The Talcott Center offers Integrated Listening Systems ® as a part of our treatment modalities! iLs® is an innovative listening tool that combines auditory stimulation with movement, balance and visual motor activities. According to iLs, “The 3 systems are vital to our ability to learn, pay attention, process information, and coordinate movement. As these 3 systems are so interrelated, ‘exercising’ them simultaneously is a holistic approach which requires the brain to become better at integrating multi-sensory information. We are essentially re-training the brain to become more efficient and effective, and in the process strengthening neural connections to improve performance.”

Who can benefit?

Those who are experiencing difficulty with:

  1. Attention and focus
  2. Academic performance
  3. Pitch discrimination/phonemic awareness
  4. Self esteem
  5. Alertness, focus, energy
  6. Coordination and motor skills

What makes iLs ® unique from other listening programs?

While there are a number of listening programs out there, the psychoacoustic techniques utilized with iLs® increase the efficacy of its program. In fact, iLs® is the only program that integrates a bone conduction system. The bone conduction component of iLs® provides unique stimulation to the auditory and vestibular system that no other program currently provides. The effectiveness of this specific modality, in conjunction with an intense sensory motor occupational therapy approach, has been shown to significantly improve a child’s ability to accurately and effectively process sensory information.

And best of all...NO MORE CDs!!!!!!

Psychoacoustic Techniques

(Taken, with permission, from the Integrated Listening Services website)

Bone conduction: Most of us are not aware of it, but we hear sounds in 2 ways – through air conduction and bone conduction. The odd sensation of hearing our own voice on a recording and not recognizing it is because on the recording we only hear the air conducted sound of our voice. When we speak, we hear our voice through both air and bone conduction (which is why when we go to an audiologist to have our hearing checked, a vibrator is placed on the mastoid bone right behind the ear to test our bone conduction response).

Lower frequencies in particular lend themselves to conduction by bone. These frequencies seem to have a very positive effect on our vestibular function. The process is as natural and safe as listening to a church choir or talented baritone voice, yet yields significant results with iLs protocols.

Frequency Filtration: Based partly on the theory that those who can hear more of the auditory spectrum have an advantage in learning, iLs programs employ gradually increasing filtration levels. By filtering, or letting only certain frequencies through, we are able to selectively train parts of a client’s auditory spectrum, improving learning-related abilities such as pitch discrimination (selectivity), sound decoding, and auditory memory.

Gating: The muscles of the inner ear have as one of their functions the job of screening out unwanted sounds. iLs gating separates music into 2 channels, alternating (or “gating”) them, with one channel boosting high frequencies and the other channel boosting low frequencies as the music volume increases and decreases. This causes the muscles in the middle ear to continuously tighten and relax, a process that strengthens them. As the muscles become stronger so does our ability for focused listening and paying attention.

Expressive Language Training: Audio/Vocal training is incorporated into the latter part of iLs programs once the auditory foundation is in place to train our speaking voices. The training involves reading aloud and repeating phrases into a microphone, and then listening to the play-back. This develops the auditory/vocal feedback loop: Is what I am saying matching what I intended to say? Am I speaking clearly? A rich speaking voice has the natural effect of continually energizing and stimulating the brain. The audio/vocal training is also used as a means of helping those who are left-ear dominant strengthen their right ear listening capability.

Why has The Talcott Center for Child Development integrated iLs® into their repertoire of services?

I have always been a strong advocate for research based modalities and treatment techniques. How could I not? As occupational, physical and speech therapists, we want to be able to provide our families with the highest quality of intervention that has shown to provide optimal results. The need to further my knowledge in order to provide families with greater results, led to my intensive mentorship with renown clinician and researcher Dr. Lucy Jane Miller in Colorado. For those of you, who aren’t aware of Dr. Miller and the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, please visit her website at spdfoundation.net. Dr. Miller and her team are currently conducting rigorous research into the cause, diagnosis and treatment of SPD. As part of her research, Dr. Miller has been investigating the effects of iLs® combined with intensive sensory motor based occupational therapy intervention. The results have been fantastic! 

At STAR Center our therapists use iLs for a few key reasons: it can be customized to each individual’s needs, the bone conduction delivery is a wonderful vestibular supplement, and the quality of the music is remarkable…. We have seen tremendous developmental growth spurts using iLs in combination with OT. iLs combined with OT seems to accelerate or “jump start” many of the children’s developmental changes. It also can have a calming effect on some children which makes it easier for our therapists to work with the child. In general, we see accelerated gains by adding iLs to OT… We use it with most of our children in clinic and we often send clients home with an iLs Focus system for continuation of therapy once their intensive short-term program is complete. - Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR/L, author of Sensational Kids, Founder of SPD Foundation.

The Talcott Center is dedicated in providing the best services for your child to facilitate optimal growth and development. I feel strongly that this modality assist in filling in the gap for many of our clients. 

What's New at The Center?

New Social Skills Programs!
Learn More >

We are now in-network with Harvard Pilgrim. Learn More >

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