Autism Movement Therapy, Inc  is a nonprofit organization, focused on serving the autism & special needs community through providing a structured movement & music program as well as providing advocacy and community outreach to create understanding and bring dignity to the spectrum community across the globe.


Through cognitive re-mapping, Joanne Lara's successful Autism Movement Therapy® is an interhemispheric 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.


Please consider making a generous donation/gift to Autism Movement Therapy, Inc. Your gift will help bring the joy of music & movement to so many individuals with autism and related disabilities who otherwise would not be able to participate in a formal, structured dance program. In addition, your donation will help fund AMT movement & music programs across the globe.  Together we can make a difference!



7439 Orion Ave.,  Van Nuys  CA  91406


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Joanne Lara, MA
Adjunct Faculty National University 
Founder AMT

Joanne Lara, a professional dancer turned classroom education specialist turned university professor, has dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of individuals with autism through movement and music. Her advocacy has led to founding the nonprofit organization Autism Movement Therapy®, the recipient of two Autism Speaks grants, home based in Los Angeles, California. Autism Movement Therapy lectures, certifies, trains, and licenses dancers, educators, parents, and professional service providers across the United States, Canada, India, Malaysia, South America, UK, Europe, Wales, China and Kuwait in the beneficial role that movement and music can play in the speech and language, behavioral, and cognitive domains of individuals on the autism spectrum.

Falco City Center, 1979.

Joanne Lara, MA earned a BA in dance, a Mod/Severe Education Specialist Teaching credential and a masters in special education. As a professional dancer turned classroom education specialist turned university professor, she has dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of individuals with autism through movement and music. Her advocacy has led to founding the non-profit organization Autism Movement Therapy®, the recipient of two Autism Speaks grants, home-based in Los Angeles, California.


Joanne is a core adjunct professor at National University in LA, California, and helped design the Autism Certificate. She was the Technical Advisor/Autism Consultant for Kiefer Sutherland’s FOX TV show Touch. Lara earned her master’s in special education, Moderate/Severe and Multiple Disabilities, from California State University, Northridge, and a BA in Dance from the University of South Florida. She holds a CCTC California Moderate/Severe Education Specialist K–12 teaching credential and taught in the LAUSD for over ten years, where she worked exclusively with students with autism.


Ms. Lara teaches weekly Autism Movement Therapy classes in Van Nuys, CA, where she has a private ABA behavioral consultation practice, Autism Movement Therapy-AMT. Ms. Lara produced the documentary Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the ARTS with Temple Grandin, Stephen Shore, Ed Asner, Elaine Hall, Susan Sheller, Anshu Batra MD, Wyatt Isaacs, Dani Bowman, Kevin Hosseini, Noah Schneider, Dylan Aragon, Abbey Lutes, Julian Arsi, Tyler Wedeen, and more.


Lara’s nonprofit Autism Movement Therapy, Inc is producing Temple Grandin & Friends: AutismWorks Now, a musically driven event honoring Dr. Grandin to support job opportunities for individuals with autism and related differences in Los Angeles, May 20th at the Club Nokia. 

Joanne is a columnist for Autism Asperger’s Digest and wrote the methods book Waking up the Brain! Autism Movement Therapy® Method for Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London.


The Autism Works program performs much in the same way as a Personnel or Temporary Job Agency would – employees of Autism Works Now! reach out to community job employers, find where the job opening exists with a potential employer and match the employer with the ‘right fit’ employee from Autism Works.



By acting as a temporary job Agency, Autism Works Now believes that employers will hire individuals with autism once they see their work ethics and that these jobs can lead to meaningful part-time and full-time employment.

Autism Works Now educates employers and places individuals on the spectrum in meaningful jobs.  Autism Works Now! is a two year pilot program based in Van Nuys, California that functions as a mentorship, placement and on-the-job work support program for individuals with autism and related disorders.




Joanne Lara, MA



Charles W. Jenkins, Esq.


Dr. KayDee Caywood


Julie Wedeen



Meghan Allen, RN

Yudi Bennett

Vivian Brink

Pat Grayson-DeJong, M. Ed

Sharon Hensel-Cohen, SLP

Robert Perkins, Esq.

Priscilla Picard



Charles Adams

Henry Carr

Susan Osborne

Gina Rugolo

Elaine Hall

Stephen Shore, Ed. D


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Website by Zoe Johnson.

A 501 c 3 non-profit organization.  •  Tax ID #27-0503622

7439 Orion Ave.,  Van Nuys  CA  91406