Creating art can be a fantastic outlet for both adults and children with ADHD. Many people with ADHD are intelligent and creative individuals, finding therapeutic outlets therefore to help channel that creativity could become a valuable medium for self-expression. This article will take a look at the different ways
in which art can help children with ADHD.
Giving children with ADHD a voice
Sometimes, putting things into words can be a frustrating and
difficult task for people with ADHD. Art therapy can open the
doors to communication by creating the opportunity for people
to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a different
way. This is a great outlet for the ADHD mind which can be
racing with thoughts. It can help greatly calm the mind as well
as soothe anxiety. Over time, it could also help children learn
how to organize their thoughts better.
A method to help practice self-control
Art therapy can bring a range of physical and emotional benefits
to children with ADHD, helping them learn to cope with some
core issues associated with the condition. These include learning
to become less impulsive, improving decision making skills,
learning to be more flexible as well as improving social skills
and self-esteem. Art therapy also creates the opportunity for
children to work on practicing self-control. This is particularly
important as it is so common for people with ADHD to feel as if
they are out of control so much of the time.
Art therapy and improving social skills
A round robin exercise is used often during art therapy with
groups of children, where each child adds something new to a
drawing or painting when it is passed to them. This is
particularly effective at helping improve social skills as it
teaches children how to relate to others and build empathy.
Creating art in a group is beneficial for these reasons, as through
the process of looking at each other’s artwork, discussing it or
creating together, a child is picking up important social skills.
Creating the right environment
Staying focused on a task can be quite a challenge for people
with ADHD. If your child is creating art at home try and
minimize any distractions, if you have a study or conservatory
then working in there would be preferable, otherwise working at
the kitchen table when it’s quiet for example is fine too.
Helping keep your child motivated and focused
Setting little goals or incentives can greatly aid motivation,
however once they have gotten into the swing of things and have
learnt to appreciate the benefits of creating art, they should have
less of a problem getting started and staying on task.
Forms of art that are much more physical are a good choice as
they help engage more of the senses and keep children focused
and stimulated on more levels. Moulding objects out of clay or
finger painting are two very good options. Also getting the
family involved could help your child enjoy the creative process
even more, you could all collaborate on something together
which can have the added benefit of helping improve your
child’s social and interpersonal skills, and it’s also a great
Author Info – Jane Sandwood | [email protected]