Exploring Art Therapy as a Treatment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder


  • Junhyeong Jeong Lynbrook High School
  • Paul Shim Mentor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology




autism spectrum disorder, art therapy, clay therapy


The purpose of this study is to understand the various therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to discover a more effective method in connection with the research results in other fields. Art therapy was initially used at British mental hospitals to help frequently inhibited patients release creative and positive energy. As art therapy gained more attention, its usage expanded t­­­o help cure patients not only with mental disorders, but also developmental disorders like ASD. Actively used in social facilities and psychiatric treatment, art therapy is one of the most used methods to interact and understand individuals with ASD.  Substantial number of papers have been published based on these various practical case studies, which proves the effectiveness of art therapy. Art therapy for children with ASD includes the following: clay, corrugated cardboard work and color mix work, drawing with crayon, paint, and pastel. These materials are frequently used to draw or create body parts, emotions, motions, and specific objects given by the instructor. From the data from research papers, clay and other tactile materials are one of the most effective materials to use to improve the condition of individuals with ASD, major depressive disorder, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Clay-based methods use the sense of touch and vision to create an abstraction process. As the usage of art therapy continues to increase in various fields, integrating effective methods among other disorders is necessary and further investigation is needed for a more effective therapy method for individuals with ASD.


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How to Cite

Jeong, J., & Shim, P. (2021). Exploring Art Therapy as a Treatment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Student Research, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.47611/jsrhs.v10i3.1883



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