Text by Rick McVicar
“Creativity can come in many forms, but it’s part of what makes each one of us special in our own unique ways,” writes Suzie Dalien.
Dalien describes how art therapy is used in schools in, “Art Therapy for Children with Special Needs.” The article can be found on Special Ed Resources dot Com.
Art therapy for children with learning and developmental disabilities targets a student’s strengths to increase self-esteem. Schools rely on therapists with professional expertise.
Various types of art forms can be used, such as photography, drawing, painting and sculpting. Art is useful in replacing negative behaviors with positive ones. Students can learn new skills and feel a sense of accomplishment, Dalien writes.
Several other benefits of art therapy can be found as well.
For instance, Zahavit Paz, writing for LD Resources Foundation, touts the communication benefits of art therapy. Art therapy gives voice to those with verbal challenges, according to Paz in, “How Art Therapy Helps People with ADHD, Learning Disabilities and Autism.”
Art therapy “gives a voice to children with language difficulties and it provides an excellent way to express their feelings,” Paz writes.
Students with ADHD and certain types of learning disabilities can have strong emotions, poor social skills and low self-esteem. Art therapy can combat those challenges.
Art stimulates the brain, increasing concentration and lowering stress levels. It can bring self-healing by having a calming effect, Paz states.
The article includes videos, such as one produced by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
The video emphasizes the need to keep art material and instructions simple. Students with learning and developmental disabilities have trouble with multi-step instructions and abstract ideas.
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