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A review of 18 peer-reviewed studies about arts participation, published between 2000 and 2015, adds to the growing evidence about how arts participation helps young children – in particular those with autism – to develop strong social and emotional skills. The report was published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in Washington DC, USA in December 2015.

Two of the key findings were:

• Music-based activities strengthen “pro-social behaviors” in young children, such as helping, sharing, caring and empathising with others.
• Arts activities help children to learn how to regulate their emotions.

Arts in Early Childhood Report Download