Autism prevalence in America has increased rapidly over the years and numerous research studies have been conducted to measure the benefits of art therapy practice within this community. Advances in the mental health field have been also made to help offer improved treatment. Art therapy uses the process of engaging in artmaking with various mediums to make products that can be used in both assessment and treatment. The art can serve as a reflection of a person’s development, abilities and personalities. In this paper, the literature review will cover: Autism, communication, available treatments, and art therapy. The research methodology employed is qualitative research in the form of a single case study. The case study illustrates art therapy interventions used with a child, to help increase social skills and attention span in classroom activities. This paper discusses how art therapy interventions help facilitate non-verbal expression in children with autism and how art therapy improves communication among this population.


Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, DSM-IV, Expressive Therapies, Art Therapy

Document Type


Year of Completion



Art Therapy


Cristina Lomangino, ATR-BC, LCAT

Academic Department

Art Therapy Department