Spectrum Dance Therapy (SDT) comes from Autism Movement Therapy® (AMT) which was developed by Joanne Lara, M.A. SDT is a form of therapy that combines a structured program of AMT, Music Therapy, Social Relational Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis. The combination of these form of therapy into one unique fun activity for children on the autism spectrum helps them excerise their brain for a “whole-brain” cognitive re-mapping approach. This approach improves speech, coordination, attention, memory, behavior, and sensory disorders. SDT is a natural strategy for individuals with Autism to teach them through multiple mediums how to have self expression through music and dance while developing a sense of self-determination and independence.
  • Music and dance calms us and helps us regulate our moods
  • Dance and music has an enormous effect on our thinking and how we process information.
  • We use all of our senses when we dance: our bodies, ears, and eyes.
  • We use our “whole-brain” when dancing to music.
  • AMT allows for increased inclusion opportunities.
  • Dance & Music add an element of beauty to our lives. 



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2010 - present

2010 - present

  • For Parent to Parent click: www.ptopmiami.org
  • New Program at Fisher-Titus Offered to Children with Autism Incorporates Music and Movement (AMT)
  • "Mirroring in Dance/Movement Therapy: Potential mechanisms behind empathy enhancement" The Arts in Psychotherapy by Lucy M. McGarry, B.Sc., Frank A. Russo, Ph.D
  • "From music making to speaking: Engaging the mirror neuron system in autism" Brain Research Bulletin by Catherine Y. Wana, Krystal Demainea, Lauryn Zipsea,b, Andrea Nortona, Gottfried Schlauga
  • New Therapy Helps Nonverbal Children With Autism to Say First Words
  • Is There an Up Side to Autism? Joanne Lara 11/2011 Medscape Today News
  • 'Brush of Love' Joanne Lara interview for Family Network, July 2011
  • "Children's Brain Development Is Linked to Physical Fitness, Research Finds" ScienceDaily (Sep. 16, 2010)
  • "Healing Thresholds highlighted Autism Movement Therapy program: 
  • Music and Dance as an Autism Therapy Aid" 6/2009
  • Autism Movement Therapy:-  alternative approach to improve attentive behavior and language skills - examiner.com  July 2009
  • Autism/Aspergers Digest -  Print Jan-Feb 2009
  • Autism Movement Therapy & RDI -  Press Release 12/2008
  • Autism Movement Therapy Dancers
  • Press Release  4/2008
  • Autism Movement Therapy Press Release 10/2007 http://www.bikramyoga.com/
  • “The Brain That Changes Itself” -  NormanDoidge, M.D.

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What is Spectrum Dance Therapy?

What is SDT?​


Why Music & Movement?