The term 'special kids' often relates to kids with special needs. Special needs imply that a child has a medical, psychological or mental disorder. However, these kids are just similar to all the kids around except for that they have some disability, perhaps in the form of poor communication abilities, disruptive behaviors, sensory integration challenges or lack of focus in a kid concerning learning. It is for these kids and their parents that art therapy was formally introduced as a solution.
Art therapy has proven to be one of the best treatments for kids having emotional behavioral and psychological problems. In fact, art therapy dates back right to the 19th century when French psychiatrists Ambrose Tardieu and Paul-Max Simon viewed it as an effective diagnostic tool to identify specific types of mental illness or traumatic events. The popularity and the growth proliferated to such an extent that art therapy was seen as an important form of treatment by psychiatrists in the 20th century! In the contemporary world, adapting to art therapy enables kids to communicate and express their ideas using art tools and supplies rather than having a verbal communication. This way, kid helps their counselor understand various facts that he/she wasn’t able to express in words.
Art therapy is a part of special education provided to the kids with special needs where the kids are encouraged to express their feelings through art and their latent creativity. This therapy not only helps us understand these kids but also in building them up in terms of cognitive growth, learning of social skills, practicing sensorimotor like the hand-eye coordination and sensory stimulation. The artwork done by the kids are of different types which include drawing, collage making, crafting, sculpture creation and much more. Naturally, all these artworks are implemented to help a child express what he/she feels and what he/she imagines.
The art therapy is one of the most valuable tools that can in a way help the therapist understand the kid and provide better treatment.
Following are the general benefits of art therapy for kids with special needs.
- It helps the kids to put their thoughts and ideas in a creative manner which they might have found difficult to communicate verbally.
- From the counselor’s point of view, this therapy helps them understand the child better. It also helps him/her understand various areas of interest and skills of the child along with a sense of achievement.
- It has helped kids with various disabilities like trauma, physical, learning or visual impairment, behavioral issues, etc.
- Engaging in art therapy helps children to develop different skills like emotional skills, cognitive, motor and relational skills. It also promotes relaxation in the mind of a child as he can communicate and express his ideas that he/she couldn’t do verbally. Art therapy reduces anxiety and provides a sense of accomplishment for the kids.
- Many kids also have sensory disabilities. Art therapy is one of the best therapies for them as they can enjoy pleasurable sensory experiences through this therapy.
Always remember that art isn’t just for the “special” kids. In fact, art is beyond solving disabilities! Art helps your kids in overcoming their sensory disabilities and improving their creativity! Your child’s imagination can profile deeper and deeper with art. You can find a good therapist/art class by doing a good amount of research online as well as offline. For example, Braingroom is online marketplace for educational, recreational & wellness classes with defined target segment. Through BrainGroom, academies & individual tutors sell their classes in the form of individual class tickets to end users. Isn’t this the perfect place to find the right mentor for your child?! Furthermore, there are numerous other reputed “child-therapists” who have built up their websites. You can check for their reviews given by the customers and also understand about the services mentioned on the website that they provide. Also, connect with people around in the society and try to find out people who have had prior experiences with the therapists. Keeping all the factors, reviews and services of a therapist in mind, you can go the best therapist you might get.
The kids with special needs are no less than the normal ones. All that they need is a special attention and better care than the normal kids. It is important to understand the special kids and help them at every stage of their life. This therapy is so simple yet usually so ignored due to lack of awareness and understanding. However, researches have shown it to have highly benefited the special kids who are seen to be doing well in their lives.