by Kate Lacour, ATR-BC

Autism rates are on the rise, and new treatments, such as art therapy, are emerging to meet the pervasive challenges it presents. Many parents look to art to help their child.

In recent years, autism has been featured frequently in the news, and it seems that everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by the condition. What is autism and how is it treated? Autism is a neurological condition present at birth, whose precise cause is as yet unknown. The symptoms of autism include repetitive or compulsive behaviors, social impairment, problems with communication and trouble processing sensory information (such as hypersensitivity to sounds). The most popular treatment is behavior modification therapy, which aims at shaping behaviors through a system of rewards and consequences. In recent years, caregivers seeking alternative or complimentary treatments have a broader range of options available. One such treatment is art therapy.

Broadly speaking, art therapy promotes mental and emotional growth through art making. Unlike art instruction, art therapy is conducted with the aim of building life skills, addressing deficits and problem behaviors, and promoting healthy self-expression. Clients are encouraged to explore and express themselves using art materials; crafting attractive artwork is not the goal (though it may be a happy by-product).

Read the full article at the Art Of Autism