Integrated Listening Systems

History

Jean Loth trained with Ron Minson (founder) in 2007 and set up Sound for Life in 2008 with Gillian Baker to deliver the Integrated Listening System to the public. Their experience over nine years with iLs demonstrated its effectiveness in the areas of auditory processing, sensory processing, anxiety, social and emotional connection and on task behaviour.

In 2017, Gillian retired and Jean incorporated the Integrated Listening System into Melville Occupational Therapy and Extra Lesson for Children.

Services Offered

Clinic Based Program:

30 sessions of 90 minutes in length delivered at Melville Occupational Therapy. This is the most intense and effect program. The child completes a minimum 30 sessions wearing air and bone conduction headphones. The child has an individual tailored listening and movement program. Therapy may also include interactive language exercises to enhance language. Ideal for the busy parent who is unable to sustain a home program.

Home Program:

The child listens to their own unit at home daily. The unit uses bone and air conduction (ipod Focus) or air only (Kickstart Nano). A movement program is prescribed. Suits country children or those who are using it for multiple family members.

iLs Dreampad:

The child goes to bed listening to this device tucked into their pillow. It calms, induces the rhythm of sleep and has an effect on sensory processing and behaviour.

SSP (Sound Sensitive Program):

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SSP was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the SSP is a five-day intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. By calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.

 

Research-based therapy showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Auditory sensitivities
  • Anxiety and trauma related challenges
  • Inattention
  • Stressors that impact social engagement

State is critical to how we approach the task at hand. So when a client has better state control, not only can they be more socially engaged, they are more open to therapy. Better state regulation improves therapeutic outcomes.

This non-invasive intervention involves listening to music that has been processed specifically to retune the nervous system (regulating state) to introduce a sense of safety and the ability to socially engage. This allows the client to better interpret not only human speech, but, importantly, the emotional meaning of language. Once interpersonal interactions improve, spontaneous social behaviours and an enhanced ability to learn, self-regulate and engage are often seen.

Research

Over this time Sound for Life has done three pilot studies- following our first 100 clinic based children and measuring their outcomes for up to 12 months post program. These results were presented at the 2015 WAOTA State conference by Jean.

  • Putting in the results of 8 of our iLs focus children who had ASD or SPD into Teresa May Benson’s initial survey
  • Following and recording changes in children at the West Coast Steiner School using 5 iPod 200s.
  • The Seniors clinic based trial in 2013 and 2014

How iLs Works

iLs is based on the fact that we can change our brain – we can essentially re-wire it through specific and repeated stimulation, a concept known as neuroplasticity. As in building strength and endurance with physical exercise, we are able to build neurological pathways and synaptic activity at any age.

iLs trains for brain/body integration through a staged approach, starting with the fundamentals of sensory integration and then extending through more complex cognitive functions, including language, self-expression and social skills.

THE SCIENCE UNDERLYING ILS

The notion that the brain is able to change in response to stimulation, an ability known as “neuroplasticity,” is now so widely accepted it can be called fact. iLs programs are based on this principle, providing gentle and specific stimulation in order to activate the neural pathways used in the processing of sensory information. Neuronal connections in these pathways are strengthened and new connections are established through repeated sessions of multi-sensory input. iLs programs are customized, i.e. individualized for each person’s therapeutic goals.

When Roy came to us we could barely assess him. He sat on the chair and fired back his responses so fast we could barely understand his language. He avoided eye gaze. His motor skills and coordination were below his age.

Through ILs, Extra Lesson (a Steiner based movement program) and OT Roy’s coordination improved, his sensory symptoms dropped away, his speech slowed down and his eye gaze was direct. Roy’s tummy aches are a thing of the past.

Today, two years later Roy is in the interschool chess competition, an active soccer participant and is looking forward to the summer cricket competition. His family and Roy have mastered his sensory processing concerns. He still becomes anxious and fearful but between them they can manage it. Previously they couldn’t. He is now a happy member of school and will be ready to meet the rigors of high school.

ROY, Boy, Aged 9, Clinic Based – Sensory

We are week 5 and Zoe is still happy to take part in the Program.  Of course there is challenging times as it is 5+ times a week, we are both adapting around what maybe on that day and adjust the exercises and activities accordingly.

Recently, much later on in the day to increase Zoe’s memory, writing and spelling.  Zoe is starting to actually enjoy writing slowly but surely i.e. methods on a dish on master-chef, what dance types she will study next year at high school, recap on the day and a party she went to.  She will be planning and organising her birthday party.  Even my husband has started to have more patience with Zoe as she is less ‘intense’ in her behaviour.

….she is now more open to try other skills taught by yourselves in the morning before school and then the more active fun after school.    This is a big turnaround from dragging herself around in the morning and being flat all afternoon after school.  And an increase in appetite.

Keep up the great work Ladies. Have a beautiful day.

Zoe, Girl, Aged 8, Clinic Based – Academic change

How has he changed?

Georgie has changed so much, in the last couple of months he has started to communicate to me, using his words and speaking very clearly. He has even started to sing songs.  He seems more in tune with his surroundings.

-What has changed?

Communication for sure, Georgie requests what he wants, he tells me what he sees and what he has. His stims are also decreasing, which is truly amazing to me. He usually goes outside on his swing and at the top of his voice vocalises as loud as possible, but lately it’s becoming less and less each day.

-How is he now?

Such a different little man, he is much more relaxed these days, sleeping well, wants to do thing all by himself.

-What is the biggest improvement?

I have to say his communication, especially when he is upset with something, he can now tell me what it is that has upset him.  Before we would only get screaming tantrums that would last a very long time.

-Engagement

How wonderful is it to have your child come up to you and say “Mum catch me’ and then have him come up to me tag me so I then have to continue the chasing game. Love this time of the day, we play every day. We also sing together and Georgie loves to do the actions to the songs we sing.

-Anxiety/Irritation

Huge  changes in anxiety and irritation for example one of Georgie’s  toy trains broke and he come up to me and asked for ‘batteries’, so we opened the back of the train put in new batteries and off he went. He saw me weeks before put in batteries and I had Georgie repeat to me what I was doing, he remembered. Don’t get me wrong he stills gets upset but he can now tell me or show me why.

-Awareness of other children

Oh this is exciting, for the first time ever Georgie’s started playing chasey with one of his peers at school and it was filmed by his EA, amazing to watch. He gives a Hi-five to his friend that sits next to him at school, and knows his name. He still needs a lot of work in this area, as I feel he wants to be around his friends at school but doesn’t know how. We are working on this though.

-Language

Like I said above, his communication has evolved so much, very clear now from before. Has some problems in his appreciation of words that sound too similar for example swing, swim and knock, lock. But all in all he has come such a long way.

-Processing

Georgie’s listening has changed, he is aware of what is asked of him and he has a great understanding of day to day routines. He now tells me what he is doing e.g. First school then Sound for Life.  Also with the help of visuals he can process what is coming next without any problems.

-Stimming behaviour

He still stims but not as much as he has in the past, he rather sings and resights contents from The Wiggles or Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends etc.

November 2015

8 Year Old Boy With Autism

My six year old son was struggling in Pre-Primary. (ASD, sensory sensitivity, anxiety)

He had always been sensitive to loud noise, bright lights etc., but being in a classroom with up to 26 five year olds was a sensory overload for him.

His anxiety levels shot up to the point where he would cry uncontrollably and suffer severe separation anxiety. I had to now stay at school with him.

I would watch him struggle instead of it being a time for him to develop socially. As a mother it was heartbreaking.

Another mother recommended iLs and Sound for Life as the therapy had worked for her child.

The staff were caring and supportive and my son was happy to be left.

At 6 ½ years of age he was formally diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum.

He completed his program of 30 sessions  including Occupational Therapy and other movement based activities.

The first thing I noticed was his improved confidence and self esteem.

His balance improved and he seemed better connected to his surrounds.

Slowly his anxiety reduced to the point where he decided himself that he no longer needed to wear his banded earplugs at school.

I was amazed, he was able to now quell his own anxiety. Tears are reduced and we now enjoy going to the movies and stage shows without earplugs or tears.

My son’s concentration has improved as well as the duration he can keep focused.

The world had seemed such a fearful place when suffering from sensory/auditory processing dysfunction and my child was now enjoying life’s experiences as all young children should.

Wish we had found iLs earlier.

Now attending ABA therapy and continuing with Occupational Therapy, my son continues to improve. Thank you Sound for Life, iLs, Jean, Gillian, Jess and all involved.

Boy, Aged 6, Clinic Based – Autism

Thought you would appreciate some feedback about Harry after his last lot of iLs as we have noticed some marked differences both during the therapy and up to now.

He has suddenly begun to read chapter books; he is being more concise about what he is saying and is happily heading off to school each morning and completing his homework.

His sense of awareness of the world around him has increased markedly. At the moment it is not such a positive as he seems to be overtly aware of dangers and is going through a period of separation anxiety (he has to know where I am all the time) and he gets upset if he can’t see me immediately after school. I am hoping that with reassurance that will subside! He is choosing clothes to wear and colour co-ordinating them and is conscious of whether something is “cool” or not. Something he has paid no attention to before.

He is experiencing his emotions to a greater degree and communicating that he is “angry” “upset” “frustrated” “happy” “excited” and proclaiming things to be “the best” “the worst”. He still seems emotionally quite young and gets quite overwhelmed by his emotions compared to his peers but he has certainly connected to them much more than before.

It’s certainly been a bit of a ride but we see some real positives emerging and we’re hoping everything will settle down a bit over the next few months.

Harry, Boy, Aged 9 , Clinic Based

My name is Elaine Squiers and I am 68 years of age. For some years now I have been very foggy, unable to think clearly, inability to remember and unable to concentrate. I had just assumed it was due to ageing.

I attended a “Have A Go Day” in the grounds of the Burswood Casino, Victoria Park. I cam across a tent containing information that stated there was a method to improve memory. I was really astounded that small children could be assisted to improve their learning skills, along with brain injured and autistic people (to name a few), so I stopped to check it out. Having filled in a form I was given the opportunity to test out the headphones, but at the time I did not notice any difference so decided it would not assist me.

A few months later I received a phone call inviting me to an information evening. At that time, things were not going so well for me at work, so I decided to find out a little more about this new method of improving memory. What I saw and heard at that information evening was so amazing and enlightening that I changed my mind and decided it was worth doing.

I signed up for 20 sessions over 10 weeks coming to the Sound For Life office twice a week. I cannot speak highly enough of Gillian, Jean and their wonderful assistants who were so friendly and gave us so much support and encouragement as we all progressed through the course.

My personal results were absolutely AMAZING. After just FOUR sessions I noticed a huge improvement of focus and clarity. Having completed the course now, I find that I can think more clearly and my concentration has improved. My focus is even more sharper, if that is possible but the best part of all is I remember and recall things better than before and I definitely feel much more confidence in myself. I highly recommend everyone in the older age group to do this course, if you wish to improve your concentration, memory, focus and improve clarity.

Seniors ILs Pro Clinic Based