Gillian J. Furniss


A monkey by Benjamin,
a young artist with Asperger syndrome,
watercolor painting.

 

Mission Statement
It is important for all children, including those with autism, to have access to an art experience in order to learn in the visual arts.

It is critical for practitioners in the field of art education to acknowledge and appreciate the artistic abilities of some children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Preservice and inservice art teachers need to learn about effective intervention techniques to teach children with autism who are mainstreamed in inclusive art classrooms.

Art lessons must be designed so that the objective is appropriate for their needs, abilities, and type of learning. These children will be most likely to demonstrate their artistic talents and skills with an art lesson that enables them to use their preferred art materials and to express their unique visual preoccupations, and to then expand their visual repertoire over time.

All children learn in multiple ways and have particular strengths. The goal should be to encourage all art students to reach their fullest potential by giving them every opportunity to succeed in the classroom.

Only then can these children learn and be assessed accurately for their creative abilities.