Art Therapy, Abstract Painting & Self-expression
Updated: Jul 5
Many people with autism have an extraordinary ability to think visually. Many can turn that ability to good use in processing memories, recording images and visual information as well as expressing ideas through painting and drawing or other artistic media.
Art is a form of expression that needs little or no verbal interaction that can open doors to communication.
Art therapy is used by many therapists in treating the challenges often faced by people with autism. But I am not sure how effective art therapy for children and how widely it is used in special needs schools to assist treating sensory processing disorder (SPD).
There are many studies which demonstrated that for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have sensory issues, art therapy can be an effective way to help them.
This is because children with autism are usually able to experience sensory input processes better including non-verbal activities. Most people are not aware of the wonders of teaching children with ASD using art therapies, such as encouraging them to join art activities.
Art is another form of communication and it can provide people who have difficulty to speak their mind with words to express themselves directly without words. I think most, if not all artists, use their art as another way to communicate their inner feelings and emotions.
People with autism usually find it difficult to interact socially and may feel uncomfortable relating to others. Using art-making approach can help facilitate communication, learning difficulties, problem behaviours and promoting healthy self-expression.
Art therapy is usually used as a tool for helping people with autism to access their emotions. By contrast, art classes are intended to provide instructions on how to achieve specific artistic effects or goals. But abstract painting, particularly non-representaional art, follows no instructions and no rules - at least in my view.
You paint with your feelings and the objective is simply to enjoy the process. Self-expression!