Listening Therapy is a therapeutic approach using sound stimulation. Some of the recordings have been “activated”, dampening the low sounds and emphasizing higher tones. The higher tones are where most information is in sound. Activation trains the ear to attend to the information in sound and to the human voice.
Listening Therapy requires a trained therapist to design a listening protocol appropriate for specific clients.
Listening Therapy is appropriate for persons with central auditory processing problems, sensory issues, learning deficits, handwriting and spatial problems, emotional problems, and anxiety. In fact, all of us would benefit from sound therapy. Our world is full of noxious, injurious sound. Listening Therapy is full of beautiful, nourishing music. Our nervous systems NEED nourishing sound.
At The Children’s Therapy Center, Inc. we offer the Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) Program. The iLs program is a multi-sensory intervention using sound therapy, bone conduction, and visual exercises to enhance sensory processing and brain function. We have occupational therapists who are qualified to design and monitor protocols. An evaluation is required to start a home program. The trained therapist uses an intake questionnaire that addresses sensory, social, emotional, and auditory processing needs and will design an individualized protocol to meet the child’s specific needs. The iLs program is set up as a home program and the child listens to a specific music protocol with parent supervision and the treating therapist will consult with the parent and child. The parent can consult with the therapist about progress and questions about the music protocol during their treatment session.
The iLs program can be purchased through TCTCI, as we are certified trained iLs providers. Parents also have the option to rent the system through the clinic as part of the clinic iLs rental program. We do provide the iLs program for children that are not seen through our clinic; however, an occupational therapy assessment and iLs questionnaire will need to be completed by a trained occupational therapist at TCTCI to assure the child is an appropriate candidate for the iLs program and consultation appointments will be set-up with the therapist to monitor the program.
We also use the Samonas Therapeutic Listening program at TCTCI. This program was the first Sound Therapy program offered at TCTCI. While Samonas does not use bone conduction within the headsets, the program is an effective listening program with beautiful music that also uses enhanced sound frequencies to improve sensory processing and emotional regulation. We also offer the Samonas as a rental program. An intake evaluation is also required and a trained therapist will design a home program for the child. The Samonas program is set up with a CD player, specialized Samonas CD, and headsets.
The Safe & Sound Protocol
The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is also an auditory therapy that is offered by the iLs company, but it is very unique. Based on the Polyvagal Theory developed over decades of research by Dr. Stephen Porges, the Safe and Sound Protocol consists of specially produced “popular” music listened with headphones to facilitate social engagement and emotional regulation under the supervision of a trained Occupational Therapists in a safe environment. The child is with his or her therapist, and parents are encouraged to attend to help the child engage in social interactions. TCTCI has developed a very effective five-day intensive program using Dr. Porges protocol along with the skills and expertise of trained occupational therapists with a background in both Sensory Integration and Listening Therapy Programs. The therapist sets up a therapeutic and safe environment for the child to experience the SSP and provides fun quiet tasks such as crafts, sensory-based toys, and easy construction activities to enhance participation, play, social engagement while encouraging more active listening. While the child listens in a quiet and safe environment, the therapist and/or parents are available to engage socially when the child desires. Otherwise, the adults remain quiet, and there are no screen-based electronics allowed. Aside from the obvious difference of being much shorter than the traditional iLs program, this program focus is to be a portal to social engagement and communication, and has different goals.
The Polyvagal Theory addresses the origins of the difficulties some of our kids have with social interactions and processing speech. If the child’s emotional state is stressed or confused, her nervous system is working overtime on trying to calm her down. This heightened behavior state makes the child unavailable for noticing or learning the subtleties that come with social interactions such as reading emotions and processing similar words correctly. The SSP delivers specially processed music to calm the child’s behavior and emotional state down using specific nervous system pathways such as the vagus nerve.
Listening is connected with the vagus nerve, the body’s internal control center for processing and responding to cues and signals from the world around us. The SSP uses specially-filtered music to train the neural network associated with listening to focus on the frequency range of the human voice. What you hear, and how you hear it, influences how your body responds. The SSP is designed to help the nervous system to better receive, process and respond to the cues and signals from the world around us. This helps us learn how to more easily and consistently feel better regulated in the face of life’s challenges.
TCTCI Therapists use Pre- and post-questionnaires that are filled out by the parent to gage effectiveness. The end goals of the SSP include enhanced social interaction, improved attention, engagement, decreased auditory sensitivity, reduced anxiety, reduced emotional lability, and improved speech and language. When the child is more relaxed and feels safe, he is much more able to be engaged with those around him and is able to take in and process what he needs to keep up in social situations. An enhanced ability to learn in school and therapy are often enhanced aside from more age appropriate social skills. Appropriate clients for this therapy program include those with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, ADHD, sleep difficulty, feeding issues, delays in social skills, and poor social engagement.
More information is available on the iLs website: https://integratedlistening.com/ssp-safe-sound-protocol/
Please contact our office or your therapist to learn more, 281-480-5648.
Click the headphones above to hear how the SSP has impacted Jackson’s Progress.