Monday, November 5, 2012

Art Therapy & Autism - Resources

Previously published in my blog Art for Autism, November 2011.

I was emailed a question about art programs for people with autism, a mom looking for programs for her son. That made me think that if she was looking for an art program, others probably are, too.

A quick Google search netted a surprising lack of information! I found some info about autistic artists, some little blurby bits on art therapy and autism, but (so far) not any info about art classes for these special kids. Since I'm not sure what you're looking for, I'm just going to post a bunch of links that I found (with a brief description) and hope you're able to find something useful for you and your family. VSA’s online artist listing is an extension of VSA’s Artists Registry that includes over 1,600 visual, performing, and literary artists with disabilities. is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on the use of art therapy to address the symptoms of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  Welcome to the site of Quinn alias Mr.Q. Quinn is a young Dutch artist, diagnosed with classic autism at the age of four. This site is to showcase and to promote his designs, drawings and cartoons, which Quinn uses as a way to express himself. Have a look around and enjoy! Are you also creative and autistic, like Quinn? Submit your work and we'll put it on the site, in our Art Gallery! Working with persons on the Autistic Spectrum, HeARTs for Autism® encourages creative expression. As the person works with an art project, there are opportunities for them to integrate Sensory needs, interact socially with our volunteers, and express themselves in ways that transcend the limits they might otherwise experience daily with their autism. (Philadelphia, PA) (has a long list of links relating to autistic artists) (books and websites about art therapy and autism) Spotlight Autism: Pure Vision Arts (video interview) PVA’s philosophy begins with the belief that the arts are not a luxury, but a necessity in a civilized society, and that all people regardless of their disability should have the opportunity to express themselves. Art can provide profound pleasure and transform the human spirit and each person can experience and create something that is unique and reflects their individual personality. (New York City) The Program for Adaptive & Expressive Arts (PAEA) delivers therapeutic as well as recreational music & art services, private instruction, and creative workshops to children and adults of Franklin, Grand Isle and Chittendon Counties of Vermont. (a message board thread, "art activities for autistic children")

IN CANADA (art program for autistic teens in Ontario, Canada; registration for the December program is closed, but you can probably request information about future programs)

This is what I've found so far. I have to get back to cooking Thanksgiving dinner, but I hope to devote more time to this in the near future. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!