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Art, Music & Recreational Therapy: Incorporating Creative Approaches for Students with Autism

Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Art, Music & Recreational Therapy

Presented by Courtney Carnes, MS, ATR-BC, Art Therapist; Julie Hopkins, MT-BC, Music Therapist; and Erin Witschey, CTRS, Recreational Therapist
Sponsored by Monarch Center for Autism, STAR Autism Support, and VizZle

Watch the Recording

If you attended the live session, you’ll be emailed a CE certificate within 24 hours of the edWebinar. If you view the recording and would like a CE certificate, join the Teaching Students with Autism community and go to the edWebinar Archives folder to take the CE quiz.

Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem (American Art Therapy Association). Music therapy is the clinical use of music interventions to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program (American Music Therapy Association). Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being (American Therapeutic Recreation Association).

Art, music, and recreational therapy are often used independently to treat individuals on the autism spectrum. Multi-disciplinary sessions, which incorporate numerous visual supports including video models and organizational charts, appeal to the students’ creativity, are relevant to their everyday lives, and help them acquire important skills in a refreshing manner. Intervention specialists and therapeutic service providers are invited to watch this edWebinar to learn about:

  • The definitions of art, music & recreational therapy
  • How students with autism benefit from these therapies
  • Case studies demonstrating interventions that can be used with individuals with autism


Courtney CarnesAbout the Presenters

Courtney Carnes, MS, ATR-BC, holds a master’s degree in art therapy with a concentration in counseling from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a Bachelor of Science in pre-art therapy with a minor in leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. While in graduate school, Courtney held internships at a local children’s hospital and an adult transitional housing facility. Courtney joined the staff at Monarch Center for Autism in August 2014. Since then, she has continued to build the art therapy program for ages 3 through 21.


Julie HopkinsJulie Hopkins, MT-BC, graduated with honors from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Music in music therapy. Following graduation, she completed her clinical internship at Monroe #1 BOCES in Rochester, New York. She provided related service music therapy to students with a variety of diagnoses in both center-based and district-based school settings. She also worked as the summer music therapist at Creekside School in Fairport, New York. Julie came to Monarch Center for Autism in 2014. She continues to grow the music therapy program, providing both group and individual sessions to target a variety of goal areas such as socialization, academic goals, emotional/behavioral goals, and sensory input.


Erin WitscheyErin Witschey, CTRS, graduated with honors from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in recreation with a concentration in therapeutic recreation. Post-graduation, she worked full-time in summer camps, including time at an Easterseals camp for children and adults with disabilities, where she adapted programming to be accessible for all participants. Erin came to Monarch Center for Autism in 2013 as the gross motor instructor and has developed a program that provides needed sensory inputs while practicing a variety of motor skills.



Join the Teaching Students with Autism community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming webinars, view past webinars, take a quiz to receive a CE certificate for a past webinar, and access free resources.

Watch the Recording

monarch center for autismMonarch Center for Autism, a division of Bellefaire JCB, is located in Cleveland, Ohio. Monarch offers a comprehensive array of programs and services for individuals ages three through adulthood with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Highlights, which incorporate Monarch’s visual language treatment model, include a preschool; day school for children, adolescents & young adults; transition education program; summer & extended school year programs; therapeutic residential treatment program; adult vocational & supported living programs; and community training.


star autismSTAR Autism Support (SAS) provides curriculum materials, workshops and training to school and agency staff who work with students with autism. Our mission is to help others successfully implement research-based applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques. We want every child with autism to receive effective instruction!


vizzle autismVizZle provides a library of more than 14,000 lessons and the tools and media to customize them or create your own from scratch. The lessons can be tailored to any grade level, assigned to any student, and played on iPad or Android tablets, laptop or desktop computers. Data is tracked automatically. This award-winning software is developed collaboratively with educators.


Thursday, May 11, 2017
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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