Miller Method® - A Cognitive-Developmental Approach For Autism



What Is Miller Method® (MM)?

A developmental, child-centered approach to support autistic children's cognitive and communicative development.   


The goal of MM®, to support the abilities of children within the autism spectrum through a person-centered and systemic approach fits well within SeminarInstitut's philosophy. 


MM® is the third puzzle piece that SeminarInstitut offers for parents, educators, teachers, therapist, and psychologists who want to provide a wholistic education and therapy for autistic children, using child-centered, developmentally oriented and interactive interventions. 


Our MM® courses are accredited by the Language and Cognitive Development Center Inc. (LCDC). The instructors are accredited by LCDC and have an extensive background in working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  


Miller Methode®: A Cogntive-Developmental Approach FOr Children With Autism 

Arnold Miller, Ph.D. & Eileen Eller-Miller, M.A., Sprachtherapeutin                Language und Cognitive Development Center (LCDC), Boston 


Miller Method focuses on

  • body organization,
  • social interaction,
  • communication, and
  • mental representation, visualization

in children, in the clinical and in the educational setting. 


Systems Theory of cognitive development maintains that the child's cognitive development depends on his ability to form systems. This are organized behaviors. At first they are repetitive and circular in nature and elicited by sensory stimuli from the environment. During development they become more varied and more complex. As soon as the child is able to differentiate between herself and the environment, she starts to gain control over her systems. The child combines her systems in novel ways to solve problems, form social relationships, and communicate about the world with herself and with other people . 


Children with developmental disorders in contrast get stuck in early developmental stages and develop higher stages only incompletely. Autism spectrum disorders impact the ability to respond to the world and to have a controlled and intentional impact on the environment. Autistic children lack the sense of the relationship between their bodies and the environment. Sensory stimuli from the environment only elicit isolated or stereotypical behavioral patterns that they cannot stop without help. This leads to atypical systems that can include persons and/or objects, and to  being stuck in behaviors that may be seen briefly in typical development, such as inspection of own hands, constantly holding objects in the hands, or intensively exploring an object.


MM Intervention

MM Intervention uses mainly two strategies to set development on the right tracks again: 

  1. Transforming the atypical systems of the child (e.g., placing cars or blocks in rows, sensory seeking) into functional behavior.
  2. Systematic and repeated introduction of activities that are relevant for development and that include objects and persons. 

The therapeutic activities aim at closing holes in development. This process is facilitated while the child is moving and playing on the "Elevated Square" - the signature piece of equipment of MM® - and the therapist comments the child's actions. This platform of about 80 cm height or a similar platform supports 

  •  guiding the child's behavior through gestures and words   
  • awareness of her own body and other persons
  • motor planning
  • socio-emotional contact
  • transitions between activities, objects, and events 
  • the transition from object play to representational play 


The Philosophy Of Miller Method®

We maintain that each child - no matter how withdrawn or disorganized - is trying to find a way to cope with the world. Our task is to help that child use every capacity or fragment of capacity to achieve this.



 At the beginning of an intervention a set of very specific observations, the so called "Umwelt Assessment", is administered. It helps to understand how the child perceives reality. 

MM® Training & Certification


SeminarInstitut collaborates with the successors of the originator,  Dr. Arnold Miller at LCDC. We are offering training as  MM®Specialist and as Certified MM®Therapist. The MM® Certification program consists of 3 modules in a successive order:

  • MM101 Introduction
  • MM200 "MM Specialist" (MMS)
  • MM300 "Certified MM Therapist" (MMCT)


MM® Specialist Training is interdisciplinary and open to everyone who is interested in learning the application of the MM® method and strategies. An innovative model combines onsite and online courses to keep travel expences and course fees reasonable. All courses are taught in English. 


The Certification Program leading to Certified MM® Therapist requires a therapeutic background and current practice as a therapist with autistic children as a core element of this training is live supervision of therapy sessions. 


Introduction to Miller Method® (MM) - A Cognitive-Developmental Approach For Children With Autism


Date: February 14-16, 2020

Location: SeminarInstitut, Wiesenstadt Alt-Erlaa, 1230 Wien

Duration: Fr 16-19, Sa 9-17, So 9-13 (15h o. 2 1/2d)

Who should attend: everyone who aims at supporting autistic childrens' development in a person-centered way: therapists (OT, PT, SLP), psycologists, (special) educators, teachers, and parents (reduced fee!)

For therapists who are working with Ayres' SI (ASI®) MM® is a compatible addition that develops cognitive-communicative development, action planning and relationship to the environment in a more systematic and structured way. 

Prerequisites:  Basic knowledge of autism and the desire to learn more

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Shore, Prof. für Heilpädagogik an der Adelphi University, New York

Course language: English (with translation to German as needed)


Topics Covered:

  • Introducing the originators
  • Differences between a normal developing and autistic child
  • The Miller Method®: theory and techniques
  • Assessments: Miller Diagnostic Survey (MDS), Miller Umwelt Assessment (MUAS)
  • Parent-Child Trainings (PCT)
  • What is meant by a “system” and how to use them
  • More on systems: expansion and disruption
  • Elevation theory and the elevated square
  • How the Miller Method® addresses speech and language
  • The Symbol Accentuation program: a multi-sensory approach
  • The Sign and Spoken Language Program
  • Classroom techniques and one-on-one therapy with the Miller Method
  • Comparing the Miller Method® to other approaches

Methods: Lecture, discussion, video analysis of MM therapy sessions, first-person accounts by parents 

Recommended Readings:

The Miller Method by Arnold Miller & Kristina Chrétie

101 Tips for Parents of Children with Autism by Arnold Miller & Theresa Smith



MM101 Intro Miller Method

2.5 days onsite in Vienna 

Date: Feb 14-16, 2020

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Shore, New York 

440,00 €

  • verfügbar

MM200 MM Specialist (MMS)

Certificate "Miller Method® Specialist"

 Date: N.N.

Location: SeminarInstitut, Wiesenstadt Alt-Erlaa, 1230 Wien

Duration: 5d (30 hrs) onsite plus 20hrs online

 Who should attend: therapists (OT, PT, SLP), psycologists, (special) educators, teachers

 Course Objective: Certification as a Miller Method® Specialist (MMS)



Instructor: Dr. Stephen Shore, Prof. für Heilpädagogik an der Adelphi University, New York


Course language: English (with translation to German as needed)

Topics Covered:

  •  Miller Method® in relation to the underlying issues in autism spectrum disorder
  • Two kinds of assessment: the Miller Diagnostic Survey and the Umwelt Assessment
  • Moving from assessment to intervention
  • Introduction to the elevated square and related equipment
  • Elevation – body organization and space
  • Criteria for successful outcomes with emphasis on closed vs. system forming disorders
  • Developing social capacity
  • Developing communicative capacity
  • Teaching to children’s reality – gestures, pictures and spoken words
  • Developing symbolic play from spontaneous expansions
  • Coping with tantrums and the “beached whale” syndrome
  • Criteria for successful outcomes to MM intervention
  • The symbol accentuation reading program – from pictures to words and mouth movements to letter-sound recognition
  • Working with parents of children on the autism spectrum
  • Formation of the Miller Method® classroom
  • Classroom applications of the Miller Method®
  • Strategic interventions

Obligatory Readings:

The Miller Method by Arnold Miller & Kristina Chrétie

Tips for Parents of Children with Autism by Arnold Miller & Theresa Smith

Methods: Lecture, discussion, video analysis of MM therapy sessions, first-person accounts by parents 

Verpflichtendes Selbststudium und Diskussion der angegebenen Lektüre!

Obligatory self study and discussion of the assigned readings!

MMS Certificate: Participants who wish to become Miller Method® Specialists receive this certification upon the successful completion of the MMS exam at the end of the program.



MM200 Certificate "MM Specialist"

5 days onsite in Vienna plus 20 hours online course

Dates to be announced

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Shore, New York

1.020,00 €

  • verfügbar

MM300 MM Certified Therapist (MMCT)

Date: N.N.

Location: online (live sessions)

PrerequisitesMM200 (MMS)

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Shore, Prof. für Heilpädagogik an der Adelphi University, New York

Course language: English 


Course Format of Module MM300:

The MMCT program takes place over 10 months.  9 months of the program will focus on 9 clinical components (one topic per month).  Each month, an online Discussion/Lab Preparation session and a live online Clinical Supervision Lab take place. The last month is reserved for review of the program and the final exam.


MM301 Clinical Supervision:  duration 50 hrs; ONLINE; includes preparatory lectures for the clinical supervision sessions and the supervision sessions

  • Participants will be given the topic for each month prior to the beginning of the month so that he/she can prepare for the topic.
  • The Discussion/Lab Preparation session (duration 1.5 hrs each) takes place the first week of each month.
  • The Clinical Supervision Lab (duration 3.5 hrs each) is limited to a maximum of 5 participants. (Should more than 5 individuals wish to participate, a second lab section would be formed.)  

MM302 9 Skill Set Assignment (online): 

  • Each Skill Set assignment is associated with a topic of the 9 clinical components.
  • The candidate should complete the Skill Set assignment by the end of the month during which the topic is studied.

MM303 Authorship of Miller Method® (MM) project book: 

  • Each participant writes a “book” on his/her experience with the MM.
  • The book will include descriptions of students and the MM classrooms, the 9 skills, and personal observations and notes.       
  •  This book may include video disks and flash drives

MM304 MMCT final exam

Course topics:

Clinical application of MM® principles and techniques

Obligatory Readings:

Ritual to Repertoire by Arnold Miller and Eileen Eller-Miller

The Miller Method by Arnold Miller with Kristina Chrétien

101 Tips for Parents of Children with Autism by Arnold Miller and Theresa Smith 


Lecture, assignments, live online supervision of therapy sessions, group discussion

MMCT Certificate: Successful completion of MMCT final exam (MM304). This is the final requirement for designation as a Miller Method® Certified Therapist.

Recommended Readings: 

Jean Piaget

Heinz Werner

Igor Vigotsky



MM300 Certificate "Certified MM Therapist"

ONLINE course, includes MM301 50 hrs clinical supervision plus prep; MM302 9 Skills; MM303 Authorshp; MM304 Final Exam

Dates to be announced

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Shore, New York

1.560,00 €

  • verfügbar