Art Education project, teaching art to children with Autism...?

Question:I'm doing a project for my art education class and I have to come up with an activity for children with autism. I have never worked with an autistic child before so I was wondering if anybody here has and if there are any suggestions of what to or not to do in doing an artistic activity with them! Thank you very much!

Answers:
The difficulty with the assignment is that children with autism fall along a huge spectrum of functioning so it kind of depends on the levels of the students. It also depends what the objective is for the activity. Overall to account for a large range of students I would try either something exploratory in terms of letting them experiment with different mediums and do their own thing and decide maybe what their favorite medium is (paint, pastels, pencil etc.). Apart from that children with autism tend to have some deficits in language and tend to be very concrete thinkers or interpreters, often times they may also be perfectionists and may have find motor difficulties. Keep it positive an open so that a large range of products or outcomes would be considered successful.
How old are these children? I work with autistic children. I know a lot of them like bubbles and things that spin. They seem to like shiny things and are fascinated with different textures. If they are older, maybe a kaleidoscope. A lot of them are good with patterns. Maybe design their own quilt pattern on paper or use different materials so that they get to feel different textures on their quilts (like cotton balls, sandpaper, tinfoil,etc). I know a lot of my students liked trains and wheels and lights. I hope some of this helps! : )
that is hard for each kid is differnt with the textures. some will not work with paint or molding clay due to the way it feels
ooohhh! my little sister is autistic. she is in 5th grade now. some of the work she brings home deals with clay, modeling, stuff she can work with that deals with texture and feeling. drawing isn't an autistic child's usual strength. let them feel.
each autistic child is different,
but you can try shaving cream.
to form letters or just imagination. they love the touch of shaving cream and sand.
anything that they can do with their hands, but some like to eat this stuff, you have to watch out for that.
they also like to paste and glue with glitter or any other objects.
they can do more than you might excpect.
they are really there, in thier own way.
maybe do something with the different colors.

like try starting them with primary colors and mixing colors to make new ones... it really depends on their level on the spectrum. If they have a more severe case, this may be better because they may not know this type of information. If the are on the mild side of autism, they may already know that red and blue make purple.

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