Friday, April 18, 2008

More about Listening & Rhythm

I continue to be pleasantly surprised at the results of Therapeutic Listening (TL) in my practice. The kids get calmer, attention improves, meltdowns decrease and with that, comes real growth. One boy used the headphones for just 4 weeks, and then Interactive Metronome (IM) for another several weeks. Mom reports that he is calm (TL) and has confidence in himself (IM). I've noticed increaed postural control and motor planning, too. Unfortunately, not all children can use TL. Some children do not tolerate headphones or the music through them at all - whether this is due to actual hearing problems such as tinnitus (ringing in the ear) or perhaps a severe tactile issue isn't always clear with some of our non-verbal population.

Therapeutic Listening and Interactive Metronome have overlapping territory in the area of motor planning - although each product works in a unique way. There is rhythmic feedback with IM in which the person actively attempts to increase their rhythmic precision. (See my entry about this, or check out the IM site.) TL is a passive system in which the person receives modulated auditory stimulation through rhythm and music. The therapist can add active components to TL therapy in the form of sensory stimulation, play or exercise.

A third program I have checked into is Samonas. I'll devote a blog to this at some future date. It comes from Germany and is a very high quality listening program that would appeal to adults as well as to children. There are 5 levels of CDs offered. Levels 1-4 require direction from a trained therapist. An introductory set of CDs is available to the general public. The recorded music and nature sounds are gorgeous. I tried a level 1 CD for 15 minutes and felt some powerful broad effects that included auditory refinement, emotional release and energy. I was pleased with it. Samonas offers a series of Listening Programs for the general public specifically aimed at areas including emotional, social, communication, organization, motor planning, etc. The Samonas web site can be very confusing. You can find web-based training programs for professionals at this location. They will be offering live training classes in the fall in New York and Florida. I'll write more when I get the details.

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