Our Philosophy:

Autism is a neurological disorder characterized by difficulties with communication, motor control, sensory processing, and social interaction.  Autism causes the brain to develop connections differently which affects the way it processes and organizes information.  These neurological differences affect the way an individual with autism moves, communicates, and interacts, which limits independence, impairs relationship building, and often makes it difficult for them to demonstrate their competence. 

Our Approach:

Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is a research-based treatment approach that uses music and rhythm to change the way the brain functions.  While each person with autism is unique and treatment is individualized, there are some common techniques.  For example, movement paired with rhythm can help develop new sensory and motor brain connections, which improves body awareness and motor planning.  Other verbal/vocal exercises are often used to develop speech, language, and communication skills,.  By addressing autism at the brain level, NMT can positively affect the skills and abilities a person with autism needs to be independent, to meaningfully relate to others, and to truly demonstrate their competence.  

Our Success:

A number of individuals and families have been learning amazing things about the least dangerous assumption (presuming competence) and the false assumptions they have believed for far too long about autism.  One local high school student has spent his entire school career in special education and "life skills" classes, due to the available assessments which in high school still evaluated him to be functioning "below Pre-K level".  However, he was demonstrating in outside therapy that he was a fully competent and highly motivated young man.  In December 2013, he attended his own case conference to review his IEP and communicated (through supported typing) that he, too, deserved a free and appropriate education and wanted to be in "regular classes". The following semester he was "tried" in Biology, English, and History and responded with "A's".  Unfortunately, despite his success, his public school placement was unable to provide highly trained support staff and the therapeutic supports necessary for him to transition into a full schedule of general ed classes or a diploma track.  After being offered an alternative placement, this same student has found these supports at ACCESS Academy. He also has gone on to be recognized with the Excellence in Self Advocacy Award from the Indiana Autism Society and participated in the Indiana Youth Leadership Forum, as the first non-verbal student delegate selected. Many more students need our services to access an "appropriate education" and the supports needed for life filled with success.  Optimal Rhythms, Inc./ACCESS Academy in Evansville was developed to help support students and families affected by autism, while assisting local public schools to provide access to appropriate therapeutic and educational services which can meet the specialized needs of students with "severe" or "nonverbal" autism spectrum disorder and allow them to benefit from age-appropriate academic learning.  

Join us as we challenge others to #rethinkautism education and autism services in Evansville, Indiana, and beyond.

Our Specialty -
         Autism Services

Optimal Rhythms, Inc. is a 501(c)3

tax exempt organization

     Outreach Programs

       We have a number of outreach projects           we are offering soon:

ACCESS Academy

Our private day school provides students with severe autism:

  • A general education environment
  • Support for sensory and communication needs
  • Innovative neurologic supports

Neurologic Music Therapy Services

  • Individual and Group sessions
  • Treatment for Various Developmental Disabilities 
  • Treatment for Stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury

Creating Optimal Rhythms for Life, 

Learning, Communication, and Independence