A bridge to learning readiness

Children love to move. Many movements of young children are vital to their brain development. Often children who struggle with school, behavior or friendships have not had enough opportunities to do the specific developmental movements that help their brains to get organized for attention and emotional balance.

 Looking for answers

Our journey began in October of 2007, when our daughter, Reya, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since then we have traveled the country looking for answers to the unknowns that come when a loved one is affected by such a challenge.

The first aspect I explored was nutrition. Reya and many of her ‘friends’ have experienced profound relief from using certain dietary and nutritional interventions.


With Reya’s tummy aches, nightmares, and picky-eating beginning to fade, we traveled to Massachusetts for the Son-Rise Program. It was there we learned many amazing tools to help Reya build confidence, skills, and relationships helping her to cope and function in her home and in the community!


A child’s inner world must be well organized in order for him to be able to meet the outer world and other people well. All children need opportunities to gradually develop their brains through developmental activities. If a child has gaps in their early experience and internal brain organization is weak, problems can show up in any area – learning, behavioral, social-emotional and coordination.

Children grow through engaging, playful activities that develop their inner resources and prepare them for learning, friendships and school. For children, the chance to move is its own reward. When we give a child developmental movements, we multiply the positive outcomes.

Lack of balance, attention and coordination greatly affects visual, auditory, and sensory integration processing. If your child lacks a clear sense of his physicality, this may undermine his abilities in academics as well as sports and social life.

ABC’s of school readiness

  • Attention
  • Balance
  • Coordination

Through developmental movement opportunities children become more centered, attentive, and emotionally balanced. Children with well-developed nervous systems have less stress and find academic learning to be easy, natural, and automatic.

Social and emotional development

Does your child lag in social skills? Is he sensitive, but unable to make friends? Is your child unable to master his or her emotions? Is he withdrawn, fearful or anxious? Does he act out in anger? Your child can find more ease in relating to others and in coping with the ups and downs of his emotions. More ease will help him be ready to explore his world. A child who is frustrated at school or seems to be tuned out can find his own way through movement activities specifically designed to him master himself and his world.


Is your child acting out uncontrollably? The earlier that these are addressed, the simpler the solution.  The complexity of behavior issues multiply as a child and others around him solidify into identifying the behaviors as who a child is.  A child feels that behaviors are then intrinsic to his sense of self.  Others around him – family, community & peers, may see a child only through the lens of difficult behavior, and thus identify a child first through those behaviors.  Are his actions and words getting in the way of getting along with friends? at home? at school? His difficult behaviors are communications about what is going on inside.

Learning challenges

Is your child bright but struggles in school? Give your child a chance to learn naturally through his own curiousity about himself, the world and others. Developmental movement therapy offers specific play activities that can make learning easier and renew your child’s motivation.

Developmental delay

Whatever the source of your child’s developmental challenges, she can be helped by developmental movement therapy that stimulates neuro-developmental drivers. Children love to move, and movement is one of their first ways of learning. Children with issues as diverse as language delay, cerebral palsy, downs’ syndrome, a history of prematurity, and pervasive developmental delay all respond to the specific movements, including reflexes, that provide neural hook-ups between their senses and their desire for movement and action. Your child can master his world.


Immediate profound change

Because of all the sensory issues Reya experienced, the Son-Rise program encouraged Reya to participate in HANDLE and craniosacral therapy. This is when Reya began her program with Catherine. We immediately saw profound and positive changes in Reya’s behavior, especially when we continued her therapeutic movements at home. We started activities for 2 to 3 minutes a day until Reya was able to do about 15 minutes daily.


As well as early improvements, further development and reinforced changes continued for the duration of the program. Together, these programs aided Reya in potty training, fine and gross motor coordination, while helping to stop teeth grinding, head banging, speech developments, resulting in fewer behavioral out-breaks and so much more! – Christa


Movement and the Emerging Mind

Body-mind integration through play

Ice cream meltdown…

I thought I would share a little success with Lauren. The other day she was having an absolute meltdown because the ice cream in her ice cream sandwich was too soft.

…then settling down

I asked her if I could have her sit in my lap. She said she couldn’t move so I put my hands on her shoulders and helped her to my lap.I then used circles in the hollow – she immediately settled down. We then cuddled for a while, because that’s what she wanted and needed. It’s nice to have some tools to use to both of our benefits – thank you for teaching them to us.     – Julie


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