Joanne Lara, MA
Autism Movement Therapy- AMT Inc
Behavior Services Both Private & Insurance
ABA-Incidental Teaching Methods- PRT- Social Skills – Parent Consultation
“There’s a bridge between the left and right hemisphere that transmits information. What happens with our kids is that the transmission of the information is not going through.”
~Joanne Lara, M.A. Sp Ed, BA Dance
“The number of children who are being diagnosed with autism is growing each year. One in every 88 children in the United States has autism or falls on the autistic spectrum. It is absolutely necessary for qualified individuals to do everything they can in order to help these children become a part of mainstream society and to be able to live a happy and independent life.”
How I Help Families
Autism Movement Therapy® AMT, the first therapy designed for individuals with autism that combines movement and music, is proving to be one of the most effective ways of stimulating communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain by actually bridging the two sides of the brain to increase overall cognitive processing. AMT literally awakens the brain by introducing a structured and fun form of therapy through music, dance and improvisation.
Assessment ~ The initial phase of intervention is assessment. This process consists of a parent/caregiver interview followed by 2-4 sessions of observation and interaction with the child. The observations take place in the home and school setting as well as out in the community. The reasoning behind this process is that a child must be observed in his or her natural environment in order to be able to change behavior in all areas of the child/individual’s life.
Assessment Report ~ Once the assessment has been completed, a report is written which includes the following: baselines of skills in the domains of attention, compliance, receptive communication, expressive communication, self help skills, safety awareness, imitation skills, and motor skills. The report also includes a definition and functional analysis of problematic behaviors. Lastly, the report lists a series of proposed behavioral intervention and goals for both the individual with autism and the parents/caregivers.
Intervention and Therapy ~ Depending on the functioning level of the autistic individual, different interventions and therapies are offered:
ABA therapy uses the principles of ABA in the natural environment to teach new skills to clients in different areas (see above paragraph). It is also used to reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of maladaptive behaviors while at the same time increasing the probability of appropriate behaviors. Also falling under this umbrella is functional communication training, picture exchange communication system, and most importantly increasing spontaneous speech and verbal behavior.
Parent training and consultation is also an essential part of services. Parents play a vital role in the development of their children. While using ABA methods with the child, a portion of services will be a parent training component. Here parents will learn how to handle inappropriate behaviors and how to help their children continue to build on skills taught in therapy.
Community Inclusion Programs: This program focuses on getting children to get more involved and included in their communities. This could be getting the child involved in after school activities such as dance, sports, and arts and crafts, going to restaurants, malls, and other public places, and/or helping school staff to work better with the child in the school setting.
Social skills and play: This involves getting play dates together for children and teaching them essential play skills such as functional play, sharing, taking turns and most importantly socially interacting with peers. Initially a play facilitator will help the process and eventually parents will take over as the mediators.
Autism Movement Therapy offers certification workshops & licensing, visit our website to learn more.
“Programs like Joanne’s Autism Movement Therapy offer opportunities for our kids to develop the necessary and fundamental skills that benefit all our kids. Art saved my life!”
-Temple Grandin, PhD
“This workshop is one that has so much universal applications! It is good for the heart, it is good for the soul and it is excellent for those with Autism!!!!!”
– Lisa Gifford, Director Herkimer Area Resource Center, Herkimer NY