I offer individual training sessions and group dynamics to people with autism.
The purpose of my practice is to give ASD individuals the support, the guidance and the tools to develop a relational understanding in the following broad social and emotional aspects of learning
A key characteristic of those on the autism spectrum is their difficulty in understanding the social behavior of others and what is socially acceptable behavior. Children on the autism spectrum are generally very literal thinkers and interpreters of language, failing to understand its social context. They also have difficulty with non-verbal communication, not understanding the meaning of common gestures and facial expressions. This affects their ability to interact with others.
However, with appropriate teaching and support many individuals on the autism spectrum will improve their social understanding. Social skills and social situations need to be broken down, explained, and practised so that those on the autism spectrum can absorb them analytically, at a level that makes sense to them.
Emotional Intelligence Development through Art
A range of teaching strategies will be used to motivate both those who learn primarily through verbal channels and those whose preferred learning style may be more visual, musical or kinaesthetic. Much of the learning will necessarily take place through experiential and creative activities, as developing social, emotional and behavioral skills involves engaging the heart as well as the head.
The employment of expressive arts therapy (EXA) techniques and creative tools, can facilitate self-discovery, personal growth, and expression. In particular, EXA seeks to leverage these creative tools to allow individuals to develop emotional intelligence (EI) by drawing links between their inner world and the outer world. EXA’s approach also allows us to engage with the arts to expand imagination and enable a range of types of play, thus creating opportunities to explore and acquire new emotional intelligence (EI) resources through the creative and relational processes.
What it enables
The expressive arts enable us to create a safe setting where the client is welcome to open up and share his/her internal conflicts in order to be able to first identify them by him/herself. Then the Therapist accompanies the individual through their creative process, without judging or over-interpreting their work, enabling the person to make their own discoveries.
My role as a therapist is of empathetic support, a companion on the journey, a means of drawing a person out of their own art but letting them do their own interpretation. It is important not to project but to let the person own their feelings. Knowing that within each person there is the capacity to find their own answers.