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Springfield Public Schools

Jennifer Gill, Superintendent
1900 West Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62704
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Students improve through autism movement therapy; all early childhood teachers to be certified next year

April 20, 2015

Phyliss West, early childhood teacher at Springfield Public Schools’ Early Learning Center, has seen marked improvements in her students since beginning Autism Movement Therapy in her classroom.

“I have observed many positive changes in my students,” said West. “Some of these are an increased ability to stay on task, improved behavior, gains in fine motor control and an increase in speech and language”.

Autism Movement Therapy is a sensory integration technique incorporating movement and music in collaboration with Positive Behavior Support (PBS) strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic IEP goals.

West became certified in the therapy during the 2014-2015 school year, through a popular Autism Movement Therapy program in Pana. Her success implementing the therapy in her classroom has prompted all early childhood teachers at Early Learning Center to seek certification during the next school year.

“I commend Mrs. West for not only researching Autism Movement Therapy, but also taking the next steps to become certified,” said Charlena Jackson, assistant principal at Early Learning Center. “Mrs. West has shared the new learning amongst her colleagues who are now looking forward to becoming certified themselves.”