Posts Tagged ‘Painting and Autism’

Caroline’s Commentary:

Jan Pitman wrote this article which came out on July 9th in ‘What’s Up Muskoka,’ page 14, ‘Program Links Arts and Autism.’ If you know of anyone who would like to find out more about the Creative Art Adventures Club they can email me at caroline@tlc4.ca   We meet on Thursday afternoons starting at 1:30 pm in the Raymond Community Hall in Utterson, 2013 Hwy 141.

A program that utilizes the arts to promote healing is gaining momentum in Muskoka. Caroline Butson helps families and their children with autism using creative arts classes as part of the Tree of Life Art Adventures Club for Children with Autism.

Butson believes that through the arts she has been able to manage many of the challenges children with autism face. The art stimulates the brain and calms the nervous system alleviating the effects of autism.

She started the Creative Arts Adventure Club at the beginning of the year with a trial run of 12 weeks. That proved highly successful, says Butson.
Children in the new program can range in age from five to 16 and are welcome to join the classes with their families or support workers. It is also open to siblings and friends who are not on the autism spectrum.

“We do different activities together, for example story telling, rhythm music, clay modelling or painting,” says Butson. “The paintings are very large, the children paint with the whole body. I am giving them the tools to express themselves because they can’t do it with words. Also, I help parents to connect with their children.”

Up to six families can meet once a week at the Raymond Community Hall at Highway 141, which Butson rents for her classes. The Tree of Life Art Adventures Club is sponsored by the Autism Ontario Potentials Programme and Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

“I would like to hold classes twice a week,” she says, “there are around 600 children in Muskoka registered with autism , and many more children who need help and are not registered. Our classes are simple, light and fun.”

Participants learn social skills along with how to co-operate and respect one another. Parents, siblings and caregivers also benefit and learn to relax with the creative process, so that they can apply these tools at home.

http://eedition.whatsupmuskoka.com/doc/Whats-Up-Muskoka/wum_july9_virtualedition/2014070801/#14

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Caroline’s Commentary:

In spite of the severe cold and heaps of snow we have had a great beginning to the Creative Art Adventures Club this winter.  Here are a few of the children’s paintings from the first club.  We use large sheets of 4′ x 5 ‘ paper taped to the wall which gives them lots of their own space to move freely as they are painting.  These young artists are 5 and 6 years old painting with their parent or support worker.

Braeden'sPainting1Brenden'sPainting2Myah'sPainting1MyahPainting2

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I’m proud to tell you we are launching the Creative Art Adventures Club this winter on 6 Saturdays starting February 1st. This event is sponsored by the Autism Ontario Potential Programme, in partnership with Ontario Ministry of Children & Youth Services. It will be held in the Raymond Community Hall (Lower Level) 2013 Hwy 141, Utterson from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. Sign up this week with the link provided on the poster below.

DESCRIPTION: This is a new social learning opportunity for families who have exceptional children with autism. Participants will explore a variety of creative mediums to facilitate self expression in a fun supportive atmosphere. We will explore nature with storytelling, rhythm music and movement, clay modelling, drawing and painting in each afternoon session. This Club is designed for exceptional children with autism ages 5 to 11 years old who endure social anxiety and communication difficulties. Held in a kind, loving, supportive, safe environment.

We can accommodate between 4 to 6 children and their parent, sibling or guardian. Participants will learn social skills; how to co-operate and respect one another. Parents, siblings, and caregivers will benefit too as you learn to explore your own creativity and relax with the creative process so that you can continue to apply the tools at home.  You have the choice to either participate fully with you child or you can opt to join with other parents in a support circle or alternate activity.

I will need to talk with you the parent/ guardian through Skype, googlehangout or in person to see if this is the program for your child sometime this week of Jan 20th – 25th. This will include a FREE 40 min. consultation that each person will receive regardless if they choose to be in the program or not.   Contact my Assistant Carla O’Neill today to set up a meeting dcmsoneill@bell.net

COST: $72.00 per person (The cost of admission will be funded by Autism Ontario’s Potential Programme.)
Click on the link here and be one of the first to sign up.

Creative Art Adventures Club – Jenne_BIL (final)

I will also be talking to Amber Morrill, Hunter’s Bay Radio, Family Feat Program on Monday January 27th at 10:35 a.m. You can listen at the following link, http://www.muskokaonline.com/HuntersBayRadio

I look forward to hearing from you. If you know any family that might be interested in the above program, please do not hesitate to share.

Caroline

CreativeArtAdventuresPainting

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Caroline’s Commentary:

This mural was painted last year at the Kaleadescope Children’s Festival by numerous exceptional children.  I am looking forward to facilitating again this Saturday June 30th held at the Playworld of Clevelands House, in Minett.  If you are in the vicinity please join us. There are a variety of creative activities offered by lots of other creative artists for children of all ages and abilities.

 

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Friday Friends creating a Mural together

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All children receive many benefits on multiple levels from art education whether or not they are on the autism spectrum.  However for the autistic child art and music is vital for their growth and development.  Autistic children learn best when learning is visual and by making learning fun.  Besides being a tool for helping the autistic child express themselves, painting and playing music are also a multi-sensory experience engaging the autistic child with all of their senses; visually as well as through touch, smell and sound.  Teaching must be creative and any subject can be taught using art as a tool, including the maths and sciences.

How does art education benefit the autistic student?

I would say that the healing or therapeutic aspect of art is most beneficial in that it develops the inner realm of the child and will help them discover who they truly are and how they fit into the world around them.  Learning how to express themselves with paint and music will help them gain self confidence and self esteem which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.  They often get the message that they are different, they have a disorder or they have an ‘incurable disease’; that they don’t fit in socially to the mainstream.  Children with autism are just as much a part of society as so called ‘typical’ kids especially nowadays when there are one in 88 of children world wide being diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  Art and soothing music will help them feel connected to the world around them and to the people in their life; their family and peers in school as well as out of school.   Art is therapeutic in and of itself because it heals on every level physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

A lot depends on how art is taught.  When the teacher can encourage the students and allow them freedom of expression they can play a very positive role. Whereas a negative critical teacher can discourage self expression and turn the student off art and make them feel inadequate or shamed.  It is necessary therefore that the teacher nourish there own creative expression so that they can feel confident within themselves to help the autistic child with their artistic expression.  It is important that the teaching goes both ways; as much as the student learns from the teacher, the teacher must also learn from the student.

Life Cycle of Monarch Butterfly by Evan

 

 

Of course the autistic student will learn basic skills like listening and following directions and using materials properly but the child with autism often does not or cannot understand words so as a teacher you have got to communicate what you want them to learn in other ways.  The teacher has got to be creative in getting across the lesson in other ways than verbally. If the student has not got the lesson then you have to find another way to get the lesson across.

If you have a question or comment please send it to me below or the Contact page.  Enjoy…Caroline

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Manifesting the Vision for the new TREE of LIFE CENTRE for CREATIVITY by Caroline F. Butson

The Tree of Life Centre for Creativity, founded by Caroline Butson in 2006 was born out of Caroline’s dreams and those of her circle of family, friends, students and supporters.  We all shared a common dream of creating a living learning centre that would be a wellspring of inspiration, creativity, learning and healing.  It has been a place of peace where people of all backgrounds, cultures, spiritual paths, and ages come together and grow.  The Centre was built around Caroline’s journey to wellness and her vision to build a learning centre for children within the autism spectrum.

The Tree of Life Centre for Creativity has thrived and is now ready to expand!  This new growth will reflect the collective thought of those involved in this project.  To breathe life into this vision will take the efforts and contributions of a collection of  individuals and organizations as well as the children and families who have been participating over the past few years.  The proposal lays out four clear and specific pathways by which the community can contribute in a meaningful way: the pathway to the land, the pathway to the infrastructure, the pathway to the structures of the new Tree of Life Centre for Creativity and the artist’s residence and the pathway to the people.  In order to hold our program in a fun, safe, inspirational environment, we want to build a simple, sustainable, comfortable year round Centre in 2014.

Please visit http://www.tlc4.ca to read further on the Centre’s Mission and Caroline’s background.

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Caroline’s Commentary:

I agree with Shawn Garza that we have to have the attitude that autism is a gift.  The only thing we have the power to change is our attitude and the most positive attitude is one of hope.  Many individuals on the autism spectrum are extremely talented in the Arts and Music, Acting, Mathematics, Physics and even Teaching.  What do you think?  Is Autism a gift or a disabilty?  Leave your comment below.

‘Autism is a Gift!’ by Shawn Garza

Too often, we tend to think of autism as a disability. However, the word “disability” is typically defined as “lack of ability.” It may be true that people with autism can lack some abilities, such as speech, the ability to potty train, empathy, withstanding touch or emotional control. Additionally, children with autism spectrum disorders often cannot tolerate everyday situations such as shopping, eating out or driving due to the inability to filter sensory input. These issues can be frustrating and downright depressing for parents, family and friends.

We must remember, however, that autism is not a disability. Autism grants its own gifts to those who have it. Those gifts can manifest themselves as stellar mathematical abilities, memory, creative writing, visual arts, or even acting. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder even make fantastic teachers. In this role, the communication abilities of the individual shine in ways that parents, families and peers initially thought would never happen. Read the rest of this entry »

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Caroline’s Commentary:

Here is an informative animation film about autism made in 1992 that I thought you may enjoy.

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Here is my answer to the question asked of me this week by a University of Arizona student for her research paper:

All children receive many benefits on multiple levels from art education whether they are on the autism spectrum or not.  However for the autistic child art education is vital for their growth and development.  Autistic children learn best when learning is visual and by making learning fun.  Besides being a tool for helping the autistic child express themselves the Arts and Music are also a multi-sensory experience engaging the student with all of their senses; visually as well as through touch, smell and sound.  Teaching must be creative and any subject can be taught using art as a tool, including the maths and sciences.

How does art education most benefit the autistic student?
I would say that the healing aspect of art is most beneficial in that it develops the inner realm of the child and will help them discover who they truly are and how they fit into the world around them.  Art will help them gain self confidence and self esteem which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.  They often get the message that they are different, have a disorder, have an ‘incurable disease’, that they don’t fit in socially to the mainstream.  Children with autism are just as much a part of society as so called ‘typical’ kids especially nowadays there are millions of children world wide being diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  Art will help them feel connected to the world around them and to the people in their life; their family and peers in and out of school.   Art is therapeutic in and of itself because it is heals on every level physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

A lot depends on how art education is taught.  When the teacher can encourage the students and allow them freedom of expression they can play a positive role just as a negative critical teacher can discourage self expression and turn the student off art and make them feel inadequate or shamed.  It is necessary therefore that the teacher nourish there own creative expression so that they can be in a better position to help the autistic child with theirs.  It is important that the teaching goes both ways; that the student learns from the teacher and the teacher must also learn from the student.

Of course the autistic student will learn basic skills like listening and following directions and using materials properly but the child with autism often does not or cannot understand words so as a teacher you have got to communicate what you want them to learn in other ways.  The teacher has got to be creative in getting across the lesson in creative ways other than verbally. If the student has not got the lesson then you have to find another way to get the lesson across.

If you have another question or comment please send it to me below or the Contact page.  Enjoy…Caroline

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