2) Egg Cress Heads
I need a great deal of encouragement to motivate me to do things for myself. I find it very easy to give up when I know someone else is willing to do it for me but its equally important that your encouragement does not turn into nagging, as this can make me very upset and lead to me feeling hassled and smothered. The best method is to create some structure or a plan so I can visualise a series of tasks over a period of time. “first we need to do this, second we need to do that”. instead of a long list of things that need doing create a task for each hour or day so I understand the order and process. I feel more motivated to do things on my own when there isn’t to much pressure or expectation for me to do it. When someone arranges for me to take part in a creative activity I can sense the expectation for me to complete the activity and this kind of expectation can feel overwhelming before we even start so when it comes to motivating me to take part in a art therapy activity the best results come from an activity at feels spontaneous and appears to be unplanned.
I have always been interested nature and spending time in the garden watching insects go about their daily business or a plant slowly change shape and grow each day can be captivating and very therapeutic. So any art therapy activity that combines my love of nature with art can hold my attention much longer. These simple Egg Cress Heads combine an exercise in reading emotional facial expressions, a lesson in waiting patiently and observing how plants grow. They are easy to make and grow fast enough to see them change daily. This whole process helped me to understand why I need to wait for things, something I had always struggled to understand because I don’t have the same concept of time as many other people do. Understanding facial expressions can be very difficult for someone with autism but simple activities where I get to draw faces with feelings helps me to read faces much better.
Empty eggshell halves, Colourful felt pens, Cotton wool, Cress seeds, An empty egg box or container for the eggs to sit on, Stick-on wobbly eyes (or you can draw eyes on instead)
Wash out the egg shells and sit them in the egg box or container to keep them steady. (When you break the eggs, try to just break off the top piece to empty them so that you have a good size shell left to use). Draw on some crazy faces and add the wobbly eyes if you have them. Try and draw a different emotional facial expression on each one and give them a name to match, i.e. ‘Grumpy’. Put some cotton wool inside the shells and dampen with water. Sprinkle cress seeds all over the cotton wool . A good coverage will give you a full head of hair once the seeds have grown. Pop the Cress Egg Heads on a windowsill and wait for the hair to sprout. It’ll only take a couple of days. Add a tiny drop of water if the cotton wool dries out. Once the cress is fully grown you can give them a hair cut and put the cress in a sandwich to eat.
Art Therapy and Autism
Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Using arts and crafts in a therapeutic activity taps into a person’s imagination helping them to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that is just isn’t possible by talking. Read more…
Art Therapy and Autism Books
The early years are the most critical period of learning for a child with autism. Therapeutic art-making can be a useful tool to tap into their imaginations and help them to express their thoughts and feelings. Read more…
Artists Who Are On The Spectrum
People who struggle to communicate in conventional ways have to find alternative means to express themselves and its not always easy. For some this search for an effective form of communication can take years. Read more…