Integrated Listening Systems (iLs)
Perhaps you have heard of the iLs listening program mentioned by someone. Or, if you have been in our clinic, you may have seen some children or therapists walking around with a fanny pack and headphones on. The Integrated Listening Systems consist of cutting edge technology we are using to help our clients achieve their goals along with other activity, depending on their needs. This article is to provide supplemental information about the program, not to be a substitute for your therapist’s recommendations. As with anything else, please discuss your child’s situation with your therapist before starting a new program.
So, what exactly is the iLs program? It is a type of sound therapy consisting of specially engineered music on an Apple iPod delivered through high-quality headphones. There are several programs, each consisting of approximately hour-long sessions of music geared towards addressing a variety of needs. For example, one program is called Sensory Motor and is geared towards people on the Autism Spectrum who need to address hypersensitivity and core motor and praxis issues. Other programs available address Attention, Concentration, Reading, Auditory Processing and higher-level brain functioning for teens and older. The company also offers tools to address difficulty with sleeping and interactive language. iLs has been shown to have positive effects on people with Attention Deficit, Anxiety, Depression, Sensory Processing Disorder, Learning Difficulty, PTSD, and Autism.
An iLs program usually consists of completing 3-5 hours (each hour is one iLs session) per week either by listening to them an hour at a time or breaking each up into half hour sessions that are done more frequently. No more than one hour is done a day because, while it just seems like music, the way it is specially engineered, it is actually making the brain work very hard. Some programs are 40-60 hours, and some are shorter. This is generally a home program with the family either purchasing or renting the equipment. The Children’s Therapy Center, Inc. has a number of therapists who are trained in the use of iLs, and you will be assigned someone if your child’s therapist has not yet been to the iLs training.
One of the unique aspects of the iLs program is the Activity Playbook and Integration Kit you receive with your technology to use as physical exercise is recommended to be performed for 10-20 minutes of each hour of listening. Items like a balance board, bean bags, and a ball hanging from a cord help the user work on their visual perception and sensory motor skills. This therapy is not just for children. Older family members may find some benefits as well but, again, should seek the advice of a trained therapist.
You can find much more information including case studies and research at the iLs website: www.integratedlistening.com
Nancy E.A. Weiss, MOT, OTR/L