The BUSS Model

Building Underdeveloped Sensorimotor Systems in children who have experienced developmental trauma

Developed by Sarah Lloyd, Specialist Occupational Therapist and Play Therapist

The brain and central nervous system of a newborn baby is still at an early stage of development and babies need an attuned adult and lots of nurture and movement experiences to allow them to grow into their bodies on a physical and an emotional level. When babies and young children are in neglectful and/or abusive environments they miss out on both aspects of this – the loving, attuned adult and the chance to grow into their bodies. This is significant because good bodily regulation and sensory integration gives the developing child a solid platform to negotiate the many developmental tasks of childhood: making relationships, play, understanding and managing their feelings and learning.

A lot of work with children who have experienced abuse and neglect focuses on relational and psychological therapies. These can be complemented by an intervention like BUSS, which brings together an understanding of the impact of trauma on the child, the importance of loving relationships and an inherent need to move in order to develop good bodily regulation. The focus of the model is to support families in using games and activities that will allow them to rebuild underdeveloped parts of a child’s foundation systems.

We hope that you’ll find this website useful – there’s information about the model, therapy and training as well as some discussion of why early motor experiences are so critical to later development and reflection and ideas from parents and professionals who have used the model. We’re always happy to talk to people so do get in touch with us if we can be of any help –

Introductory Webinar

A Whistle Stop Tour of the BUSS Model…


Testimonials from our Recent Collaborations


“At TouchBase we strongly recommend Sarah Lloyd and her team. We believe in what Dr Bruce Perry states that the more science literate our society can become the better off we will all be. As a practitioner in trauma recovery and as an adoptive mum I can vouch that we must get this model into the hands of those who are parenting and teaching as this will be a lifeline to many and will change the trajectory for so many children and young people who would otherwise have been misunderstood and misinterpreted.”

– Louise Michelle Bombèr, Founding Director of



“The BUSS Model makes sense. The BUSS Model offers a framework to support children who have survived developmental trauma to re-build their sensory systems. It aims to put the bricks back in the wall for children who have experienced missed opportunities in their development due to neglect, trauma or adversity, by helping them to feel safe in their body, develop a sense of self and support their regulation.

What Beacon House loves about the BUSS Model is that it aligns with the Neurosequential Model of therapeutics and supports the attachment piece by empowering and equipping parents and carers with a tool-box of practical and fun based sensory re-building activities that they can incorporate into their everyday life. As a service we value its simplicity and inclusivity and are currently planning how to incorporate the BUSS model into our service.”

– Candia Slaughter and Mel Campbell, Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapists, Therapeutic Services and Trauma Team at Beacon House

BUSS Introductory Day Webinar

17th January 2022, 9:30am – 3:30pm GMT


Feedback from Trainings, the Four Stage Model, and Remote BUSS

"The most interesting part was listening to Sarah explain the model in such an informative engaging, warm, and passionate way"

Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching at the Tavistock Clinic

"A fascinating much needed training. Really well delivered and balance of theory and real life experience."

Education Officer

This will be the most valuable training you could ever do. Totally changed my thinking and understanding of the children I work with. The BUSS Model is the missing piece of the jigsaw and Sarah makes her incredible knowledge so accessible. One not to miss.

Amelia, Calderdale Virtual School Team

"Very well explained- loved the use of analogies, good overview of theoretical underpinnings with practical strategies. Inspiring, Informative, and engaging"

Special Educational Needs Teacher

“For her to feel comfortable walking down the stairs without being afraid was the biggest accomplishment I can think of, and in a very short space of time. I would definitely highly recommend this work; an essential understanding of what has been missed or gotten stuck and how it affects the body.”

Adoptive Parent

"Inspiring, excellent, and thought provoking. Loved how active the training session is. The videos were really helpful."

Clinical Psychologist

"I found it interesting, thought-provoking, and enlightening. A lightbulb moment!"

Foster parent

“It’s been a fantastic, thought provoking training – highlights simple techniques that can make such a huge qualitative difference to our children’s lives!”

Senior Social Worker

"I think it's worked brilliantly and I've found it easier to fit into my life in terms of childcare and work commitments."

A parent who has done Remote BUSS

"It’s amazing that something that’s so completely life changing can be so much fun!”

Adoptive Parents

"It was fun! I most enjoyed the interactive parts of the day, and found the atmosphere to be friendly and relaxed throughout. Good use of metaphors and analogies, and videos throughout to aid explanations"


“We were struggling to understand how this physical work could help her emotionally, but the improvement so far has been remarkable. We have noticed that her reactions to unexpected situations are much more measured, school has fed back that she is calmer when she is there and that they can reason with her much more easily, she seems to be able to stay in the moment a little longer and generally seems less angry and frustrated all round. We will be continuing with great gusto and hoping that the improvements will continue!”

Adoptive Parent

“The best thing is that the strategies are easy to do – don’t focus on feelings and emotional issues. Children might enjoy the practical suggestions rather than trying to explain ‘why’ they’re doing something they shouldn’t.”

Adoption Support Social Worker

“Very inspiring trainer: so passionate and knowledgeable with a cheeky sense of humour brought everything alive.”

Residential Support Worker

“Thank you, really motivated to incorporate this into school”

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

“The impact so far on our daughter is remarkable. Our main concerns were around the way she manages her emotions, mainly at school and when playing with other children. She can feel very angry very quickly at seemingly small things. She also struggles to sit still and can’t cope with unpredictability. These were impacting on her friendships and her learning.”

Adoptive Parent

“My own personal understanding of what’s going on with my child and what they need is incredible. I have learned so much in the last few months and become really creative in how to use the sensory integration techniques in everyday life. Taste tests, exercise balls, balancing and combat crawling fun games that have been adapted to suit my child.”

Foster Carer

"I think my balance has really improved - i can do skateboarding now and that makes me feel happy. I feel as if I've accomplished something that I used to think was really scary"

Jeff, aged 11, who has done BUSS

Level 3 Module

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