ADDitude: Art Therapy: Controlling Symptoms with Creativity

Sowmya Nath,'s picture
July 01, 2013
Kennedy Krieger art therapist Stacey Nelson shares the many ways art therapy can benefit children with ADHD and other learning difficulties.

Jacob Edward, 10, paints a clay plate he made in his past four art therapy sessions. He dips his brush into the cup of silvery black paint he has mixed, and dabs it into the cracks of the clay. Jacob's breathing and brush strokes start to quicken. He seems anxious. I ask him if he needs a break, and he stops to take three deep breaths. He resumes painting, at a slower pace. When he completes his work, he puts the plate aside. Next week he will put the finishing touches on it. He draws quietly for a few minutes before returning to his classroom. Jacob knows how art therapy helps him. "It keeps my brain calm," he says, "and it helps my body get calm." Read more.

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Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

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