Autistic children and Art therapy 2

Methods of treatment and psychological counseling for children with art:

Art therapy is an essential part of skills development programs for children with special needs, such as autistic children, and the aim is to help them understand the social situation and interact in an acceptable manner with it.

It includes the following:

  • Free artistic expression: for expression and clairvoyance of the child's feelings and thoughts that are repressed in the subconscious.
  • Directed (specific) artistic expression: Specific artistic expression does not differ from free artistic expression in terms of materials and tools, but directed artistic expression in which the subject is specific and the required elements are specific for a specific therapeutic purpose.
  • Directed (specific) art formation: It is the use of different materials and tools to form a three-dimensional work of art in a specific way, and it differs from free three-dimensional formation in that its subjects and elements are specified by the therapist for specific therapeutic purposes.
  • Completing the fees: where the child is presented with papers on which some lines are drawn, then he completes them.
  • Expressing feelings and emotions such as love and hate - beauty and ugliness - femininity and masculinity. Such drawings illustrate the patient's feelings towards others, as well as the child's feelings and the way he interprets them, and the way he chooses the vocabulary to translate this feeling.
  • Expressing the current problems that the patient suffers from and his unpleasant experiences towards him, and this expression is interesting for discussion with the therapist.
  • Expressing self-concept through:
  • A person's drawing of himself, in which his image of himself appears, for example, self-confidence, masculinity, courage, or vice versa.
  • Drawing the person to others.
  • Drawing the three characters, where the first character expresses the image of the child as he sees it, the second his image as others see it, and the third image his image of himself as he wishes it to be.
  • Expressing social relations.
  • Interaction and communication between the child and others by drawing the current family and then drawing the family in which he would like to live.
  • Drawing with the colors of the glass on a daily and continuous basis.
  • Handicrafts with the aim of focus and hand-visual coordination.
  • Daily formation with the aim of training to acquire communication skills with others.
  • Guided imagination with feedback to cope with others.
  • Scribbles on paper: Trying to make an artistic formation that reflects the child’s potential in terms of the type of font used and how to use it, or trying to draw while closing his eyes so that he only feels and does not see his lines on the paper so that everything inside comes out and we can translate and understand it well, or drawing without lifting the pen from the on the paper and this will help him relax and reduce stress
  • Coloring and Arranging Shapes: We bring the child many drawings that are completely different from each other and ask him to choose a drawing and color it, so that we can see how he chooses the shape and theme of the drawing, and we see the colors that the child will use to express the drawing.

And to give the child shapes that he arranges or combines with each other to see his ability to focus, comprehend, and spontaneity.

  • Choosing colors: A group of colors is placed in front of the child and we ask him to choose one color and see what color he will choose and the reason for choosing it. Each color has an effect on the person and thus we see the child's tendencies.


In order to achieve the rehabilitation and therapeutic goals with autistic children, the therapist must develop a treatment strategy that includes:

Getting to know the child’s capabilities, which means that we get to know the problems that the child suffers from, so that we can help him adapt to them, as well as knowing the degree of his development in the cognitive and sensory areas, motor and social abilities, his ability to communicate with the therapist and the world around him, and even knowing his behavior, mood, and way of playing The way he expresses his feelings, the way he organizes his time, when he gets angry, when he is happy, and what are the best ways to deal with him? For example, it is possible for the therapist to measure the cognitive aspect of the child by directly observing him while he is carrying out an activity in drawing. Therefore, the art therapist must put a special file for each of the cases he works with, and put within it those tests that he applied, the information he obtained and the sources of his information so that it helps him start with the child and then rehabilitate him through art.

Diagnosis of skills Here the therapist measures the child's artistic experiences. He learns what or how to draw, shape, or use artistic tools, methods and instructions for carrying out artistic activity, and how to adapt abilities and tools.

Implementation of the artistic activity at the beginning. The therapist must carry out the activity between him and himself first before presenting it to the child with autism, with an emphasis on developing a realistic vision for the success of that activity. On this basis, the gradual process of implementing the activity with the child must be taken into account, distributing it and fragmenting it into several parts developed from simple to more difficult, and dividing the activity into successive sessions so that the child with autism can understand the methods of implementation and understand the work well and in a way that achieves the general goals of rehabilitation.

In conclusion, the therapist must continue to monitor the results of the treatment and the developments in the child and evaluate them according to the rehabilitation goals that he set at the beginning of the treatment and continue to develop and improve them to achieve the best results.



Shams Mhanna