Finding Museum Visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Will Art Help In The Search?

Anthony Wayne Woodruff


Visiting a museum can be a tremendously stressful event for families that include children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  The goal of this research study was to find what concerns families have when visiting a museum, if there are any intervention materials caregivers prefer, to examine behaviors of children with ASD while in the museum, and to see if an art-making activity after the museum visit could be directly tied to the museum experience.  Results indicated that museums continue to be stressful for families, and parents would like materials to help reduce anxiety in their children before and during the visit.  While in the museum, parents tried to focus their children’s attention on interesting things, but many children became overly excited and desired spaces within the museum to be more active.  Art-making after the museum visit allowed children to reflect back on what they saw and did during their experience.


Autism Spectrum Disorder; museum; art-making; family visits; visitor study

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Copyright (c) 2019 Anthony Wayne Woodruff

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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