What is the Integrated Listening Systems program?
The Integrated Listening Systems program is a type of sound therapy, similar to auditory integration training and the Tomatis® method. The person undergoing the therapy uses headphones to listen to modified classical music while doing multisensory movement exercises.
Who is the Integrated Listening Systems program for?
The Integrated Listening Systems program developers suggest that it can be used for autistic children over the age of 12 months. The developers say the program can also be used for children with other developmental disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), auditory processing disorder, sensory processing difficulties, dyslexia and development coordination disorder.
This program isn’t recommended for children who also have biopolar disorder.
What is the Integrated Listening Systems program used for?
The Integrated Listening Systems program developers say that it reduces sensitivity to sound and improves a child’s ability to process sound and control emotions. They also claim it improves behaviour, social skills and concentration.
Where does the Integrated Listening Systems program come from?
Integrated Listening Systems was developed in 2007 in Denver, Colorado, by sound therapists Kate O’Brien Minson, Ron Minson and Randall Redfield. Their aim was to bring together movement and sound therapies into one therapy.
What is the idea behind the Integrated Listening Systems program?
The program developers say the Integrated Listening Systems program is based on neuroplasticity. This is the idea that the brain changes based on how it’s used. The developers say that listening to special music can change pathways in the brain.
What does the Integrated Listening Systems program involve?
The Integrated Listening Systems program involves a child listening to classical music that has been modified to emphasise particular frequencies. The child uses special headphones that can conduct sound through bone as well as through air. At the same time as listening to the music, the child does balance, coordination and visual exercises.
The program involves 30-60 minute sessions 2-5 times a week for up to six months. A trained practitioner can deliver the program in a clinic. You can also do it at home supervised by a practitioner, or you can use a combination of these two options.
The cost of the Integrated Listening Systems program depends on whether a practitioner runs the program at a clinic or you do it with your child at home. You can expect to pay about $120 per session at a clinic, and about $400 per month to do the supervised home program.
Does the Integrated Listening Systems program work?
A review of all types of auditory integration therapies found that there’s no evidence that sound therapies are effective as therapies for autism.
Who practises the Integrated Listening Systems program?
Parent education, training, support and involvement
If your child is using the Integrated Listening Systems program, your level of involvement will vary depending on how the program is delivered. If a trained practitioner works with your child at a clinic, your only involvement is taking your child to sessions. If you want to use the program at home, you’ll need to spend several hours a week using the program with your child.
Where can you find a practitioner?
If you’re interested in using this program, it’s a good idea to talk about it with your GP or one of the other professionals working with your child. You could also talk about it with your NDIA planner, NDIS early childhood early intervention (ECEI) coordinator or NDIS local area coordinator (LAC), if you have one.
There are many therapies for autism. They range from those based on behaviour and development to those based on medicine or alternative therapy. Our article on types of interventions for autistic children takes you through the main therapies, so you can better understand your child’s options.