Many children with autism struggle with speech issues, (some completely non verbal, some talk but it is not functional), they unable to express their needs , wants and feelings. Kids with autism also have a hard time with social interaction and sensory processing.
Art can be an answer to help children with many of their problems. Since they being so visual, responding to visual clues can help them to learn many things. To be able to make their inner thoughts visualize in some form can open new doors for communicating with others.
If you analyze what is art about it may seem a bit difficult, and some might be discouraged to pursue art therapy or art as a recreational activity for ASD kids. Art requires organizational skills, gathering the necessary materials, to place them in a strategic places, and to use them in order so the “masterpiece” can be created. This activity also requires imagination, thinking, focus, sensory processing, as well as fine and gross motor-skills, hand and eye coordination. Art in group or even with just a parent requires some sort of social interaction, which are sometimes undesirable to children with ASD. (not always) These are some of the few necessary requirement that I can think of now, and I am sure some of you can add more to the list. If one can see this list, they might get discouraged to even try art therapy, or to do it at home with the child. Honestly all these skills I mentioned above doesn’t necessary have to have, they actually develop these skills over time with art therapy/recreational activity. With patience and persistent teaching children will love art and seek to do more, and in the process they develop many useful skills to help them along the way.
My son, Amin loves art, any form of art. He developed a sense of pride every time he accomplishes a piece. He learned to work with other kids, take turns, share materials, even to help out. Slowly he is starting to understand the meaning of working together, generalizing about the art projects, and to my surprise he’s started to play imaginary games. This last skill was a huge surprise for me, and it gives me a great relief that he is starting think for himself more ways than he had before. It also gives him another way to express himself as well as to entertain himself.
Attending his social club, he is exposed to art projects very frequently, and we do many different things at home too.
At the club it is much easier for him to share materials, to work side by side with others, take turns, and share the proud moment of viewing their finished project. He learned to experiment much easier. There are times he would not touch certain things, or handle different materials, but seeing others touch and feel and work with variety of textures, objects he was much easier to be pursued of using them, than it would have been otherwise.
This activity opens a new world for kids with autism. This world can be as colorful as they want it to be, and this world can show their most inner thoughts that they might never be able to express without art.