Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Allrutz, Caroline

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Art


Art--Study and teaching; Art therapy; People with disabilities and the arts


Functional Art Therapy as indicated in this study is a pioneer approach which holds a great deal of promise for the severely handicapped in educational and clinical settings as they become mainstreamed from large institutions to smaller residential facilities and special schools. Although the visual arts as a creative activity may not be appropriate or possible for this particular population, Functional Art Therapy provides an alternative approach. A review of the literature indicates a need for a structured approach utilizing task analysis, positive reinforcement and behavioral objectives in a structured environment. A structured approach has demonstrated slight gains in social, cognitive and motor skill with the severely handicapped. It seems vital to personnel preparation that Functional Art Therapy be included as part of the curriculum for undergraduate and graduate programs in the area of special education, art education and art therapy. It will also have an impact on current policies and regulations in educational and clinical settings. The need for further research is indicated through case studies and pre- and post-tests as well as the development and testing of evaluation procedures related to art therapy with the severely handicapped.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 111 pages




Northern Illinois University

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