Books and Articles

Please note: This page is meant to provide information only and does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation for individuals interested in improving social skills using the arts. The books, articles, and websites listed here are not affiliated with Upstream Arts. Upstream Arts cannot be held responsible for the contents of any externally linked pages. We do not endorse or assume liability for the currency, accuracy, or availability of any information on these sites.



Making Art Special: A Curriculum for Special Education Art (2010)
Written by Helen Goren Shafton

Creative Expressive Activities and Asperger’s Syndrome (2006)
Written by Judith Martinovich

Moving Over the Edge: Artists with Disabilities Take the Leap (2005)
Written by Pamela Kay Walker

No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement  (1994)
Written by Joseph Shapiro – A great primer on the Disability Rights Movement.


Research Articles on Arts and Disability

“Outcome-Based Evaluation of a Social Skills Program Using Art Therapy and Group Therapy for Children on the Autism Spectrum” (2008)
This article from the Children & Schools Journal discusses the specific impact that arts therapy has on children and youth with Autism. Click here to download it.

“Disability Status Report: Minnesota” (2007)
Get the most recent statistics about people with disabilities in the state of Minnesota in the latest Status Report.

“Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement” (2006)
This short but sweet article uses non-technical language to summarize recent research on the value of arts learning. It can be downloaded for free on the Arts Education Partnership website.

“How Students with Disabilities Learn In and Through the Arts: An Investigation of Educator Perspectives” (2004)
This research article by VSA arts discusses how arts learning has particular benefits for students with disabilities. Click here to download it.

“Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development” (2002)
This compendium of research studies has been widely used to make the case that arts learning is essential. It can be downloaded for free on the Arts Education Partnership website.