What We Do
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. Many times art can “say” something that the person otherwise could not “tell” us.The sibling program uses the creative time to provide peer support for the sisters and brothers, while allowing them to explore what they might be thinking or feeling. The parenting program provides much needed nurturing. Creative expression is used with the parents along with stress reduction techniques, and they have chance to network and support one another. HeARTs uses the artwork to then educate others about the Autism Spectrum Disorder and to advocate for improved, integrated services for ASD persons and families.
Art as Therapy for ASD
In numerous studies, art for children has proved to be an invaluable form of self expression. Whether it is simply the developing child who uses the art as a catalyst to communicate the sense of their inner world or to express what they see in their outer world, or the child who uses art to convey deeper emotions such as anger or grief, ART is key for their expression.
For children on the Spectrum, verbal to non-verbal, art can be a way of letting the world know what they are feeling and thinking. Art can facilitate their Sensory Integration needs. Art for families can be a way to work through the stressors and bring them to a greater place of acceptance. Education and Advocacy in the broader community is enhanced through the Art produced and displayed by those impacted by ASD.