Creative Expressions: Say It with Art is a book for teachers and parents who are interested in art as a visual mode of communication and a therapeutic tool for children aged 2 through 12. Ms. Prasad addresses both the value of art therapy for children with special needs, and the need for a comprehensive approach to teaching the visual arts as part of the education curriculum.
Emphasizing the role of creativity in a child’s learning process, she outlines the artistic developmental stages of children, revealing the patterns in how children express themselves visually from random scribbles to realistic drawings. Using examples of children’s artwork collected in India, she explains a framework for the art curriculum, including how to set up the art environment, how to organize art at the kindergarten level, and detailed art lesson plans that will help teachers structure the proposed theories presented in the book. Ms. Prasad also demonstrates how to use art appreciation to teach art.
Art is not only an educational tool, but also a means of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings, building self-esteem, and gaining insight into one’s thought process and behavior. Introducing the field of art therapy with a brief history on the origins of art as a tool in therapy, she addresses the different aspects of art therapy, such as art as therapy, art psychotherapy, and art as a diagnostic tool, demonstrating through case studies how these various approaches help children.
About the Author
Sangeeta Prasad, ATR, is a Fine Arts graduate from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and has an M.A. in Art Therapy from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA. She has over 20 years of experience working with children and adults with serious mental illnesses and other disabilities. She has used her experience as an educator and as an art therapist to lay a foundation for a holistic approach to teaching and using art. Her goal is to bring art education to every school in India and to introduce the concept of art as a form of therapy for children with special needs. In this venture, she has recently completed and published her book, Creative Expressions: Say It with Art. She is currently working with non-profit organizations in the United States and India to create a sustainable art therapy program in India.