Art Therapy for Treating Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): The Unique Contribution of Art Materials

Dafna Regev, Sharon Snir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study focuses on the perceptions of art therapists regarding the unique contribution of working with art materials in treating children diagnosed with ASD in the process of art therapy. Ten expert art therapists who work with children with ASD were interviewed regarding their interventions with the children. A systematic qualitative analysis of the interviews was conducted to identify the interventions that were most effective. Data analysis led the researchers to identify ten major functions pertaining to the role and contribution of art in the therapeutic process: (1) Art - an additional means of communication. (2) Art Materials - a means of sensory activation. (3) Pleasure from artistic activity leads to session engagement. (4) Art as a third party mediator in the client-therapist relationship. (5) Art draws the children out of the autistic bubble. (6) Art provides a controllable environment. (7) The artistic product helps create continuity. (8) Art records and helps create a notion of self presence. (9) Art helps increase the child’s range of patterns. (10) Joint drawing as a space that invites communication. The findings underscore the contribution of art as an intervention tool in treating children with ASD.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
Journalטיפול באמנויות
Volume3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2013

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