Weaving as a therapeutic tool for children and families

Have you ever thought about incorporating weaving into a therapeutic tool for children? When families face life’s challenges of illness, separation, loss, and now the pandemic, they need an outlet to express how they feel. Using a variety of art modalities can help. I just learned about simple weaving techniques from SAORI Arts NYC and wanted to share them with you.

Guest Blogger SAORI Arts NYC

Since 2017, SAORI Arts NYC has woven in the Peds Hem Onc Clinic at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NY Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).  With the COVID virus, all auxiliary programs, like SAORI weaving, have been stopped,  The video you see posted is produced for the children and their families, by SAORI Arts NYC, to provide the chance to weave using a different technique. This video offers children with a chronic and life-threatening illness and their families the opportunity to use art to heal, art to inspire and art to empower.  Our programs use Saori weaving to bring families together and offer a mode of expression that transcends ethnicity, language, age, and ability.

Ria Hawks, the teaching artist in the video, was a pediatric nurse practitioner at MS Children’s Hospital of NY Presbyterian  Her focus was providing palliative and curative care for children with cancer and life-threatening hematological diseases. Throughout her career, she has been an advocate for integrative therapies, including interventions that promote healing.  Ria recognized that SAORI weaving could decrease stress and anxiety as well as enhance self-expression and coping skills.  After retiring from nursing, she established a SAORI weaving program, which was adaptable to different developmental, physical, and emotional needs, in the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic at CUMC. As an adjunct professor at Bank Street Graduate School of Education, Ria shares her expertise with child life students. She also volunteers in the Arts in Medicine Studio, in the Pediatric Neurology Clinic at CUMC.

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