Thursday, January 14, 2016

Therapeutic Art for Children with Autism

Stroking in Blue: Art Therapy for Children with Autism, a Georgia Zeta Day of Service event hosted by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Kappa Iota Zeta Chapter was held on Saturday, November 7, 2015. The event was designed to provide children with autism and other special needs an outlet to express themselves through painting. Ms. Racheal Tanksley-Harris, art educator with Clayton County Schools and facilitator of the event, is also a parent of a child with autism. The Stroking in Blue event was free of charge to the community and was able to serve approximately 50 children. Fifty members of the chapter served as personal assistants to each child participant.        


Autism Awareness is an initiative that was conceptualized in Kappa Iota Zeta Chapter in early 2015 due to members being personally affected by this disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination, and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Individuals with ASD usually excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

Kappa Iota Zeta Chapter is located in Atlanta, Georgia and was chartered by 11 members on September 15, 1980. It is home to many current and former national, regional, and state officers. Since the chapter’s inception, members have been busy doing the work of Zeta while exemplifying the founding principles of scholarship, service, sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood. The chapter’s current signature programs are Hall of Fame Gala, Marynette B. Lovejoy Book Scholarship, Miss Blue Revue Pageant, Stork’s Nest Blitz, and Tea with Z.