The relationship between learning and mental health, as well as a growing body of literature, underscores the need for art therapy in educational settings. This is particularly true for learners with special needs. Shostak et al. (1985) affirmed that “for children with special needs, art therapy in a school setting can offer opportunities to work through obstacles that impede educational success” (p. 19). School art therapy facilitates improved social interaction, increased learning behaviors, appropriate affective development, and increased empathy and personal well-being. It can be adapted to meet the specific developmental needs of individual students and to parallel students’ developmental, learning, and behavioral objectives. This chapter introduces the reader to the history and basic constructs of art therapy as a psychoeducational therapeutic intervention in schools. Model programs are identified, as well as the role of the art therapist within the context of K-12 education settings. Additionally, examples of special populations who benefit from art therapy intervention within school systems are provided, along with considerations for school-wide art therapy.
Wolf Bordonaro, G.P., Cherry, L. and Stallings, J. (2015), "The Role of Art Therapists in Maximizing the Mental Health and Potential of Learners with Special Needs", Interdisciplinary Connections to Special Education: Key Related Professionals Involved (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 30B), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 19-45. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-40132015000030B009Download as .RIS
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