EXPRESSIVE MINDS©

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
Albert Einstein

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Communication may encompass the most complex difficulties among Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Sensory integration, social interaction deficits, sense of self, relating to others, organization of thought processes, stress/anxiety, and emotional regulation largely incorporate the barriers that children and adults with ASD experience in daily life. Nonverbal expression is a distinct communication difficulty for those in the Spectrum. Art has been shown, however, to serve as an avenue to foster development of communication and advance reorganization of thought processes.

Professional studies have revealed positive connections with the arts and individuals in the autism spectrum. Given lacking needs to relate to others and noticeable deficits with awareness of self, people with ASD have been shown to advance in the developmental process of self- awareness. Relating to others is unable to transpire until an individual is able to relate to themselves. Art, therefore, is a suitable and fundamental therapeutic component for inner, social, and communicative growth.

Mosaics© will work the Alabama State Council on the Arts to seek Program Development Grants. Partnership with The Arts Association of East Alabama will be sought for development of programs to stimulate interest, broaden participation, and develop personal talents in the arts. Creative elements will nurture nonverbal expression, promote sense of self through symbolic content, advance emotional regulation, stimulate and manage sensory information, and maintain stress/anxiety through relaxation and advancement of confidence and self-esteem. Innovative, imaginative expression will be achieved with a variety of options for participants to discover and/or further artistic talents. Sensory stimulation will be released with visual, auditory, and tactile creations. A possible means of income from individual creations and/or development of job skills in this venue, furthermore, may develop.

Expressive Minds© will offer a new, improved outlet of nonverbal expression and imaginative thinking. All participants will be encouraged to continue their expanded nonverbal expressive output. Activity-based periods will be scheduled in times of intermission during subsequent dates of attendance in all Programs of Learning. Upon completion of Expressive Minds©, participants will establish/expand: emotional regulation, sensory integration, meaningful nonverbal expression, imaginative & symbolic thinking, ordered thought processes aligned with subject-based planning, a developing base of talents, expanded capabilities to relate to others, decreased anxiety/depression, and an emerging sense of self.