For your toddler or preschooler

Meeting you and your child



Toddlers and preschoolers are active, lively explorers who depend on a stable connection with you as they venture out in the big world. Yet a child may not feel the stable support that you offer him. I begin earning your child’s trust by valuing who he is.

Sessions are held in my home or at the Plan for Learning office. Each is a warm setting with a mix of toys, games, movements and massages appealing to your child. I follow your child’s rhythms and cues, and so meet your child in his own world. As a movement therapist I am adept at helping children on the move. Developmental movement sessions are playful and interactive. Craniosacral sessions are quiet, and your child is encouraged in simple, focused activities or to sit in your lap.

Developmental activities are modified to adapt to your child’s sensitivities and developmental needs. Goals of the session are established primarily by you for very young children, along with recommendations from me. As a child grows, he is invited to have his own goals for session. For example, your child may want to be able to play ball more easily, so this could be his goal for sessions and home program activities, along with our adult goals.


In our first session and intake, our assessment will look at both your child’s strengths and what not working well for your child. A craniosacral assessment checks structural alignment of the home of the brain. A developmental assessment checks which how each arena of development is coming along for your child.

Assessment may vary from simple to complex depending on the presenting problems for your child, and how many arenas of development are involved. For example, does sunlight bother him? Loud sounds in the gym or cafeteria? Touch – what kind? Does he have difficulties tying his shoes? Reading? Drawing? Catching a ball? Eating certain foods? Sleeping? Making friends?

A comprehensive intake assessment will help us find indicators of which sensory and sensory-motor systems are weak or overactive. Your child’s early history from the beginning will provide many clues to the puzzle of why your child is unable to master himself and to move easily forward in development. Your experience and insight to your child are included in assessment.

Developmental report

I check-in with parents at every session and provide you with continuous assessment over time. When helping your child with complex developmental issues, I will compile written assessment report. This report pulls together a comprehensive synopsis and profile of your child’s sensory system and sensory-motor issues linked to your concerns and goals.

Somatic developmental and hands-on therapies

I provide hands-on therapeutic support and create an individualized home program to meet your goals for your child. Parents are present at every session and are encouraged to participate. If your child has a personal care attendant, this person is welcome at sessions. I strongly recommend that parents take part in the home program, which develops your child’s relationship with you. Home programs provide a personalized ongoing resource for you to support your child.  Activities may include:

  • strokes, touch and massage
  • help to reduce sensory reactions and to mature sensory systems
  • comfort and support in doing developmental movements
  • early learning activities
  • movements for well organized and balanced brain growth
  • home program for you

Home program

I will teach you simple, specific activities and massages to do at home to help your child develop day to day. The most effective program for neurological development and for relieving stress provides day to day support. You may elect to have a video made during sessions that gives you a reference for taking activities home.

I explain anatomical and physiological processes in lay terms to parents to provide a context for your child’s experience. I provide materials specific to growing children, anatomical systems, and neuro-development.

Step by step

Often families find the biggest challenge is fitting a home program into your busy lives. I encourage families to take it step by step. Many parents start out with a few activities and massages to find out when during the day these work best for both your child and yourself. Then gradually parents add in more activities. A typical home program consists of 3-12 activities or massages.

Course of sessions

The course of sessions varies depending on the presenting problem. For craniosacral issues, such as relieving clogged ear ducts or headaches, sessions are initially weekly, then spread to biweekly, then gradually spread to quarterly to match the pace of your growing child.

Initial intake for craniosacral therapy is 1:30 hours. Intake includes your child’s history, assessment, hands-on support and home program. Follow-up sessions are usually 1:00 hour, and may vary.

Developmental movement therapy sessions may vary greatly. A child who has simple delays with normal tone may work through everything in 4 to 6 sessions, meeting every 2-4 weeks. A child with many challenges will make strides by coming over a period of six months. Together we will evaluate progress towards goals after a series of sessions, and decide if new goals are appropriate for your child’s next stage of development.  

Initial intake sessions and ongoing sessions likewise will vary depending on complexity. Intake sessions may range from 1:30 hours to 4:30 hours, split among several visits. This approach reduces stress for your child and fosters trust in our relationship.

Craniosacral therapy sessions may be folded into a developmental movement therapy program as an add-on.

Toolkit for continuing care

Generally we move along to a new set of activities each month, or combine a few of the prior month’s activities with new ones. However, I also recommend that you continue any activities that your child loves, and that you have found really helpful for him. We are building his personal program, and you can decide what to keep going. In our sessions we can have this conversation to help you decide.

You can view the home programs as an individualized toolkit that you can always draw on to help your child through the normal ups and downs of every day life. Your toolkit is very useful, as we normally see step-backs in development when a child experiences some stress. This can be anything, such as a growth spurt, starting in a new classroom, or an illness. So, when you see a regression, or especially when you see return of problematic behaviors, anxiety or increased lack of focus, you can go back to the earlier home programs to re-establish core organization and ease.

Partners and teams

Your child may have health issues that require attention to help development move forward. I team with integrative therapists to address a variety of concerns, including vaccine injury and digestive issues. When helpful I refer families to naturopathic doctors, homoepathists, herbalists and Chinese medicine doctors.

For some children with complex neuro-developmental challenges issues, including autism spectrum disorders, I partner with Janet Oliver of Plan for Learning to help your child achieve developmental progress.

Arrange a session

Contact Catherine to schedule a session. Fill out intake forms and bring them to your first session. Prepaid, discounted therapy packages are also available.

Movement and the Emerging Mind

Body-mind integration through play