What is Autism Movement Therapy (AMT)?
AMT is a Music and Movement Class designed by Joanne Lara, a professional dancer, classroom education specialist, and university professor, who has dedicated her life's work to improving the lives of individuals with autism. It is a fun and empowering sensory integration strategy that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a "whole brain" cognitive thinking approach to significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, speech, and language skills.
What does a class look like?
We have taken Joanne Lara's wonderful class and made it our own!
We start out each class with a 10-15 minute drum circle or musical game. As musicians, we felt that the program needed a little more music!
We use popular music of different genres that is fun and up beat for our dances such as, "Uptown Funk", Bruno Mars, "Feeling Good", Micheal Buble, and more.
The dance portion of our classes always start with warming up and stretching our bodies. After we are warmed up, the class will learn a dance step by step from the instructor. This dance is a sequence of movements that help our participants to understand their bodies better. While dancing, we use all of our senses. This is the reason that dancing is so therapuetic! This is the whole brain approach that is so beneficial to kids and adults with special needs. These sequences help build a bridge from the left side to right side of the brain when they are not communicating well. Throughout the 6 week sessions, our students progress, and so do the dances. Changing to music with faster tempos as we go along, and changing some of the dance moves make our classes fun and exciting while challenging our students more and more.
The purpose of these classes are to create a safe place for individuals with special needs to socialize, exercise, improve on every day skills, and of course to HAVE FUN.
What you should know before attending a class...
~Participants should come dressed in comfortable clothing, comfortable shoes (sneakers are best), and be ready to move! If the student is particularly sensitive to sound, headphones (that will not fall off while dancing) or ear buds may be a good idea. Please bring a water bottle.
~A parent or gaurdian MUST be in the building at all times during the class if the participant is under 18 years old. This is reccomended for adult students as well.
~Depending on the group of participants, staff and volunteers will be available to assist students if needed. If you feel that your child needs a one on one buddy, please tell us in your registration form or let us know asap so that we can make accomodations for this!
Find a class near you
Classes run in 6 week sessions. Trial classes are available for a $20 fee in between our sessions and are also available as free make up classes in case you need to miss one of the classes in your pre paid 6 week session.
Teen/Adult Class Age 13+