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The Benefits of Creative Writing for People with Learning Disabilities and Autism


Two young people with learning disabilities taking part in creative writing

When we talk about health and wellbeing, the first thing we think about is what we eat and our fitness routine. However, hobbies such as creative writing can also have a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. For those living with a learning disability or autism, high levels of stress and anxiety can be experienced daily. By encouraging people with hidden disabilities and communication barriers to get involved in creative writing and other artistic hobbies they will be given the opportunity to express themselves and find ways to relieve their feelings of stress and anxiety when it becomes too much to handle. At the NOW Group we have made a list of the benefits of creative writing for people with learning disabilities and autism and why you should take up this new hobby.




What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of literature that requires you to use your imagination and creativity to create stories and develop your writer’s voice. Once a week NOW Group’s creative writing classes in Belfast meet up to learn more about creative writing and to support and encourage each other. Throughout this session our participants are given the opportunity to develop their literacy skills and explore their feelings in a safe space. Here participants can share their stories with other members of the group which helps them to work on their listening and teamwork skills.


Benefits of Creative Writing for People with Learning Disabilities and Autism


Helps With Self-Expression

Creative writing is a form of self-expression. This is something that people with learning disabilities and autism can find challenging and may cause them to feel stressed or anxious. Creative writing helps our participants to understand their emotions and express how they feel. Our social groups in Belfast give participants a safe space where they can explore their emotions through the stories they write and prevents them from bottling up their emotions.


Builds Self-Confidence

The ability to express your emotions will help to boost a person’s confidence. Through our creative writing classes people with learning disabilities and autism will gain confidence in expressing how they feel through the stories they write and the different characters they create using their imagination. As part of our creative writing social group participants will also overcome their fear of public speaking as they will be given the opportunity to share their story with other members of the group. This will help them to develop their self-confidence and help them to feel comfortable to socialise with new people or with groups of people.


Develops Creativity Skills

Creative writing is a fun exercise that encourages you to awaken your imagination. This will help people with learning disabilities and autism to develop their creativity skills. Overtime they will start to use their imagination more often which will help to expand their way of thinking. This can lead to the development of their problem-solving skills as they will start to think outside of the box, and they will seek for alternative answers to questions they are faced with.





Social Groups for Adults with Learning Disabilities in Northern Ireland

NOW Group is a social enterprise in Northern Ireland that supports people with learning disabilities and autism into jobs with a future. We have a range of social groups for adults with learning difficulties in Belfast that helps our participants to build their confidence and meet people who have similar interests to them. For more information about our creative writing group and how to get involved, get in touch with our Social Group Co-Ordinator Anna Nelson by emailing anna.nelson@nowgroup.org.



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