Autism & Art Therapy
Information about art therapy and autism, how art therapy helps people with autism, and how people with autism use art therapy.
For those familiar with Temple Grandin, you’ll be excited to know that the award-winning movie by HBO is now out on DVD. You might recall that Temple Grandin dominated the Emmy’s a few months ago on her 63rd birthday. It was a touching moment that re-iterated the impact Temple has had on the world and how she has been able to help re-frame autism in a new and better light. Continue reading »
Autism has become a hot topic recently, becoming the fastest-growing developmental disability in the world. It affects approximately 1 in every 150 children (And 1 in every 94 boys). It’s estimated that between 1 and 2 million Americans have some form of autism.
The following is a guest article by Ed Regensburg and has to do with art therapy and children with Autism / Asperger’s.
“DRAWN TO THE TABLE”
WHY CHILDREN ON THE SPECTRUM NEED ART
PSYCHOTHERAPY AS A REQUIRED SERVICE
by: Ed Regensburg MA, CHt.,ATR-BC,LCAT
Children (and anyone else) who have been diagnosed with a PDD / Autism / Asperger’s Disorder, (soon to be formally described as Autism Spectrum Disorder a/k/a “On the Spectrum”, according to the American Psychological Association’s Proposed Revisions for the DSM V) are at risk for being mis-understood and hence not treated with all of the most effective techniques available today. Perhaps the greatest dis-service is the widely accepted belief that because children on the spectrum experience diminished internal self-regulation, cannot utilize cognitive processes for appropriate self-expression, (such as words), and have difficulty building functional skills, connecting with others and experiencing effective interpersonal communication (socialization), that there is no viable option for meaningful psychotherapy. Continue reading »
It was a big day for autism awareness and for Temple Grandin. In case you didn’t hear, Temple Grandin took over the Emmys last night with 14 nominations and 5 wins, including Best Picture! It was also Temple Grandin’s 63rd birthday, so happy birthday Temple…what a great birthday present!
Below is a preview of the HBO movie as well as some links to learn more about her. Congratulations to her and the staff/cast of the movie. Claire Danes does an amazing job! Temple Grandin is an inspiration to so many other people and it’s truly amazing to see her recognized in such a wonderful way. Continue reading »
April is National Autism Awareness Month. And today is World Autism Awareness Day. Below is some general information about autism, including a definition, some poignant facts, and links to resources for art therapy and autism. You can read about how kids with autism become “Kids With Cameras” and how an artist with autism can draw entire cities from memory. You can also read a great article about how art therapy helps people with autism. Continue reading »
A new documentary by The Polaris Group was just released called “Kids With Cameras.”
From the movie website http://www.kidswithcamerasmovie.com/:
Kids With Cameras follows the progress, challenges and triumphs of a group of autistic children participating in a film camp hosted by non-profit organization Actors for Autism, and taught by award-winning educator Brad Koepenick.
This one-hour documentary provides a window into revealing moments of he kids’ private lives – combined with interviews with their families – as they learn to express themselves through films, poems, painting and music.
Recent research – as well as testimonials from parents of the campers – indicates that developing the creative and acting abilities of autisti children significantly improves their communication and socialization skills, something that is frequently overlooked as a therapeutic tool.
Kids With Cameras takes viewers on an unforgettable journey of this process, poignantly demonstrating that creativity is an essential step to connect the increasing autistic population with the rest of their, and our, world.
Looks pretty cool! Here is a clip:
Kids With Cameras Trailer
Update: After a few days, Stephen has made amazing progress…and don’t forget, he’s drawing this from memory and only a 20 minute helicopter ride to recall.
Stephen Wiltshire was mute and diagnosed with autism at the age of three. His dad died the same year. When he was 5, he moved to London where his interest in drawing began and eventually blossomed. Wiltshire slowly began talking when he was about 9 years old.
Wiltshire (pictured left) continued drawing and would eventually be the subject of various documentaries, television shows, books, and even come out with 4 books of his own…including one that made the Sunday Times best-seller list.
Most recently, Stephen Wiltshire has been recognized for drawing entire cityscapes from essentially a glimpse of the city. In 2005 Stephen drew the entire city of Tokyo on a 10-meter long canvas. However, he did it from memory after a brief helicopter ride over the city. He didn’t get to refer back to any pictures later, he drew it all from memory. He’s even known for getting the exact number of columns correct, and I believe even the exact number of windows on buildings. Pretty amazing huh? I can’t even remember what I did yesterday, let alone how many windows are even on my house. And yet Stephen can take one helicopter ride around a city and draw it to near perfection. Simply amazing. Continue reading »
A great story about autism and art therapy I thought I’d share…Although April has passed, it’s still a poignant article. And why should we only be aware of autism in April anyway? Enjoy!
Art therapy creates new hues in Autism Awareness Month
by Eleanor Perry-Smith
Anxiety, over-stimulation, sensitivity — these are regular feelings for many people who have autism. Feelings many of them can’t express vocally.
April is Autism Awareness Month and aims to speak up for people who have the disability. While public awareness is necessary and helpful, how can it help people, especially children with autism alleviate their frustration? Many families are learning about art therapy as an outlet for kids with autism to speak in other ways. Continue reading »