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Imagine watching your child struggle with medical issues since the day they were born, resulting in delayed development, difficulty focusing, and challenges with communication. This was the reality for Lacey and her son Lance. But everything changed when their Occupational Therapist introduced them to The Listening Program® (TLP) – a revolutionary music-based therapy that helps rewire the brain. Lance began using TLP at age five and continues listening to it a decade later. Lacey is now a firm believer in its transformative power and wants to share her story with others.
Lance’s entrance into the world was anything but smooth sailing. From the moment he took his first breath, he began experiencing seizures and was diagnosed with encephalitis, a rare and dangerous inflammation of the brain.
The first month of Lance’s life was a blur of hospital visits, tests, and medication. His tiny body was put through more than most adults could handle, and his family watched helplessly as he struggled to cling to life. It was a traumatic and stressful time for everyone involved, and the weight of uncertainty hung heavy over their heads.
But Lance was a fighter, and he battled his way through those first few weeks of life. However, his struggles were far from over. As he grew and developed, it became clear that he was not hitting the milestones that other children his age were achieving. Crawling, walking, talking, and potty training all came much later than they should have, and his parents were left feeling helpless and worried once again.
Despite their concerns, they pushed forward, hoping Lance would eventually catch up to his peers. But by the time he was old enough to start kindergarten, it became clear that something was still not quite right. His mom, Lacey, knew deep down that her son’s delays were more than just a phase or a slow start. It was a heartbreaking realization, but it also spurred her into action to find out what was going on with her precious little boy.
Lance was a ball of energy from the moment he woke up until the time he went to bed. When he started kindergarten, his teacher was completely taken aback by his behavior. He was all over the place, jumping on desks and running around the classroom. She simply couldn’t handle him, and it became clear that something needed to be done.
Academically, Lance was showing some delays, but they weren’t taken too seriously at first. After all, he was just in kindergarten. But when it came to drawing and coloring, he simply couldn’t keep up with the other kids his age. His fine motor skills were lacking, and when given a crayon, he would just scribble aimlessly with no clear shapes or anything to be distinguished. It was obvious that he wasn’t ready to start creating or tracing letters, so after just two weeks in kindergarten, he was taken out and placed back in preschool.
Lacey, Lance’s mom, was desperate for help. She knew that her son was capable of so much more, but she didn’t know how to help him. That’s when she discovered an Occupational Therapist who specialized in fine motor skills. But as it turned out, this OT’s help would go beyond just that. She was a certified provider of The Listening Program, a cutting-edge treatment that uses music to rewire neural networks in the brain, helping to improve focus, communication, and overall well-being.
It was a risky investment for Lacey and her young family. The financial and time commitments were significant, but she knew it was worth a shot. Looking back, she says it was the best investment they ever made. The Listening Program worked wonders for Lance, and he made significant progress in a short amount of time. He was able to focus better, communicate more clearly, and feel more at ease on a daily basis. It was a game-changer for him and his family, and they would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
When Lance first started The Listening Program, it was clear that the program was a bit too much for him to handle. The first two weeks were intense, and Lacey noticed that her son struggled to keep up with the daily listening time. She turned to his Occupational Therapist (OT) for help, who suggested they adjust Lance’s listening time to 15 minutes daily. This small change made a world of difference, and soon, Lance began to progress incrementally.
Lacey was overjoyed when she saw her son begin to color within the lines of a coloring book, something he had never been able to do before. For Lacey, it was a huge difference, knowing how hard Lance had worked to get to that point.
As he continued to listen, she noticed a significant improvement in his communication skills. Halfway through the first program, Lacey asked him, “What do you want to do for your birthday?” To her surprise, he responded directly! It was a significant milestone for Lance, and it was like his mind had been cleared up. Lacey recalls, “It was a night and day difference. Until then, I hadn’t ever had an actual conversation with him. He could understand me but wouldn’t reply directly to my questions. I communicated mostly through directives, telling him what to or not to do, knowing he couldn’t answer me.”
Lacey wasn’t the only one who noticed the changes in Lance. His OT also observed that he made gains much faster and more prominently than other clients. Lacey attributes much of his progress to how she integrated the program into their weekday routine. As a busy mom with two elementary-aged kids, she didn’t have much extra time on her hands.
Lacey recalls, “I was so desperate to help him, so I was very rigid with his listening schedule. We were 100% on point with his schedule because I felt this was our only hope for meaningful change.” Lacey knew that creating a positive and enjoyable environment for her son, Lance, to listen to TLP was important. She made it fun by incorporating quiet toys that he loved, which made him look forward to his daily listening time.
What she didn’t expect was that her older son would soon ask to join in on the fun. Since she had invested in the system and would have it forever, she figured having him listen to TLP wouldn’t hurt. Even though her older son didn’t have a diagnosis, his TLP time became enjoyable for him and very beneficial.
“I saw a huge improvement in his schoolwork while we did TLP with him. He wasn’t behind when he started, but I noticed he could focus better, care more, and take his work seriously. It was such a drastic change that I just decided to keep doing it.”
After Lance completed the first few listening cycles, he reached a point of functioning well with his peers, at home, and in his daily life. Over the past ten years, he has completed about one cycle each year. Lacey notes that they all know when he needs to start it again. When his focus starts to wane, or when his emotions seem less regulated, they all know it’s time to do another round, and without fail, they see the benefits each time.
“Lance has been diagnosed with ADHD, but when he does TLP, his mentality is different. He remembers better, has more clarity, and can follow and remember directions. It makes a significant difference!”
Seeing the incredible improvement in Lance and his brother, she knew she had found something special. Lacey has continued to use TLP in her home with her other five children, including her daughter with high-functioning autism.
With just 15 minutes of weekday listening, Lacey has witnessed significant benefits in her children’s academic, emotional, and social needs. And it’s not just her children who have benefited – Lacey has also found more clarity in her mind when she makes time for TLP.
The effects of TLP were not limited to Lacey’s immediate family, as she saw firsthand when her grandmother had a stroke and had difficulty speaking and walking. Lacey knew TLP could help, and her grandmother gradually made progress, even being able to play the piano again. Lacey recalls, “It was easier stuff than she had played before, but it showed that her mind and body were improving after suffering a stroke.”
“I am so appreciative of ABT for creating this incredible program. I wrote a letter to the company saying, ‘Thank you, you saved my son.’” Even ten years later, she sees the way TLP has improved the lives of her loved ones and will continue to use it to help in ways she wouldn’t have ever imagined. It’s created a culture of appreciating the power of music in her home.
After talking to her kids about contributing to this article, Lance, now 16, decided he wanted to do another round of TLP, knowing that he enjoys it and the benefits he sees when he does it are more than worth his time.
Thank you, ABT and all those who’ve made this program! You’ve saved my son and improved my family’s life in a very tangible way.
– Lacey Burrows
Through her own experiences and those of her loved ones, Lacey has seen the transformative power of TLP in promoting neuroplasticity and helping people live life to the fullest. It’s a powerful reminder that with the right tools and mindset, anything is possible.
Tags Brain training through music, Emotional and social benefits of music therapy, Enhancing speech with music, Learning through music, Motor skills development through music, Music therapy for memory improvement, TLP Success Story
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