Art Therapy & Autism
Information about the application of art therapy in working with individuals who have autism.
Many art therapists work with clients who have an autistic disorder. Art therapy is a beneficial form of treatment for working with individuals who have autism and related disabilities.
Autism is a neurobiological disorder that strikes children sometime during the first three years of life affecting cognition, social interaction, and communication skills. No specific cause for autism is known, but research suggests the disability might be genetic. The annual cost of treating and supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorders in the United States can be as high as $90 billion. In 10 years, the annual cost could be as high as $200 to $400 billion. Ninety percent of these costs are for adult services. As the incidence of autism continues to rise, the stress on the adult service system will greatly increase. The cost of autism, as well as the characteristics of the disorder, may be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and appropriate interventions such as art therapy.
- By the late 1980s, the incidence rate for those diagnosed with autism
was 1 to 2 per 10,000 in the United States. In the year 2000, the incidence
rate was estimated at 2 to 6 per 1,000 according to the Centers for
Autism Today: Everything you need to know about autism.
Brain research: Scientists Say Everyone Can Read Minds, by Ker Than, Wed Apr 27, 2005: "Several labs are now testing the hypothesis that autistic individuals have a mirror neuron deficit and cannot simulate the mental states of others..."
Stephen Shore's website: about Autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
Therapy Makes an Artist: about the benefits of art therapy for a
girl with autism.