Art as a Language for Autism: Building Effective Therapeutic Relationships with Children and Adolescents

Author(s) : Jane Ferris Richardson

Art as a Language for Autism: Building Effective Therapeutic Relationships with Children and Adolescents

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : June 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 200
  • Category :
    Autism and Aspergers
  • Catalogue No : 96642
  • ISBN 13 : 9781138043053
  • ISBN 10 : 9781138043
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Art as a Language for Autism addresses the clinical challenges that are common in working with autistic spectrum disorder by exploring how artistic expression can provide a communicative language for younger clients who are set in their thought processes and preferences.

Exploring how both art and play-based approaches can be effective tools for engaging therapeutic work, this book introduces strategies to help young clients find expressive "languages" that can fully support communication, expression, and empathic understanding, as well as build skills for relaxation, calming, and coping. Building from a foundation of a client’s individual strengths and interests, this playful and integrative approach is informed by an awareness of the individual sensory profiles and the developmental needs of children and adolescents with autism. Through a greater awareness of these materials and processes for therapy, the reader will be able to create a space for their young clients to share what they know and care about.

This exciting new book is essential reading for clinicians working with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum.

Reviews and Endorsements

"Working In the dance space I have found that when we make assumptions about a child’s ability to develop and communicate, we only place limitations on the child that are based on a very narrow understanding of them until they reveal themselves to us.

Art as a Language for Autism is the most wonderful and welcome addition to this perspective which provides the reader with insights of a powerful creative approach to building relationships and reimagining life changing outcomes for children and their families. Written with decades of hands-on clinical experience and a rich in-depth academic knowledge of art and play based therapeutic practice, Jane’s work is truly ground-breaking and offers inspiring pathways to following and discovering the potential within each unique child." - Ali Golding, MSc, PG Cert SEN, BA(Hons), FRSA, Founder, Director, Artistic Director of MovementWorks.

"In this much-needed contribution to the lexicon of ASD literature, Dr. Richardson informs clinicians, educators, and parents on the value of creative approach with children on the spectrum. Richardson frames art as a means of communication for a population that typically struggles with this; indeed, she reminds us that art is fundamental expression. The words and experiences of her young clients are shared with a genuine respect, and Richardson anchors these anecdotes by expertly weaving in the theory of art and play therapists, psychologists, and autism researchers. I look forward to recommending this text to students, clients, and colleagues." - Dr. Rachel Brandoff, Ph.D., ATR-BC, ATCS, LCAT, Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Art Therapy Concentration, Community & Trauma Counseling Program, Thomas Jefferson University.

About the Author(s)

Jane Ferris Richardson is an art therapist, an exhibiting artist, a play therapist, and an associate professor of art therapy at Lesley University. Her developmentally based, integrative approach to working with children merges both art and play.

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