Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention. ASDs are “spectrum disorders.” That means ASDs affect each person in different ways and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction.
Art is an outlet for self-expression, imagination, and creativity.
The visual arts are very impactful in the improvement of cognition, visual and spatial discrepancies, fine motor skills, and coping. Many people with autism struggle with communication and are often visual thinkers. Art fits naturally with autism in that it can help those with autism express themselves through images while also being a soothing activity.
Learn more about The Impact of Art on Autism and The Healing Powers of Art & Artists.
Dance has always been known as a universal form of self-expression. The benefits are numerous. For kids with autism, dance can be a therapeutic resource.
Dance can be a major resource for children with autism, especially those who are nonverbal. Dance uses the body as a way of communicating instead of the use of words. Depending on the movement, the body can tell a story that the child might not be able to express in any other way. From sadness, frustration, or love, with dance, you are teaching your child how to express themselves in a way they will enjoy.
Read the full article on Autism and Dance: Does Dancing Benefit Autistic Children?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD ) is a wide spectrum and one that can come in a whole range of severities. However, one thing that many people with ASD have is some form of anxiety, and that can be tough to deal with.
Music is not only a form of art; it is an emotion. Music is a universal language and a form of therapy to improve several cognitive functions. It has been shown that music has soothing effects on the brain and causes the release of some neurotransmitters, due to which we feel good when we listen to music.
Music, by activating the mirror neuron system, which is found in areas of the brain that are responsible for communication, empathy, and imagination, may improve the ability of people with autism to connect socially and better understand emotions.
Learn more about:
How Music Can Help Those With ASD Cope With Anxiety
Benefits of Music Therapy for Autism
A key strategy used to engage students—with and without disabilities—has been photography.
Art can be intimidating for autistic students, who may prefer rigidity, structure, and clear definitions of correct and incorrect work. Photography can be an innovative way to help students with disabilities, particularly those on the autism spectrum, appreciate and highlight their creative perspectives.
Photography allows us to access intentional, social, and task-focused engagement.
To help students feel comfortable with art and photography, teacher/writer Jennifer Sullivan models the creative process, verbalizing her thoughts and reflection process to show students flexibility in the decision-making process of how she selects subjects to photograph.
Read the full article on The Benefits of Photography for Autistic Students.
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