Art Therapy: Autism and Art


I am proud and happy to have guest posts here for those that want to share their story or feelings about how to help with bullying or those that are bullied. Haley contacted me about her story of those that have autism, certainly a group that deals with bullying from those that don’t understand them. Here is Haley’s story. If you wish to submit one also, send it to me at bullyinglte@gmail.com. ~Alan


Art autism is a movementAutism, not as unfamiliar of a term as it once was. Even the connotation has changed over the years. What was once completely unfamiliar territory is now regular familiar territory.

Through innovation in science and technology we are breaking through the communication barrier. From the IPad allowing communication that didn’t exist to new techniques alleviating stress and creating the right environment to allow significant growth.

The inability to communicate and not knowing how to communicate can be a strain on everyone involved. From this struggle, some of the most beautiful stories have emerged when there is a break through.

Roxanne Boyd, a specialist who works with autistic children within a school district, sees a future in communication that involves art and not just electronics.

“Words can be very hard for some autistic children. Think about if you woke up tomorrow and when you tried to say Hello or Good Morning it actually physically pained you. With each movement of your jaw you felt every nerve explode with pain. You would not talk to anyone and the frustration of not being able to connect would consume you. These kids are aware, very aware of their environment, they just do not have the means of traditional communication. Our job as parents, teachers and leaders is to develop new ways to communicate for these children.”

Boyd noticed that many of the autistic children she worked with preferred tactile objects. IPads provided options that desktop computers could not. For some students the act of typing on a traditional keyboard pained them, and they were unaware it could be less painful to use a keyboard screen until the IPad was put in front of them.

“Painting was a natural progression from that point on. Not every student could afford an IPad, and after seeing a sliver of the communication barrier fall, I wanted to find a method that would allow more children the same freedom. So I started researching.”

Boyd, not being an artist herself, attended classes at Pinot’s Palette, an art studio where no experience is required. Feeling vulnerable going into a world she was not a part of, with no background, the instructing artist automatically had Boyd at ease. She learned some of the simplest techniques to make her masterpiece come alive, as well as meet a new group of people who also had no experience but wanted to have a fun night out. She created a foundation of knowledge to take back to the classroom.

~Haley Hughes

One thought on “Art Therapy: Autism and Art

  1. Pingback: Art Therapy: Autism and Art | Bullying Help

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