Teaching Your Autistic Child About Art
Exposing your autistic child to art activities is not only fun. To some degree, it can be therapeutic as well. You just need to find the right activity that your child enjoys the most. Expose him to various techniques and mediums and provide him with the learning environment that he is comfortable with.
As autistic children often learn the most through visual means, it is recommended that you physically demonstrate the art activity. Show him a step by step play of the things that he needs to do to accomplish the task. Alternatively, it would also be good to provide a visual instruction using both images and words which he can refer to as he goes about with the art activity.
If you feel that the child is open to having your hand assist his hand during the activity, feel free to do so. However, you must keep this very brief. Grasp your child’s hand gently and guide him on what he needs to do. Work quickly but gently to show him what he needs to do. Keep in mind that while he has agreed to allow you to guide his hand, he may not want your hand over his hand for an extended period of time.
You also need to remember that some autistic children may not feel comfortable with certain textures and this can affect the way he responds to the art activity that you are introducing to him. If he does not like to touch the art materials that is laid out in front of him, do not cross off art just yet. All you need to do is to think of ways in which he can accomplish the task without touching it. For example, if he does not like to touch paint with his hands, maybe you can get him a paintbrush or some gloves which he can use. If he does not like to touch glue, you can always get him to use a glue stick instead.
Be patient if he does not seem to understand the concept of the art activity. Remember that autistic children tend to learn at their own pace. If they do not understand it now, it does not mean that they will never understand it. You just need to give him time to explore it.