I have recently been asked by a student at Arizona State University for my thoughts about the main purpose or value of art education for students with different levels of autism and for those students without autism. That is a great question! What is the main value of art education? Well art education serves to develop the student as a human being first rather than using education to make the student conform to a mold to fit into society. Art serves the development of the inner realm of the student, the development of the personality and the expression of the child on every level mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually whether they have autism or do not.
Art will be all the more beneficial for students with autism as it allows them a venue of expression which they may not otherwise have if they are not able to express themselves with words. It builds self esteem and self confidence which they will access for the rest of their life. Art education is necessary and extremely valuable for society as a whole not just for the individual with autism. Let’s imagine a world where we are all creating great pieces of art, poetry, music and dance!