Alice Darlington, the coordinator of the Create and Sell classes, initially used art as a form of therapy after the sudden death of her mother last June. Darlington, who is also on the spectrum, was struggling to cope with the loss until she saw a pottery class taking place in a park during that time. She asserts:
“For that hour I didn’t forget about what happened but it took my mind away. It was a bit of a relief for me.”
As a result, Darlington decided to collaborate with the Department of Health delivering sessions geared towards helping those with the disorder to use art as an outlet to express themselves and showcase their talent and skills. However Darlington insists that its main benefit is that the class helps to boost the confidence of participants, many of whom have had no prior instruction or training in the arts. Darlington further states that while the sessions are designed for individuals with ASD, they are inclusive and are thus offered to children and those who do not have a disability as well.
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Source: Alice Darlington on The Messenger newspaper website: Art classes aim to unlock creative talent of people with autism