Our Approach


What is the ‘bottom-up’ approach, and why is it important?

The bottom-up approach refers to therapy that begins by targeting the parts of the brain that are responsible for automatic and survival reflexes (such as our fight, flight or freeze response). By using the bottom-up approach, The Energy Source addresses the root causes of many of the symptoms that we see in children with developmental and neurological conditions. It also enables us to direct your child to the right therapy services. Our programme works on rebuilding the foundation of the nervous system, allowing the brain to develop at its optimal potential, creating lasting changes. It includes:


  • The Pyramid of Learning
  • The Safe and Sound Protocol
  • The Primitive Reflex and Brain-Training Programme
  • On-going Therapy Support

The Pyramid of Learning

In order to better understand the bottom-up approach, it is best to refer to the Pyramid of Learning, which was developed by Williams and Shellenberger (1996). The Pyramid is important, as it helps break down skills into different foundational levels and prioritises what skills to address first in therapy. The process of moving up the Pyramid is often referred to as the bottom-up approach.

At the foundation of the Pyramid, is our Central Nervous System (CNS), which acts as a processing centre that receives sensory information from various areas of the body, coordinates this activity  and controls the body’s responses. As children grow and develop, there are sensory and physical skills that they must master, before they are able to move up to a higher level of skills on the Pyramid, such as learning, being present, and self-regulation. If skills at the lower levels of the Pyramid of Learning are not yet solid, then your child may have difficulties in focusing, completing homework, and learning new information, among others. 

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a research-based intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity, as well as enhancing social engagement and resilience. It is a powerful listening tool that stimulates the vagus nerve; calms the nervous system and prepares the brain for change. The aim of the SSP is to calm the nervous system so that the child can be more socially engaged. It is important for the child to be in a calm state, which is required for learning, development, relationships, and maintaining mood. The SSP can also boost or accelerate other forms of therapies, such as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, as well as psychological counselling. 


The SSP has shown significant results in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Auditory sensitivities
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma-related challenges
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement


The SSP is suitable for all ages, starting from 18 months old to adulthood. To learn more about the SSP:


Watch the video below:


The Primitive Reflex and Brain-Training Programme

Another integral part of The Energy Source’s services is the Primitive Reflex and Brain-Training Programme. After the nervous system is regulated and is in a calm state, we work on integrating the primitive reflexes, which form the foundation of the nervous system. If the child has unintegrated primitive reflexes, it triggers their ‘fight or flight’ response, which creates chronic stress in their body. 


Primitive reflexes are automatic, directed from the brainstem, and executed without conscious involvement. These reflexes, which develop in utero, help to keep us alive in the first few weeks of life and provide underlying training for later voluntary skills. However, for voluntary skills to develop, primitive reflexes must fade to allow the appropriate development of postural reflexes, which enable a child to properly interact with their environment. Children interact with the world around them through their sensory systems, and their brain continues to build appropriate neural pathways that lead to a higher-level of brain involvement and skills. 

To learn more about our Primitive Reflex and Brain-Training Programme, read our blog.

>>> Go to blog article : What are Primitive Reflexes?


On-going Therapy Support

With the different challenges that your child faces, on-going therapy support is required to work on their sensory-motor and perceptual-motor development, as well as their cognition, intellect, and independence. The Energy Source team is here to support you in maximising your child’s potential. Here is a list of our therapy services:

To book an appointment with one of our paediatric specialists,