Learning Without Borders


“The answer is not to standardize education,
but to personalize and customize it to the needs of each child and community.
There is no alternative. There never was.”

~ Sir Ken Robinson ~

How does the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) work?

The SSP protocol is derived from nearly four decades of research by Dr. Stephen Porges on the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social-emotional processes. The protocol stimulates nervous system regulation by exercising and systematically challenging the auditory system with specially-processed music. 

The music trains the auditory pathways by focusing on the frequency envelope of human speech. As the client learns to process these speech-related frequencies, they improve the functioning of two cranial nerves that are important for promoting overall social behavior. Cranial Nerve VII (Facial Nerve) helps clients focus on the human voice and tune out irrelevant frequencies. Cranial Nerve X (Vagus Nerve) enables self-soothing and autonomic regulation.

For more information, see The Safe and Sound Protocol

Why are there three Safe & Sound Protocol pathways?

The three pathways offer greater flexibility and opportunities for crafting a unique journey to improve nervous system regulation. Monica will do an intake interview with you before you begin SSP and will help you choose the correct pathway for your nervous system.

SSP Connect – SSP Core – SSP Balance

Using the three pathways in this order will be one of the most common journeys.

SSP Core – SSP Balance

Clients with fewer sensitivities and greater resources can move directly into SSP Core, knowing that SSP Connect is available in the case of any destabilizing or dysregulation that may occur.

SSP Core

Facilitating SSP Core without using the Connect or Balance Pathways may still be the best journey for your client.  

To review research about this protocol, click here: https://integratedlistening.com/research/#SSP

What is the Focus Program?

Learn more about the Focus Program and the research behind it by clicking on the links below. 

ADD and Focus System

Dr. Minson: Why Movement is Important in Focus Program

Research on Focus


What is DIR® & DIRFloortime®?

Many of the learners Monica has met over the years have spent years in traditional educational environments that focused on remediation of specific academic skills such as handwriting or math without success. 

Though it flies in the face of commonly accepted wisdom, sometimes working on a particular skill isn’t the most effective way to facilitate learning because the underlying foundation isn’t stable. Sometimes, DIR is more effective!

To use the analogy of the tree, it is like watering the leaves and not nourishing the roots and trunk. 

  1. Self-Regulation and Interest in the World
  2. Intimacy, Engagement, and Falling in Love
  3. Two-Way Communication
  4. Shared Social Problem-solving
  5. Emotional Ideas
  6. Emotional and Logical Thinking, fostering internal motivation to engage in tasks for increasing fine/gross motor planning, activities of daily living, academic, play and social skills

For older children:

  1. Multi-causal and Triangular Thinking
  2. Gray-area, Emotionally-differentiated Thinking
  3. Growing Sense of Self and Reflection on an Internal Standard

Click here to learn more: http://www.thefloortimecenter.com/interactive-learning-tree/

Monica uses the DIR philosophy of building capacities from the roots up. She sees each learner as a unique person on their journey to fulfilling their potential as a human being. She meets the learner where they are and believes learning can and should be joyful for everyone. Her role is to assess where the learner is strong, build on strengths, honor their individual differences, and form a relationship that enables the learner to feel safe enough to take on the “just right challenges” to develop the skills and competencies to learn what they need and want to learn for a lifetime.

What do you see? Learners at play! 

In addition to learning differences, some children and families have more challenges co-regulating and playing with their children. Since we know that parents are the cornerstone decision-makers and leaders of every DIR Home Program, Monica uses the DIR “Parent Coaching” model to help families learn ways to enjoy being with each other. She coaches parents and caregivers to meet the child where they are and helps them join in with their children, connect with them, and support their child to fulfill their potential by following the individual’s lead, intent, and interest. This is so much more than just “letting them do what they want” or imitation. It is knowing what interests the individual, joining them, and providing the “just right challenge” to grow and develop to their fullest potential. Though it looks different with a baby than with an older child, the underlying principles are still the same across developmental levels. 


For a deeper dive and to hear Dr. Greenspan, check out some of his radio webcast: 


For more information about DIRFloortime®, see:

ICDL: Home of DIRFloortime®

Evidence-Base Quick Facts

What Individuals and Families are Saying

“Monica is a passionate advocate for lifelong learning. Her wealth of knowledge and practical advice was invaluable to our family. My son benefited enormously from having Monica as his learning consultant. Her fun approach and practical advice was so helpful to him, and to me, too. Monica has a holistic approach that incorporates so much more than just academics. We looked forward to connecting over our Skype sessions and I always came away feeling more confident to continue on our homeschooling journey. I feel so fortunate that my son was able to learn in a way that was tailor-made just for him. Our family can’t recommend Monica highly enough.”

~ Loretta D., Australia

Do you want to learn more?

we can do it together