812.490.9401


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

tax exempt organization

Creating Optimal Rhythms for Life, 

Learning, Communication, and Independence

     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

Book & Article Recommendations


Kranowitz, C.S. (1998). The out-of-sync child:  Recognizing and coping with sensory integration dysfunction. New York:  Skylight Press.

Donnellan, A.M. & Leary, M.R. (1995). Movement differences and diversity in autism/mental retardation:  Appreciating and accommodating people with communication and behavior challenges. Pacific Beach:  DRI Press.

Kliewer, C. & Biklen, D. (2001). “School’s not really a place for reading”:  A research synthesis of the literate lives of students with severe disabilities. JASH (Journal of the Assosiation for Persons with Severe Handicaps), Vol. 26, No.1, 1-12.

Biklen, D. & Kliewer, C. Constructing Competence: autism, voice, and the 'disordered' body International Journal of Inclusive Education Vol. 10, No. 2-3, March-May 2006,pp. 169-188.

Peterson, R. The persistence of low expectations in special education law viewed through the lens of therapeutic jurisprudence International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 33 (2010) pp. 375-397


Fleischmann, Arthur with Fleischmann, Carly. Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism. New York: Touchstone, 2012

Helpful Links


Institute on Communication and Inclusion, Syracuse University. Supported Typing is one form of augmentative and alternative communication that has been an effective means of expression for some individuals with labels of autism and other developmental disabilities. Institute on Communication and Inclusion of Syracuse University is committed to training, research and dissemination of information related to the use of Supported Communication.

Paula Kluth: Toward Inclusive Classrooms and Communities (www.paulakluth.com) Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. Paula is a former special educator who has served as a classroom teacher and inclusion facilitator. Her professional interests include differentiating instruction and inclusive schooling.

Music Therapy Research Blog (www.musictherapyresearchblog.com) This site is for the working music therapy clinician in order to help with the goal of maintaining evidence-based practice. The purpose of this blog is to provide a resource for the music therapy clinician – where you can find unsolicited information on current research, ways to generalize findings into practice, and tips about maintaining an evidence-based practice.

Saved By Typing (www.savedbytyping.com). This organization was started by a non-verbal teen, John Smyth, with severe autism, who attends Brownsburg HS in central Indiana. He writes for his school newspaper and plans to graduate with a general education diploma in May 2015. He organizes and sponsors monthly “Communication Celebrations” and uses his “voice” to advocate for other individuals like him. You might also enjoy his blog, Authentic John (authenticjohn.com).

Carly’s Voice (http://carlysvoice.com/home/) Carly Fleishmann is a self-advocate, author, college student, and spokesperson for individuals with severe autism who are non-verbal and intellectually competent.  She has brought a great deal of awareness to autism’s movement differences that have mistakenly long been seen as behaviors and signs of cognitive delays.

Ido in Autismland opens a window into non-verbal autism through dozens of short, autobiographical essays each offering new insights into autism symptoms. Ido Kedar's blog is also a great resource. 

Emma's Hope Book,
written by Emma Zurcher-Long, Ariane Zurcher and Richard Long, is a beautiful blog that highlights the competence that lies behind the disordered body and brain-body disconnect that Emma deals with day to day. She has so much to teach us.


Andrew's Real Life of Autism, written by Andrew Simmons, a 14 year old Evansville, Indiana native who now resides in the St. Louis, MO area.  Andrew's voice was discovered in the winter of 2013.  He now is becoming an amazing advocate for himself and others who are waiting to find their voices.

What Does It Mean to Presume Competence?, by Casey DePriest, Mindstorm Mondays, Music Therapy Ed.

Tips and Strategies to Presume Competence, by Casey DePriest, Mindstorm Mondays, Music Therapy Ed.





Music Therapy Research – MT to address behaviors


http://noteabilities.com/downloads/Benefits_of_MT_for_Autism_4.pdf


http://www.psychosocial.com/current_2002/leith.html

http://www.ejournal.unam.mx/cem/vol01-02/cem02102.pdf


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/02/AR2009030201759.html

The Movement Differences of Autism and Indications for Treatment


Research to Reference


Biklen, Douglas. “Facts about Facilitated Communication” Institute for Communication and Inclusion: http://soe.syr.edu Written Sept 10, 2006. Accessed April 15, 2014.

Edelson, Meredyth G. “Are the Majority of Children With Autism Mentally Retarded? A Systematic Evaluation of the Data.” Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. 2006: Vol 21, Num 2, 66-83.

Hardy, M.W. & LaGasse, A. B. Rhythm, movement, and autism: Using rhythmic rehabilitation research as a model for autism. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 2013;Vol 7(19).

​Kawato, M. & Wolpert, D. Internal models for motor control. Novartis Found Symp 218, 291-304; discussion 304–297 (1998).

Leary, Martha R. and Donnellan, Anne M. Autism: Sensory-Movement Differences and Diversity. Wisconsin: Cambrige Book Review Press, 2012 print.

Maurer, R. G., and Damasio, A. R. (1979). Vestibular dysfunction in autistic children. Dev. Med. Child Neurol. 21, 656–659.

Minshew, MD, Nancy J. and Williams, PhD, Diane L. “The New Neurobiology of Autism.” Arch Neurol. 2007; Vol. 64(7):945-950

Shoener, Rachel F., Kinnealey, Moya and Koenig, Kristie P. “You Can Know Me Now If You Listen: Sensory, Motor and Communication Issues in a Nonverbal Person With Autism.” The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Sept/Oct 2008, Vol 62, Num 5, 547-553

Teisl, Mario F.; Rubin, Jonathan and Noblet, Caroline L. 2006. It takes two to tango: Modeling the dance between eco-labels and consumers Invited paper, Economics Institute of Zagreb, Croatia. January 31.

Thaut, M. H.; Kenyon, G. P.; Schauer, M. L. and McIntosh, G. C. “The Connection Between Rhythmnicity and Brain Function.” IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology. March/April 1999, 101-108.
​Torres, E. B. et al. Characterization of the Statistical Signatures of Micro-Movements Underlying Natural Gait Patterns in Children with Phelan McDermid Syndrome: Towards Precision-Phenotyping of Behavior in ASD. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 22, 1–22, doi: 10.3389/fnint.2016.00022 (2016).
Torres, E. B. Signatures of movement variability anticipate hand speed according to levels of intent. Behavioral and Brain Functions 9, 10, doi: 10.1186/1744-9081-9-10 (2013).

Torres E. B., Brincker M, Isenhower RW, Yanovich P, Stigler KA, Nurnberger JI, Metaxas DN and José JV (2013) Autism: the micro-movement perspective. Front. Integr. Neurosci. 7:32.

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Maria Brincker, Elizabeth B. Torres. Front Integr Neurosci. 2013; 7: 34. Published online 2013 July 24.