Basic Training


Certification as a MSE Practitioner by AAMSE requires successful completion of the Basic Training and the Advanced Training Courses.

Training is designed to give the participant “Core Concepts”, leading to the understanding and practice of a Multi-Sensory Dynamic Systems Approach. The courses and requirements will be geared to giving the student the knowledge and experience necessary to have a solid foundation in the Multi-Sensory Dynamic Systems Technique.

AAMSE’s goal is to certify practitioners that understand the dynamics of cognitive, social and emotional engagement.  Accomplishing this requires new thinking aligning itself with what current science is telling us about the brain and the way we develop, learn, and interact in relationships giving us a fullness of life. We know with certainty that the environment has a powerful impact at every age and stage of development from our ability to learn to our emotional being. We know that the opportunity to change the Brain is possible and we even know ways to do it.  AAMSE is committed to teaching students of all professional backgrounds that wish to participate in these Best Practices.

AAMSE’s training mission is to provide current knowledge based on the evolving Trends in Science, Research, Best Practices and Theory. To that end from time to time AAMSE reserves the right to change and edit course content.

Basic Training:


1. Must be a member of AAMSE and maintain active membership status throughout the full certification process and thereafter.

2. Read the following books prior to taking the Basic Training:

 1.     Riding the Elephant… An Alzheimer’s Journey… Diane Porter Goff

 2.     My Stroke of Insight  .…. Dr. Jill Boldt Taylor

 3.     The Brain That Changes Itself ….. Norman Doidge, MD

 4.     Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head ….. Carla Hannaford

 5.     The Soloist ….. Steve Lopez

 6.     The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat…and Other Clinical Tales…  Oliver Sacks

 7.     Emergence…..Temple Grandin

 8.     The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.....Mark Haddon

3. Visit a MSE if you do not have one available at your facility and observe a session; send a written one page observation to the Training committee, include your feelings as to the session


Basic Training Day One:

Topics: Training will include how our senses work, the conscious and unconscious sensory process, our attitudes toward our sensory experiences, relaxation process and the benefits of the MSE approach. Emotional and Social Learning styles and how they relate to our sensory diets. This would be geared toward guided experiences, exercises and exploration of the senses.

  • Brief MSE History & the MSE Overview for all populations.
  • The common thread of the MSE Model.
  • Types of MSE Spaces.
  • Introduction to: SPECS Profile, Sensory Diets, Sensory Processing, Learning and Memory through specific exercises designed to understand the above topics.


1.     To understand the primary senses and how they help us interact with our environments for keeping us safe, happy and focused.

2.     Understand what the Multi-Sensory Dynamic Systems Technique is and how it enhances occupational performance, our ability to focus and engage in our various roles and everyday activities.

3.     Understand the use of practitioner presence, therapeutic use of self, mindfulness and strategic supports for clients to provide meaningful engagement for life’s activities (social – emotional- cognitive tasks)

4.     Understand the key differences between the Sensory Integration and Multi-sensory Environments approaches and the use of these modalities

5.     Identify sensory processing patterns and their relationship to sensory diets through ages, and stages of development through the life span.

6.     Explore the experiential process of arousal change through the use of Multi-Sensory Environments (how to maintain novelty, through controlled sensory stimulation)

7.     Design a treatment protocol using a Multi-Sensory Dynamic Systems Technique.

8.     Understand the neuroscience and research trends for rationales for treatment with MSE and its implication for further research


Basic Training Day Two:


  • Evaluations, assessments tools for use with an MSE.
  • How to utilize sensory modalities to illicit change for different learning or treatment experiences.  
  • How to analysis and utilize sensory equipment in conjunction with the design and purpose of an MSE.  
  • Develop equipment protocols, how practitioners individualize it to their specific needs; teaching and treatment techniques.  
  • General Development of Goals / outcomes for the individuals they are serving.  
  • Demonstration of changing general / brain arousal levels with individuals if available.


1.     Understand basic complex neural networks of the brain and their impact on the use of MSE with people with special needs

2.     To understand interfering stress, its detrimental effects on the human being, in relation to age, stage and quality of life as it impacts our ability to focus, attend and memory

3.     Understanding the Relaxation Process and how the MSE can reverse and prevent the detrimental effects of stress by using the pleasure response

4.     To understand the use of changing arousal to facilitate attention and focus

5.     To understand and be able to demonstrate setting up MSE Equipment protocols and basic Sensory Diets.

6.     To develop, understand and write specific individualized outcome measurement strategies.

A Certificate of Attendance upon Completion of Basic Training course will be awarded with contact hours.


Post Basic Training Requirement:

Answer “Questions after Basic Training” and return to the Training Committee for review and evaluation of your responses. This must be submitted within 3 months of your training.

Click here for full details for requirements to take the Advanced Training leading to Certification as a MSE practitioner.