Many families are learning about art therapy as an outlet for kids with autism to speak in other ways.
“Art can provide a way to express what is more complicated,” said Nicole Martin, an art therapist who received her training in Chicago. She said she hopes Autism Awareness Month will inform families that there are resources for children with autism, and art therapy could be the right fit for their child.
“Art tends to play to their natural strengths and interests,” said Martin. “They are very visual-spatial and sensory oriented.”
Chicago’s Project Onward encourages artists with autism to develop their artistic skills. “We’ve found it helpful to bring in art therapy [methods],” said Rob Lentz, director of Project Onward, which provides studio space, support and exhibition opportunities for 30 artists with developmental diseases and mental illness, about half of whom are on the autistic spectrum, Lentz said.
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