February 22, 2011

Therapeutic Listening Therapy

When I was first told about this therapy I wasn't sure what to think. Listening to special music through special headphones was supposed to help regulate my son's body. I was told how it could help with alertness, focus, receptive and expressive language (including articulation), balance, motor planning, emotional responsivity, posture, spatial awareness, initiation of play behavior and verbal interaction and that it could even help with sleeping, eating, and toileting issues. Yes, I was told there is a CD for potty training (believe me - we will be looking into that one for sure). After reading a convincing research study from a medical journal and discussing the therapy in depth with Grant's occupational therapist, we decided to shell out the bucks and give it a try.

There are different CDs for different things but they all work on the vestibular system. The music, in a word, is weird. The songs are normal enough (The wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald had a Farm, etc), but the pitch bounces around from high to low and the volume will be normal one second and then much louder or softer the next. While the music makes me bugged-eyed after a few minutes, Grant loves it. Each CD is listened to for 30 minutes twice a day with at least three hours between each session. So, basically, we do one 30 minute session in the morning and another one later in the afternoon. It is best to engage the child in some sort of activity. Therefore, we take that time to enjoy our "table time" filled with coloring, puzzles, sensory activities, and fine motor exercises. One of the keys to success with this therapy, I was told, is to maintain Grant's sensory diet - which includes all of his other therapies: brushing, swinging, etc... Let me add, this therapy is not for everyone. The child must have a neurological need for it (sorry, I guess this means you can't borrow our potty training CD).

For more information (it's pretty interesting), click here.

We have been doing the Therapeutic Listening Therapy consistently for about six weeks now. Grant's speech and articulation is slowly improving and he is walking better (he can almost run now and doesn't fall nearly as much). Unfortunately, it is difficult to know for sure what, of all of Grant's therapies, is making the difference. It's probably a little of everything. Who knows. We'll just keep plugging along. We are thankful for any improvement.

One of Grant's favorite things to do while listening to his therapeutic music is to squish through a pan of whip cream to find (and eat) all the buried raisins, berries, and sour candies. Sensory fun for the fingers and the mouth!


  1. Congrats on all the super steps Grant is progressing in! Looks like he's having fun on his "treasure" hunt :)

    Keeping y'all in my prayers!

  2. We just began therapeutic listening therapy yesterday, and this really helps me with my worries that it wont make a difference. Maybe combined with all her other therapies she will show more improvement as well.


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