Creativity can come in many forms. Art can take the form of photography, paper folding, painting or drawing to help people in engaging the right side of their brain that is often used for artistic expression. Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art to help a child with special needs work through behavioral, emotional or psychological issues. The therapy aims to facilitate positive changes in a child’s behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that can be accomplished in various ways. Besides that, by practicing any form of art in an environment that allows your child to relax and feel safe can lead to increased motor skills, improved focus and a better mood. It is known as a psychotherapeutic service which allows children to express themselves in non-verbal ways through art. It provides a way for the child to communicate things where they are unable to express in words.

The kinds of artwork varies from making collages, drawing pictures, painting murals, crafting puppets to creating sculptures. All of these are ways for the child to express their feelings through the art they create and to provide information indirectly to the therapist. Moreover, special needs children can learn social skills, gain cognitive growth, obtain coping mechanisms through the resolution of frustration and practice sensorimotor skills such as sensory stimulation and hand-eye coordination.

girl painting

Art therapy relies on how art impacts the neurological system with artistic materials as a kind of intervention as well. By presenting its own set of unique stressors, this challenges a special needs child to learn material manipulation, focus and how to nurture tangible relationships. This benefits the child through “unlearning” a behavior that has previously been associated with a negative emotion or situation, and replaces it with positive change and behaviors. A child’s improvement can be seen over time and this new action will become the primary reaction to specific circumstances.

This modality can often help special needs children to achieve a closer balance in brain hemispheres. Learning disabilities, depression, anger and perception are believed to be affected by an imbalance. By having such creative therapy to other forms of counseling, this can aid in the learning of coping skills that are often lacking in conditions like Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder

The focus of art therapy on a child with special needs will be gaining new skills while limiting environmental distractions and unproductive behavior at the same time. Children with special needs will learn to achieve new goals through action-based, dynamic educational principles and understand the emphasis on effort over actual ability. This can promote insight into a child’s abilities and limitations, as well as assisting the child to see their abilities that don’t necessarily mean “setbacks.” Hence, a child will feel confident in their own abilities and improves their self-esteem, which can lead to a world of behavioral and emotional benefits through this type of expressive intervention.