My Top Reflex Integration & Movement Resources for OTs

 As many of you know, I travel across the US and have courses in the US & UK to help occupational therapists and families learn helpful treatment strategies. One of my most frequently asked questions is ‘What are your favorite books for movement, mindfulness, and reflexes?’ So, each of my presentations contains pages of resources and attendees often remark about how helpful those pages are. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with my followers –resources for both therapists and caregivers. *Affiliate links are provided for your convenience


Smart Moves is a fabulous book discussing the entire body’s role in learning. Movement helps to integrate new information into our neural network and Carla Hannaford discusses the critical importance of sensory and movement in building our brains.
The book goes into depth about sensory, Brain Gym, nutrition,
learning disorders, and stress. It’s packed with information that’s relevant to OT and many of the children we treat.
Movements That Heal does not disappoint. This book discussed rhythmic Movement Training as well as integrating primitive reflexes. Chapters discuss the limbic system, the prefrontal cortex, dyslexia, basal ganglia, rhythmic movement related to learning disorders, autism, and psychosis. As a veteran therapist, I found that this book helped me to understand the foundation of RMT as well as information about specific techniques to integrate each reflex.
The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson should be a staple in any OT library. It’s a former NY Times Bestseller. The book discussed 12 strategies to nurture a child’s developing mind.
ANY work or article by Dr. Daniel Siegel is critical in understanding mindfulness and how our brains are wired. The visuals and cartoon examples help the reader to understand critical concepts. One of my favorite parts of the book is how interoception and awareness of our own body affects other systems and our function.
If you have a little extra money to spend, the Whole Brain Child Workbook is fabulous!

The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by my friend and a wonderful advocate for Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Carol Stock Kranowitz, contains more than one hundred activities. This book is a must-have for all OTs and caregivers. Carol keeps each activity SAFE – Sensory-motor, Appropriate, Fun and Easy.




Movement Courses:

I have personally taken this course and it truly changed my Pocket Occupational Therapist practice! Further, I use the techniques and activities with my own family and see wonderful results. You can help children and adults make outstanding progress with the unique tools from Brain and Sensory Foundations online training. You will be able to provide powerful help with this proven, evidenced-based system using innate brain-growing movements of infancy and special tools to enhance brain and sensory maturity. The results are spectacular! Therapists and parents report measurable, far-reaching benefits. They are especially delighted with the lasting improvements in sensory processing and functional skills. The activities are FUN and ENJOYABLE to do and can be used for individuals of all ages to promote deep and lasting transformation in the brain, body and sensory systems.  INCORPORATE THEM INTO FUNCTIONAL TASKS!! Don’t worry if movements are not themselves functional, none of our activities such as swinging, e-stim, taping are FUNCTIONAL, they are used to achieve our functional goals! These simple yet profound movements help transform: Anxiety Sensory issues Sleep issues Learning challenges ASD and ADHD symptoms Physical challenges Speech delay Social-Emotional challenges Anger, Depression FAS RAD PTSD Pain Brain Injury Perfect for everyone with busy schedules. The Brain and Sensory Foundations course is excellent for parents, OTs, OTAs, PTs, PTAs, SLPs, Vision Therapists, foster parents, counselors, social workers, educators, yoga and massage therapists, trauma specialists, healthcare providers, and caregivers. Includes: • Online, video-based movement instruction available 24/7 • Course Manual, 100-page hardcopy, with color photos and instructions • Live, online group Q & A sessions, recorded for easy access • 1.6 CEUs awarded for OTs, OTAs completing the course • 8 CCUs for PTs, PTAs completing the course (FSBPT) For more information click here to visit the Move, Play, Thrive website. Enroll for instant access to these excellent tools. Comments About the Course: “The course was awesome! I have taken several courses on reflexes both live and online as well as reading books about the subject. This has been by far the best learning experience about reflexes I have done yet!” Rachel Vitello, Occupational Therapist, Massachusetts “This course has changed my life and the lives of my child with ADHD and the children I work with. In the past, I have had poor posture and a curve in my cervical spine, I now have improved posture, neck strength, no more curvature, and I have even seen a decrease in headaches.” Heather Bowsher, COTA “I am a Naturopathic Physician practicing in Anchorage Alaska and cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate your work and wisdom. I work with a lot of kids with issues and always look at the reflex issues first and often that is enough to get them back on track.” Dr. Adam Grove, Naturopathic Physician, Anchorage, Alaska “In my 16 years of clinical practice as an occupational therapist, with an extensive continued educational background, I have never before came across a single tool that is able to make such a profound and immediate difference in both neuro-typically developing and disabled pediatric populations.” Marina K., OTR/L, Brooklyn, NY. “Brain and Sensory Foundations was so comprehensive–the manual, handouts, the video sessions. It was obviously a labor of love. I highly recommend it for any professional who works with children.” Laura Masciarelli, PT, Wantagh, New York “I have been practicing OT for almost 25 years of which at least 20 of those years have been in pediatrics. I have attended many conferences/courses over the years. This course by far has been the most beneficial. It is the only course I have attended that some part can be applied to every student/client on my caseload.” Jennifer Everett, OTR “I’ve been an OT for 30+ years, and this is one of the most amazing CE courses I have ever taken. The techniques that Sonia Story provides are simple but I found them to have unexpectedly profound results for students who could receive the activities on a regular basis for an extended period. For example, a 6-year-old boy with severe sensory issues was able to tolerate getting a buzz cut and drying his hands with a blow dryer in a public restaurant after 1 month of a 5-times-per-week home program. He had fled from such experiences initially. A 13-year-old girl with autism went from putting her fingers in her ears and refusing most activities and being terrified of germs, sharp objects, to asking to cook in OT, including cutting vegetables. A 7-year-old boy with fetal alcohol syndrome and ADHD was unable to write legibly, attend in class, or hop on his left leg. His mom did the MovePlayThrive activities over the summer, and when he came back to school his writing was legible and staying in the lines, he could hop indefinitely on his left leg, and his teacher said his attention had improved significantly in class. I’m usually suspicious of this type of “miracle story,” but these things really happened. I would recommend this to anyone who works with “out of sync” children.” Terran Daily, OTR/L Arcata CA Learn the foundational movements for sensory calm and life-long health and well-being! Find out how by CLICKING HERE for more information. Therapists:  Looking for research? Here’s a link to the Move, Play, Thrive research page:  More research here:  ttps://




YOGA training is always wonderful for OTs. I received my training as a children’s YOGA teacher through a local studio. The course was quite affordable and even covered the neurology of movement and its connection to brain development. Here are a few of my favorite YOGA book resources: YOGA for the Special Child can be used to help children with a variety of diagnoses.

YOGA for Children is wonderful and gives pictures of poses.



Movement Cards

I’ve created a helpful download of 200+ brain break, movement, breathing, YOGA, and sensory activities. Brain breaks are critical for increasing oxygen to the brain. Taking a break to focus on the environment around us helps to refocus. Think about your drive to work. Have you ever arrived at your location and wondered, ‘How did I get here?’ When we complete regular routines we often forget to breathe deeply or focus on the world around us. Here’s a suggestion, at each red light find three things around you that are green or take a minute to focus on how your body feels in the car seat. Take a few deep breaths and use your senses to refresh and hit the ‘reset’ button.


Teach your students and clients to do the same before a test or long assignment. Use the movement cards to give you ideas.

Finally, read our earlier post on incorporating mindfulness into your OT Practice here.


Retained Reflexes Course – Brain & Sensory Foundations

Do you worry that you could be missing something in your approach to therapy? Do you wish you could have a bigger impact in a shorter amount of time? Do you want a step-by-step system that is tested, proven, and supported by evidence?

Cara’s Bestselling Book

Many people struggle with sensory processing difficulties. Regulating emotions, knowing when to eat, drink, go to the toilet, and feeling your breathing and heart rate all depend on our internal awareness.

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