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Q&A - Using an Auditory Program in your Practice - featured January 28, 2011

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Q&A on Using an Auditory Program in Your Practice

By: the Staff at Integrated Listening Systems

If I am considering integrating an auditory component to my OT or SLP practice, what questions should I be asking? Is the additional investment worth it? How do I know which auditory program to choose?

We’ve asked Sarah Schoen, PhD, OTR for her thoughts on the topic. Dr. Schoen is Director of Applied Research at SPD Foundation and teaches the auditory component of the Mentorship training.

Why do you combine an auditory program with OT at STAR?

I think the rationale behind using an auditory program is that it’s a sensory system we haven’t adequately tapped in our OT approach. In addition, we have many children with auditory issues, for which the auditory program is beneficial.

In what areas do find an auditory program most helpful?

I should preface my answer with the caveat that since we use the 2 methods together – OT and auditory training – it’s hard to attribute attribute gains to just one or the other. The gains we see are from the combination. Generally speaking we see motor and language gains, improvements in organization and attention. I think what’s really important about those gains is that we are seeing them in a shorter period of time. They are accelerated from what we might see otherwise. In some cases we learn from parents of changes in academic abilities such as math and reading. We also get reports from parents of improved sleep patterns, self-regulation and self-confidence.

Is an auditory program more important for some STAR clients than others?

80-90% at STAR use iLs with OT, but some do it separately or sequentially, depending upon their presenting problems and their sensitivity. In particular, we need to be careful with developmentally younger kids – beginning their listening separate from OT and only gradually combining them. This is one of the reasons we use the auditory system we do – Integrated Listening Systems (iLs, for short). With iLs we have a considerable amount of customization capability. So, for those with high level of anxiety we use their Sensory Motor program, which is very gentle and does not go into the higher frequency filtration levels. iLs has a broad spectrum of applicability because it works on the anxiety and self-regulation piece while simultaneously addressing the auditory and motor. You could say it’s a global effect which complements the goals of OT and addresses the presenting problems of why parents are seeking intervention.

How many of your therapists use listening ?

All therapists at STAR are trained in iLs and use the equipment with clients as needed. Each client program is of course customized per the clinical reasoning of the therapist and the team.

Have you (or staff) used other listening systems?

Staff members have been trained in other programs, and we have many parents who have experienced other programs. Not to bash other programs, but we often hear they have not seen as good results with other programs. The team members have commented on a few specific areas in which iLs is superior – those being ease of use, customization and the efficacy of bone conduction headphones. As a clinician to be able to use clinical reason ins is important as well as being able to engage the vestibular more thru the inclusion of BC. Beyond that, the iLs hardware is well made and holds up.

Can it handle the wear kids put on it?

I think they are incredibly durable. We have kids jumping off zip lines into ball pits and it doesn’t damage the units. Having said that, nothing is kid-proof!


This Months Featured Vendor Integrated Listening Systems

We thank Vendor for providing us with this article for our Monthly newsletter.

Integrated Listening Systems® (iLs®) provides training and equipment that improves our physical and mental aptitude.

The founders of iLs, Kate O’Brien Minson and Randall Redfield, have worked with professional clinicians and their clients for many years. The recent trend of combining auditory stimulation with movement has yielded such impressive results that they were inspired to develop new, integrated listening programs for both clinical and home use. iLs programs draw on the knowledge of experts in the fields of audiology, speech therapy, movement therapy, occupational therapy, and kinesiology.

iLs’ mission is to make this unique equipment and training more available to parents, teachers and clinicians by continuing to leverage the most cutting-edge technology and sensory integration techniques.

Please support our contributing Vendors and visit Integrated Listening Systems

Tags: Article SLP OT Q&A Sensory Processing Disorder Newsletter 28 January 2011