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Curriculum Outline

Functional Movement – A New Direction in the Treatment of Autism and Other Neurological Dysfunction

·    Why researchers now call for a body-oriented approach

·    Engage the brain via the body

·    Understand and teach functional movement and motor control

·    Use the 3 basic elements of all physical activity (Space, Time, Energy) to improve motor movement, social skills, and attention.                           


Current Research on Movement, Socialization, and the Autistic Child 


·    Current theories on how movement affects “Theory of Mind”  

·    Movement and the development of social skills, self-perception, intersubjectivity and empathy (related intensions and emotions).

·    The concept of “universality” - the power of moving together


The Link Between the Mirror Neuron System, Movement, Imitation and Functional Behavior

·    Understanding the biology of autism

·    Harnessing the Mirror Neuron System to help children move more effectively, learn better, and improve socialization. 


Evaluation – The Movement Evaluation Continuum - A New Theoretical Framework to Assess a Child’s Ability to Move Functionally

·    Identify movement deficits

·    Create activities to address those deficits

·    Integrate new knowledge into your current treatment plan


Understanding the Relationship Between Music and Movement


·    Why it works to improve skills in neurotypical children

·    What is Joint Attention and Joint Engagement                  

·    Effective Musical Strategies that any therapist can use

                               Rhythmic Cueing – the link between music and motor behavior


Skills that help turn Theory into Practice


·    Repetition, Routines, Predictability

·    Anticipation/Inhibition

·    Imitation/Inhibition

·    Understanding a child’s body image

·    Authentic movement

·    Visuals and Props

·    Attention and Co-contraction

·    Think Before You Move

·    Vocalizations and Singing

·    Gestures

·    Action Plus Sound                                             


Lab Work - Experience Eight Movement Studies to teach and inspire

·    The Tire Dance

·    The Plate Dance

·    The Card Dance

·    The Weight Dance

·    The Mountain

·    The Mozart

·    The Shape Dance

·    The Scarf Dance


Clarify and integrate movement vocabulary 


Using case studies, collaborate with peers to create your own movement studies and make the material your own.

Areas of Caution

·    Touch policies in the school

·    Respecting the child’s terms

·    Safety



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