Autism and the Arts

The first time I learned about ASD I was in early elementary school when a friend told me that her little brother was autistic. I had never heard the word before and thought that she had just misspoken and said, “artistic”.

After almost a year of teaching here at TCS, I’ve found that the 9 year old me wasn’t too far off. I’ve worked with our community across a number of different media — puppetry, voice acting, music, dance, drawing, animation — and all of these have provided a window into the rich inner lives of our participants.

While working with one of the participants on an activity they told me, “Some people tell me that my scripting is bad and something I shouldn’t do, but it’s something that’s important for theater.” This was a beautiful reframing of a perceived weakness turning into a strength.

An art form can provide a layer of separation that frees its creator to express themselves openly. They can explore different emotions, relationships, and experiences in a way that feels safe, deepening their understanding of their own selves and their connection to the outside world.

Art is a fantastic vehicle for self-expression, and many of our participants take advantage of the opportunities they get to do so. Be sure to check out some of their work at The TCS Art Show at the Decatur Visitors Center this Friday for its opening reception, 6-8pm! The show is free, and will have complimentary refreshments.

Tim Harland

For more information:

P.S. Here’s a small sneak peak of the art show set-up:

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