Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Therapeutic Listening (TL)

"Therapeutic Listening (TL) is an expansion of Sensory Integration (SI). It is an auditory intervention that uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system. Auditory information from TL CDs provides direct input to both the vestibular and the auditory portions for the vestibular-cochlear continuum. The emphasis of TL is on blending sound intervention strategies with vestibulo-proprioceptive, core development, and breath activities so as to sustain grounding and centering of the body and mind in space and time. Providing these postural, movement, and respiratory activities as part of the TL program is critical." In other words...our ability to function in our world relies heavily on what we hear and how we perceive it. Listening is completely voluntary, and when we use it our ability to monitor and then actively respond to changes in our environment, happens without us even aware of it.

Above I mentioned the vestibular-cochlear continuum. Basically it's the link between the two systems and how they effect they way we act or react in situations. The cochlea, utricle, saccule , and semicircular canals form the the bony labyrinth in the inner ear. This processes the higher frequency vibrations that we know as sound. The vestibular end of the canal, processes the lower frequency vibration that we call movement. They work together to send information to the brain to help us function and exist in our surroundings.

The program involves listening to a CD that varies in musical style, types of filtering, and levels of complexity. The music is electronically altered to elicit the orienting response which sets up the body for sustained attention and active listening. (Note: I listened to this music and I thought I was going to grind my teeth out of my head! That's how "altered" the music is. Ethan listens it to without question...doesn't notice a difference!) A new CD is introduced every 2 weeks and the program is completed in three months. Then the child is put on a "maintenance" CD for a while after the initial treatment.

Ethan is on week 5, his third CD. He is supposed to do his "listening" twice a day for 30 minutes each session. We at least get it done once a day. We try to set him up with coloring, playing in his kidney beans, or playing his new favorite game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos. He can do anything while listening to his music except watch TV. We've done it in the car, but problems arise with the headset fitting on his head within the confines of his car seat. It's a lot tougher than I thought to get the second session in during the course of the day though. We do our best.

His OT, Jessica says that she has noticed an improvement in some of his vestibluar (movement) areas. We have noticed that Ethan is now hearing things that he's never noticed before like the birds chirping (which he became quite angry at the other day because they were too noisy!!)

Unfortunately, (like anything else) things have gotten worse instead of better. We were warned that as changes occured in his system, these things would happen...frustration, anger, testing. All of which are normal 4 year old issues, but more so than usual. We are only half way through the treatment, so we'll see what the future holds.

1 comment:

Amy and family said...

Hi! I found your blog while researching therapeutic listening. My youngest daughter is 5 yrs old and has pdd-nos along with food allergies and a rare genetic syndrome. We recently started her on therapeutic listening. We have seen some positive changes, but also she seems to be extra moody lately. I didn't know if her mood changes were related to the therapeutic listening or not. However, when I read that your son was having trouble adjusting to the changes in his system, it made me realize that this is probably what's happening with my daughter as well. I hope that you continue to see some positive results from the TL as well.