Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've been reading about Autism lately. We recently learned that my granddaughter, Ila, has some form of it. I read "Emergence" by Temple Grandin first. I wanted to learn about it from the inside out. It was quite a relief.

It was suggested that we work with her doing art, so yesterday I went over to babysit armed with dropcloth, paint, brushes and paper. We painted for quite awhile until we ran out of paper. I just squirted out globs of washable tempera on the drop cloth and we made quite a mess. Bree caught a photo of Annika with a blue goatee. But we had fun and hopefully the pages will dry before the year is out.

I tried researching art therapy online. Quite disappointing. I suppose the term is pretty broad, but I couldn't seem to find general information, I found plenty of therapists, books, programs and schools, but I don't know what I was looking for, all I found were more questions. Why do therapists want to help you discover and live your dreams? Why is therapy viewed chronologically? Why is all of this up for sale? Why do we keep cutting art programs in public schools? If we know that art is theraputic, why don't we all make an effort to participate? Why is this culture so dead set against anyone getting an education that will make us more whole? And especially, why can't we all get this for free? Seriously, why do we not teach children how to draw? Surely for wholistic brain health this is necessary. Of course we have a real problem with the concept of health for free. Do we really prefer to pay three or four times more to clean up the mess that denial of healthcare creates?

1 comment:

Maxine said...

Speaking of Art Therapy, your post reminds me of my (ill-fated) visit to Marylhurst, to speak with the Head of the Art Therapy program... (This was when I thought I might like to look into getting a post-Master's Certificate in Art Therapy). Well, where I thought I'd find interest, openness and flexibility, I ran into a quasi-absolute rigidity in ideas, where only one path was accepted, with no way to possibly deviate by a hair from the set course as it had been decided. The visit cured me of any interest in the program.
I personally view Art Therapy as a discipline that by nature must be fluid and open to variations because Art itself can't be defined and must be fluid and open to serve the inner needs of those who engage in the creative process, but what do I know?
On a lighter note, I would suggest you get "Visual Journaling" by Barbara Ganim, a great book to explore the concept of "Self-healing with Art." You may find some ideas in this book that you could possibly apply to future projects with your granddaughter.