What is Autism Movement Therapy® (AMT)?

Founded by Joanne Lara, Autism Movement Therapy is an established movement and music method for teaching individuals with autism. 

AMT offers an innovative, energetic and structured approach that stimulates the brain, aids sensory processing, develops communication and motor skills and addresses behaviours associated with ASD, all while having fun!

Reflecting a growing interest in the brain-body connection and incorporating Positive Behaviour Support strategies, AMT is an exciting approach which complements other therapeutic techniques for children on the autistic spectrum and has children meeting and achieving their speech, social and academic goals.

MovementWorks because movement wires

Advocates of this method include Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Stephen Shore

“Programs like Joanne’s Autism Movement Therapy offer opportunities to develop the necessary and fundamental skills that benefit all our kids. Art saved my life!”
Temple Grandin, PhD

MovementWorks has a certified team of AMT teachers. Initially they are required to have Level II and then undergo the only AMT approved Professional Level training with MovementWorks in the UK, which includes ongoing CPD training and assessment. This provides quality assurance for Schools/Groups wanting to provide a programme of Autism Movement Therapy and is an effective progression route from MovementWorks Developmental Dance Movement® (DDM) as AMT is suitable for older children (aged 7) all the way up to adults.

History

The first research-based international ‘Dance Workshop for Autism' was held by Ms. Lara and Ms. Golding at Rambert in London in the spring of 2016. Invitations followed to feature together at the U.K Autism Show, at the New York Expressive Arts Summit and the National Autistic Society International Congress.

Subsequent conferences have also been delivered alongside Dr Stephen Shore including a certified course on Autism accredited by Adelphi University .

Brent Knoll in LBO Lewisham was the first London ASD specific school to pilot an all-through-school approach. The Developmental Dance Movement® Programme was already established in the Brent Knoll curriculum following the success of the pilot and AMT is now offered to younger secondary classes. Other schools are also adopting the all-through-school approach as taught by the MovementWorks team.

A partnership with Greenwich University sees a new wave of the evidence base for the work presented at the World Conference on Movement and Cognition.

Joanne Lara - Autism Expert

Joanne Lara - Founder Autism Movement Therapy® 
Joanne dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of individuals with autism through movement and music

A core adjunct professor at National University in LA, California, Joanne helped design the American Autism Certificate. She earned her Master’s in special education, Moderate/Severe and Multiple Disabilities from California State University and her BA in Dance from the University of South Florida. With a CCTC California, Moderate/Severe Education Specialist, K–12 teaching credential Joanne taught in the LAUSD for over ten years, where she worked exclusively with students with autism.

Her advocacy led to the founding of the non-profit organisation Autism Movement Therapy® based in Los Angeles; Joanne shared her knowledge globally and was recognised across the world as an Autism Expert. Ali Golding, our Creative Director, feels proud to have presented with Joanne in the U.S, the U.K and Asia; as an organisation, MovementWorks. has been privileged to have Joanne as an Ambassador and an Advisor.

A huge advocate for the power of the arts as intervention Joanne produced the documentary, 'Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts' with Temple Grandin, Stephen Shore, Ed Asner and others. She was the Autism Consultant/Technical Advisor for Kiefer Sutherland’s FOX TV show 'Touch' and disability advisor for Hilary Clinton including creating strategy for disability employment.

Joanne was also a columnist for Autism Asperger’s Digest and wrote the methods book Autism Movement Therapy® Method:Waking up the Brain! and Teaching Pre Employment Skills to 14-17 Year Olds: The Autism Works Now Method for Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London.

Legacy: "Everyone deserves a seat at the table!"

'Autism Movement Therapy' lectures, trainings, certification and licenses for educators, parents, dancers and professional service providers across the world; teaching the beneficial role that movement and music plays in the speech and language, behavioral and cognitive domains of individuals on the autism spectrum.

Autism Works Now Employment Skills Training

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Autism Movement Therapy Certification Workshop in conjunction with MovementWorks

AMT Professional Level Training – Please enquire 

Minimum Entry requirements: - Level 1 and Level 11 AMT Certification