child music
20/01/2015 | Sensory

Therapeutic listening: Using music to improve communication & behaviour

The benefits of music have been known for ages. From relaxing to gentle, soothing music to dancing wildly to heavy metal anthems, most of us have found a time when music helped us feel better.

 

At Sensational Kids, we use Therapeutic Listening, a program of specifically designed music to help children with

  • Difficulties with attention and concentration
  • Sensory processing differences
  • Sensitivity to certain sounds, or difficulty concentrating in a busy noisy environment
  • Difficulties with communication and/or auditory processing
  • Emotional or behavioural challenges
  • Difficulty with daily activities, such as toileting or sleeping

 

What is Therapeutic Listening?

Therapeutic Listening is an evidence-based program, which when used in conjunction with sensory integration therapy, can help children with difficulties

 

How it works:

Therapeutic Listening programs use specifically designed music which causes the muscles in the middle ear to contract, helping to discriminate and modulate sound input. In addition, there are tiny bones in the middle ear that vibrate when sound is provided, stimulating the movement (vestibular) and hearing (auditory) sensory receptors in the inner ear. This sensory information is sent throughout the central nervous system causing a multitude of reactions.

There are four cranial nerves which are impacted by sound therapy, and travel from the inner ear to the brain and back to other parts of our body. These include the Facial nerve, Vagal nerve, Trigeminal nerve, and Vestibulocochlear nerve.

For example, the facial nerve innervates the muscles in the inner ear as well as the muscles of facial expression. So, when providing sound therapy you will also stimulate the facial nerve which can assist with the person’s ability to use facial expressions.

 

Who can benefit from Therapeutic Listening?

Therapeutic listening can benefit a wide variety of people, and when coupled with sensory integration therapy, it may assist with the following:

  • Difficulties with attention and concentration
  • Sensory processing differences
  • Sensitivity to certain sounds, or difficulty concentrating in a busy noisy environment
  • Difficulties with communication and/or auditory processing
  • Emotional or behavioural challenges
  • Difficulty with daily activities, such as toileting or sleeping

 

What it actually looks like..

The actual therapy is relatively easy. The program consists of listening to a series of music discs, chosen specifically to target the individuals goals for therapy, using specific headphones. Listening happens twice daily at home for 30 minutes, with at least a 3 hour break in between sessions. It is preferable if the person avoids screen time while doing their listening therapy.

If you would like more information around Therapeutic Listening, or how it could benefit your child, contact out admin team at Sensational Kids.

http://www.spdaustralia.com.au/about-sensory-processing-disorder/

 

Author:  Alicia Bellert, Occupational Therapist, Sensational Kids