Arts Therapies for Children with Disabilities in School begins with a 45-minute film, “Access to the Arts,” a training video for the integration of the arts in classrooms for children with special needs. Arts therapists with specialties in dance/movement, music, and art are seen working with children of elementary school age in different schools, while also explaining why they work the way they do. The examples of actual interaction, interspersed with thoughtful explanation on the part of the arts therapists, provide a clear and vivid introduction for others to follow as a model of best practices. William Freeman, Dance/Movement therapist, is seen working with youngsters with cognitive and emotional challenges. Bonnie Burnside, Music Therapist, demonstrates and discusses her work with youngsters with hearing and speech problems. Maureen Coghill-Moran, Art Therapist, is seen working with children who are legally blind. All of them interact with the youngsters in a sensitive and therapeutic fashion, which they discuss during interviews. Each therapist explains specific strategies to create and support a safe therapeutic environment where the child may explore a wide range of options to successfully meet their needs and solve problems. This film is followed by an edited excerpt from another film, “Breathing Easy,” telling the inspiring story of how an adolescent named Donovan uses art therapy for expression, while also permanently on a ventilator. He and his parents and teachers eloquently explain his creative process and the impact it has had on his life.
Total Running Time: 56 minutes, 26 seconds