What is Art Based Therapy?
Arts-based therapy is an umbrella term comprising of various art forms namely, visual art, dance/movement therapy, music therapy, play therapy and drama therapy. Contingent on the interests and preference of the child, any one or more art forms can be employed to reach the desired goal. Art Based Therapies are a natural fit for autism. They help assuage the deficits associated with autism by channeling autistic behaviors into an expressive, creative outlet.
One of the major characteristics of autism spectrum disorders is difficulty with verbal and social communication. However, many individuals with autism have an extraordinary ability to think visually i.e. “in pictures.” Art in general, is a form of expression that could open doors of communication for a child with autism. It also promotes self-exploration, emotional growth and sensory integration while also encouraging social interaction in a fun setting.
Arts-based therapy differs from traditional art-making or performance in that the emphasis is on the process of creating and making rather than on the end product.