Benefits of Art Therapy for Children with Disability
Art therapy is usually seen as unuseful when addressing children with disabilities. But what many don’t know is that art therapy could be useful for children with special needs. It’s a useful form of treatment for any kids with disabilities, and those with any psychological, behavioral, or emotional issues. This therapy enables kids to be more confident and express themselves better through supplies and art tools.
Besides, it also helps counselors understand more about the kids and facilitate communication between the two parties. With better understanding, counselors will understand the kids’ needs, aspirations, and preferences and they will be able to develop a better relationship.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a type of therapy that involves activities and exercises that will improve several aspects of the patient’s health. It’s ideal for children and adults to work for different goals such as rehabilitation and counseling.
This technique works with the child’s strengths, and when done well, it can improve his focus, motor skills and enhance mood. It should therefore be enforced in a good environment where the child relaxes and feel good. It’s also related to special education, and some of the disabilities that qualify for this therapy include autism, learning disabilities, behavioral issues, emotional disturbance, and ADHD.
Goals of Art Therapy
Like most educational programs, art therapy services aim to promote positivity to the recipient in terms of their behavior, feelings, and thoughts. This can be achieved through different strategies.
Art therapists are trained in this field and understand metaphors, nonverbal cues, and other aspects of self-expression well to enable them to teach the kids and understand their expressions. Therefore, they know the patients well and understand the information they pass through words and nonverbal cues.
And besides children with special needs, those without special needs may also lack the appropriate language skills that will enable them to express themselves. Luckily, art therapy will help awaken their creativity and self-identity to know themselves and their role in society. Their minds and body will also be calmer, and with a positive mindset, they will easily interpret their emotions and surroundings.
Whether it’s putting a feeling into a song, painting, or poem, children have much to gain from art therapy. It’s also a conduit that enables them to remove negative thoughts and emotions and improve their growth and healing, especially if they are recovering from a tragedy. But also note that it’s not all about coping, as a child’s normal development is also vital.
Top Benefits of Art Therapy to Kids with Special Needs
- Improve Self-Worth and Self-confidence – Artistic therapies can be very useful to students with disabilities and especially those with mental retardation. These students usually rely on teachers or parents to handle even the simplest tasks and guidance and deal with their behavioral issues. With art therapy, they can gain more realistic views of the world and even improve their expression.
- Art therapy helps children who find it hard to put their emotions or feelings into words due to different challenges, i.e., age, disability; the art will enable them to convey their feelings and communicate with the immediate environment.
- It affects the neurological system since it can help kids remain stressed and the virtues of focus and patience. With art therapy, kids can get new skills, abilities, and other positive virtues.
- It has numerous behavioral and emotional benefits to the kids. Even the kids who don’t like authority will find a haven with using art to express themselves. Thus, this will lead to the development of closer bonds, especially with the art therapist and their peers on the program using a vast array of artistic techniques.
If a kid develops essential social skills while still young, there will be regular and even better development. Children who are confident and know how to conduct themselves socially are better at developing empathy, connection, and communicating well. Art therapy bridges the gap, especially to those who are not well-off socially, and gives them moral support without judgment from their parents, peers, and society.
Using this education and skills, these kids will appreciate each individual’s value and accept the differences that exist. Therefore, it’s important to impart this knowledge, especially to kids with disabilities, as they can sometimes be in a disadvantageous position than other kids.
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