Art therapy can be used for children with special needs, as a tool for their personal development. It can help children cope and work through their behavioral, emotional, or psychological issues that often get in the way of their overall development.
How Does Art Therapy Help?
Using art as a tool in therapy can enable children with special needs to express themselves freely and on their terms. It is especially useful in special education for children who feel more comfortable communicating through non-verbal means or those who are unable to communicate verbally due to speech impairment. It can help the child express emotions and feelings that they are unable to put into words.
Art therapy can also be useful in cases where children with special needs are experiencing excessive fear or anxiety, or other behavioral or emotional problems. The therapist can use art to develop trust and a good relationship with the child, through guided or unguided art activities where children would feel safe to express themselves.
It has shown to improve children’s motor skills, mood, and emotional well-being. Children with disabilities can develop their hand-eye coordination and sensorimotor skills through art. This can positively influence their self-esteem and help in resolving their frustrations.
The focus of Art therapy in special education is solely on self-expression and exploration. The quality of the artwork is not a concern as the aim of the activity is to help the child use their creative skills to express their thoughts and feelings.
Who Can Benefit From Art Therapy?
Art therapy can be a great tool for all children to express themselves freely and work through their emotions. However, it can be especially useful for children with communication, behavioral or emotional difficulties. It can help children work through their trauma, fears, and anxiety.
This form of therapy has especially proven to be beneficial for children with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Conduct Disorder, as it enables them to learn coping skills during periods of distress.
WonderPaint: A Tool to Enhance your Child’s Motor & Cognitive Skills
Therapists and special education teachers can use WonderPaint on the WonderTree platform as a tool to facilitate creative expression for children while also developing their motor and cognitive skills. The augmented reality game is a fun and unique way for children with special needs to channel their energy and express their emotions and feelings in the process. This can be used as an assistive tool by therapists to help the child in developing their coping skills and overcoming their emotional and behavioral difficulties.