Art Therapy with Children on the Autistic Spectrum: Beyond Words

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001 - Psychology - 111 pages
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Recent research has shown that art therapy can be particularly effective for children with autism and related communication disorders. The extensive range of symptoms experienced by autistic people makes them extremely individual in presentation, so any treatment used must be tailored to a range of varying needs. Art Therapy with Children on the Autistic Spectrum presents a new model of practice, which primarily focuses on communication difficulties. The authors describe how negative behaviours and subsequent tension may be alleviated when the autistic child is involved in interactive art making with the therapist.

The book is divided into three parts: the first part explores art making processes and art work, with an emphasis on how art can be specifically communicative. A history of autism is presented within the therapeutic context. The second part challenges existing methods of practice within art therapy and considers the most appropriate approaches to treating autistic children. The last part discusses research that lead to the formulation of this specific model - methodology and assessment interventions are analysed, as well as the ongoing development of appropriate assessment instruments. Case studies of art therapy with individual autistic children demonstrate the use of the model and the outcomes. Throughout the book, it is emphasised how art therapy works as an integral part of overall management and treatment approaches to autism. It will be of particular interest to all those professionals working with autistic children and specialists in other communication disorders.

 

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Contents

Introduction
7
1 Developmental Deficit
15
2 Imaginative Play Creativity and Art
23
3 Drawing Development
31
4 Symbols Signs Theory of Mind Autism and Drawing Development
39
5 The Basis for Intervention
49
6 Diagnosis Understanding and Assessment
63
7 Working with Stephen
81
8 Developing an Interactive Art Therapy Template
97
References
103
Subject Index
107
Author Index
111
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About the author (2001)

Kathy Evans is an art therapist specialising in the development of communicative abilities in children with autism. She is the Director of Family Therapy with Resources for Autism, a charity based in Finchley, North London, established to support children and young people with autism spectrum disorder and Asperger's syndrome, and their families. Janek Dubowski received his PhD in Comparative Psychology in 1983, following one of the earliest art therapy research projects in the UK. He is a qualified Psychodynamic Counsellor, has worked in hospitals as a senior Art Therapist, and trained at the Lincoln Memorial Clinic of Psychotherapy in London. He is currently Associate Dean at the Faculty of Art and Design of the University of Hertfordshire, and is also the former Director of the Arts Therapies Programme of the university, which included dance movement and drama therapy. He is currently involved with Integrative Arts Psychotherapy from a Jungian perspective.

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