Art-Making in the Digital Age: Comparing the Use of Tablet Technology and Traditional Art Materials Among Studetns on the Autism Spectrum
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
John Lemmon, PhD
Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC
Sarah Kremer, LPCC, ATR-BC
The rapid and complete integration of technology into American society may require fields such as art therapy to consider evaluating and incorporating newer media into their practice with appropriate populations. This thesis is an initial exploration in the use of digital art applications on touch-screen tablets such as the iPad (™) with individuals on the autism spectrum. The study compared the behavior, time, and artwork of 15 students aged 11-18 years with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder; they each created a free drawing and a “Person Picking an Apple from a Tree” drawing with both the traditional art materials and an iPad art application The results indicated that participants displayed more sensory issues with the traditional art materials than the iPad, and spent less time on the iPad than the traditional art materials. Six participants stated a preference for the traditional materials, five preferred the iPad, and four liked both mediums equally. The researcher recommends further research into whether digital art therapy can be an effective alternative or adjunct medium for clients on the spectrum or with tactile sensitivities.
Davis-McBryan, Joleigh, "Art-Making in the Digital Age: Comparing the Use of Tablet Technology and Traditional Art Materials Among Studetns on the Autism Spectrum" (2014). Art Therapy | Master's Theses in Print. 278.