rewires and come up with great ideas. It is very rewarding for kids with ASD to see their own achievements. Art simply boosts the mood, enhances the self-confidence, and opens the door to new career opportunities.

Besides, art teaches independence, flexibility, and the best use of all senses. Art can also help handling some sensory integration issues.

Parents and educators, encourage children to do art and crafts. Expose them to different kinds of art until they find their favorite one. Once it becomes a passion, or even a hobby, their life will not be the same anymore.

Read more about art and individuals with autism here and watch the video.

nadia shanab

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