Children and adults diagnosed with ASD, like most of us, want to experience connections with others. One young ten year old boy, who struggled with his emotions and the classroom environment came to me for a few sessions. The intention of the Arts Therapy was to gain understanding about his environment, relationships and his place within them. We chatted first, I got to know him and he asked a little bit about me, like how many children I have. He was telling me about spiders and that’s where the creative process of Arts Therapy began. You see, he could relate to the life of the spider and he could metaphorically express his world and the people in it.
He picked up the texta, started his artwork and chatted to me a little while drawing. He had my one on one attention, an adult who was sitting with him, listening with no judgements, no teachings, no directions, simply being present with him.
Once he had completed the artwork, he shared with me his meaning of all the elements that he had created. “I am the spider in the middle of the giant web and these are insects stuck in my web.” The insects symbolised the people in his life. “The ones closest to me are the people that I love and who love me.” He pointed to each individual insect and named them, his mum, dad and grandparents. “Except my sister, I put her way out here on the edge, because I love her but she tells me she hates me and we fight”. Not far from him, a few web lines back, were two more insects on opposite sides of the spider. “These are my two best friends. This one is at my school, at this friend lives near me. They don’t know each other”. Lastly there were two more insects, up the top above the spider. “What are these two black shapes?” I asked. “They are Michael and Peter (names changed), they are in my class and they hate me. They aren’t my friends. They aren’t nice to me.” He told me a little more about the boys, and I asked him if he wants them to be in his web. He didn’t want them there. “How would you like to change your artwork?” I asked. “I want to cut them out, because I am the spider and I can break the web. Then I can make a new web.” He altered his artwork and we chatted about his new found awareness, and how he wanted to apply it in his classroom reality.
Through further Arts Therapy, he created ways to feel safe and be emotionally okay within his environment, where he no longer needed to run away to be okay.
Join Natalie Delforce for a sacred and transformational journey to Japan Oct 16-23 and Natalie also offers adult and children individual sessions and Cuppa ‘n’ Crayon group workshops.
www.H-art.space or call 0420 314 425