Art Therapy for Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Development and First Evaluation of a Treatment Programme

Celine Schweizer

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Evaluation of art therapy for children with problems related to autism

This PhD concerns the development and evaluation of the art therapy programme ‘Images of Self’ for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
In general, these children are referred to art therapy (AT) when they are insecure or depressed, have negative thoughts in their minds about themselves, suddenly become very angry and / or anxious, have difficulties with sudden changes, have problems with making friends or understand social manners, or have combinations of these kinds of problems.
Creating something with art materials is an important part of AT. The therapist offers support to help the child to have (success) experiences and develop skills and insights. Each art material offers opportunities for expression; carpentry, for example, offers other experiences than painting. The art therapist supports the child in becoming more aware of (un) pleasant experiences and in developing awareness of his or her preferences and difficulties.
Based on literature study and interviews with art therapists, two measuring instruments were developed and tested, with which the development of children and the actions of the therapist were evaluated. As a result of the treatment evaluation a majority of the children have become more flexible and social and have learned to express what is in their minds. Most children feel better and are happier after the therapy, even at home and in the classroom. Parents and teachers are very satisfied with the treatment.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Knorth, Erik, Supervisor
  • Yperen, van, Tom, Supervisor
  • Spreen, Marinus, Co-supervisor, External person
Award date14-Sept-2020
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-9033327-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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