Art at Autistry Studios: Image is an Owl I did Last Week

Autistry Studios is based on the model of project based therapy, a concept delineated by Autistry’s co-founder, Janet Lawson. In other words, we make things and the process of doing so (with a mentor) is our therapy, as it teaches us many useful skills, such as: dealing with frustration, planning and executing an idea. Janet explains:

  • Leverage strengths and build upon interests
  • Expand imagination
  • Discover personal narrative
  • Build personal identity
  • Learn problem-solving skills and develop a sense of resiliency
  • Learn how to self-regulate
  • Master effective behavior and communication
  • Build relationships within a natural setting

See these links for more on Autistry Studios and Project Based Therapy:

http://scholar.dominican.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1033&context=ug-student-posters

http://the-art-of-autism.com/the-magic-of-autistry-studios-projects-make-good-therapy/

I have always been interested in fashion and fashion design, so it was decided my project would be designing and creating a cool looking and functional weighted vest, which is something I sometimes wear to address my sensory issues. The only problem was, though I tried, I simply could not muster enthusiasm for anything involving sewing, an activity I could not stop viewing as a frustrating chore – something dating back to childhood.

So, a few weeks ago I spontaneously pulled out some art supplies and started drawing. My enthusiasm and focus were apparent to all and now I am working on animal portraits with the possiblility of sketching and painting pet portraits, a potential profession.

We are exploring how to combine my art and writing on a daily basis, but first we will have to surmount my reluctance to work in public, such as at a cafe or library. Yes, I could do it from home, but the goal is to gradually expose me to more social settings so I am not limited (and isolated) in my room.

So, once again, thank you, Autistry for being such a great resource for me – and, for all those who get to view my creations, thank YOU, too!

 

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