The brain is an information processing wonder. We process and store information in either long or short term areas of the brain. When we need the information, we retrieve it via a pathway (white brain matter) in the mapping area (gray matter) of the brain. Say you move into a new home. You don’t know where to find the grocery store or other neighborhood establishments. But within a short period of time you’ve found these places and you no longer have to think about the specific directions to get to any kind of theme. You get in your car and drive right to the spot, as though you’re on automatic pilot. You brain “mapped” it.
Individuals with autism have difficulty accessing/retrieving information. Either the pathwaydoes not exist or the transmitters are impaired. An analogy is that our autistic kids’ brains function like a library where none of the information is alphabetized. Think of the confusion! The good news is that scientists know we can often jumpstart impaired informational pathways or even create new pathways (neuroplasticity) through a process called cognitive redirection.
Autism Movement Therapy (AMT) is a fun, 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 and speech and language skills. AMT combines music and dance and appeals to all ages. The program is available through live classes or an instructional DVD, aut-erobics®. AMT is divided into three levels that take approximately 12-15 minutes to complete, with a fun Hip Hop level at the end. The student begins with Level 1 and moves to the next level when he has mastered the movement sequence and patterns, tempo and rhythm in each level. He moves on when he has “mapped” the sequence and pat- terns and when his body will reliably respond to the information.