Benefits of Movement Therapy

The Empowering Steps Movement Therapy program (ESMT) quantitatively measure a child's gross motor function as it relates to typical developmental milestones involving gross and fine motor skills, balance, coordination, sequencing, and motor planning on our 10 stage motor scale. Each stage is comprised of 20 components with beginning stages focusing on non-ambulatory developmental milestones. Each progressive stage builds on existing abilities to evaluate higher functioning skills and sequencing as a means to improve cognitive development and motor planning.  From all the research we have done, we are the only program with a multi-stage system and a scoring program to monitor progression. Participation in the program has many benefits to your child, some of which are listed below.

Vivien and her team of therapists focus on each area of sensory processing by providing an environment rich in all sensory experiences; paying particular attention to the vestibular and proprioceptive senses. The program also targets behavioral disorders, communication, relationship development, self regulation and attention.

Who is it for?

Any child with disabilities, which include but are not limited to:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Global Developmental Delays
  • Developmental Delays
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Seizure Disorder

ESMT evaluates functionality rather than diagnosis allowing us to accept individuals of all ages and varying motor impairments or deficits.

Effects on Gross Motor Development

Gross motor skills are abilities that are usually acquired during infancy and early childhood as a part of a child's motor development. The ability to stand up, walk, run, jump, etc. are examples of gross motor skills, and are usually learnt by the time the child reaches two years of age. Furthermore, these skills are improved and better controlled as the child grows older, and form the backbone from which precise and complex movements are learnt from. 

Improvements will be seen in:

  • Motor planning
  • Timing
  • Sequencing
  • Anticipation of movement
  • Perception - body image, body part awareness, and positional sense
  • Vestibular and proprioceptive systems
  • Spatial awareness
  • Postural stability and control
  • Bilateral, gross and fine motor coordination

Therapeutic Effects

In addition to the development of physical skills, the program developed for each child may also contain behavioural development needs. Therefore the program will also focus on developing behaviour and social interaction. 

Improvements in Behavior:

  • Increased eye contact
  • Increased attention (visual and auditory)
  • Improved self regulation
  • Initiation and engagement in activities

Improvements in Social Interactions:

  • Transferring the skills learned in the interactions occurring in sessions to the outside world
  • Learning and using different methods of communication that will work best for each child
  • Individual, small group, and parent-child group opportunities available

Physiological Effects

Cardiovascular System

ESMT constantly places a high demand on the body and therefore has many benefits, which include but are not limited to:

  • An improved muscle to fat ratio
  • A reduction in blood pressure
  • An improved muscle tone which can relax the body in some cases, or be used to strengthen in others

Immune System

  • Physical activity causes an increase in venous and lymphatic drainage, which leads to an improved function of the immune system.


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