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For the past 22 years, I have used The Listening Program® (TLP) personally and with my clients at the Center for Therapeutic Strategies. TLP is essential to improve focus, word retrieval, calm attention, energy, stamina, and increased vocal strength, among other benefits.
My personal experience using TLP enhanced my understanding of the value and benefits of music listening therapy coupled with bone conduction technology. These personal insights inform the applications and skill generalizations for my therapy plans.
“John,” a 28-year-old gentleman with Down Syndrome and a congenital sensory neural hearing loss, was my first experiment using TLP. The results exceeded my expectations! He exhibited increased eye contact, clarity in his verbal communication skills, and faster processing speed in responding to questions. He went from being unintelligible to being understood within a known context. It used to take him up to 20-minutes to respond to a question, but it dropped to only two or three minutes or less. After participating in a TLP clinic intensive, he could initiate predictable speech at his clerical office job and answer home phone calls from his family. None of that was possible before using TLP.
I routinely provide 10-12 day therapy intensives in my practice. My experience has shown that ten sessions in two weeks yield similar results comparable to 4-6 months of therapy coming once or twice a week.
Therapy intensives provide information through experience to parents and individuals regarding expected outcomes before investing in TLP System for home use. During these clinical intensives, I utilize other modalities such as rhythm to train sequencing and timing, imitative movements to activate mirror neurons, and calming techniques customized to each person.
As a speech pathologist, I believe that verbal communication skills addressed in a developmental hierarchy are foundational goals.
Executive function skills are only as good as the sensory input the individual can handle. Intensive therapy can impact executive function skills by training the auditory system with other modalities.
Multifaceted input and responses create the foundation for innate executive function skills to emerge. Listening to TLP, combined with clapping to a beat and answering verbal questions, simultaneously build higher brain performance.
When individuals purchase a TLP System, I provide training for customized equipment use and schedule implementation. When a client understands the design and purpose of their new system, it increases long-term compliance with better results.
Using TLP with the Waves air and bone conduction audio system improves the music listening therapy experience. There are four TLP Core Programs to provide a variety of options customized to the specific needs of individuals. The programs include TLP Spectrum, TLP Achieve, TLP Level One (with and without nature), and TLP inTime. These targeted protocols increase my confidence in adapting to each person’s unique needs. Initially, the listening experience increases self-awareness, attunement to the environment, and improved communication skills.
Here, at the Center for Therapeutic Strategies (CTS), TLP and other Advanced Brain’s family of products are implemented with children, teens, and adults from 15 months to 94 years of age to address communication conditions and deficits, such as:
TLP is a critical therapeutic modality to address selective mutism and stuttering. Both conditions improve significantly when the neural pathway of listening to oneself via bone conduction is activated. TLP with Waves allows pragmatic social skills to emerge by activating the brain to envision language as a “movie” inside the head. Monitoring your own speech via bone conduction develops a more effective and efficient way to improve listening and language processing skills.
Listening to yourself via air conduction can result in a slight timing delay. This auditory feedback delay of hearing yourself via air conduction can be anxiety-producing for some individuals and may manifest as selective mutism or fluency problems. We consistently observe improvements in communication skills for those with these issues as they hear themselves differently when using TLP and the Waves system.
I also enhance the Waves bone conduction headphones with a voice amplifier so the individual can listen to themselves via bone conduction. This experience allows them to process their speech more rapidly and provides a calming balance and grounding of the nervous system. Using Waves with voice amplification also improves social communication for individuals having Selective Mutism and dysfluencies. The Listening Program is my best tool to activate the nerve pathways needed for better fluency and greater confidence to speak in public.
Clients with volatile behaviors or who may be resistant to headphones might perform better with an open-air experience using music such as ABT’s Music for Babies or Sound Health Series to introduce them to this specialized music.
Individuals in feeding therapy accept non-preferred food more easily when Peaceful Baby plays in the background. Elementary and high school students experience a body-relaxed/mind-alert state to help them increase motivation to complete homework. Some schools have successfully implemented the Sound Health Series albums geared to learning and focus. I love relaying the positive research results on the Sound Health Series in classrooms to parents and educators.
A three-year-old with no language delays participated in a TLP intensive at his mother’s request to address his volatile behavior. His brother previously showed significant improvement in communication after using The Listening Program. After two weeks of daily music listening therapy using TLP, the younger brother had totally resolved his inappropriate behaviors. His mother thanked me for giving her the son she “always knew was there.” No longer was she his “battering ram.”
I have also integrated BrainBuilder into my therapy modalities as an interactive computer program. It targets auditory and visual sequential processing to improve focus, attention, short-term memory, and auditory discrimination for school-age children, teens, and adults. Individuals challenge their visual and auditory skills using BrainBuilder consistently. Their awareness of their environment, social interactions, daily work, and academic performance improves. Observable results in executive function skills impact competence resulting in greater confidence.
Sensory supportive activities pair well with The Listening Program, while targeting right or left-brain hemispheres for specific outcomes. Imitative movements, matching facial expressions, rhythm and pitch discrimination address needs with music in background to create calm, focused attention and social engagement. I find these customized combinations increase Executive Function Skills.
Executive Function skills impacted include:
Regardless of the presenting problem, my first goal for clients is to achieve a calm, focused attention that allows higher level of interpersonal engagement. Increased awareness of overall environment and spatial and body awareness opens the door for increased learning.
The Listening Program is combined with other therapy modalities. These include:
Activities that stimulate the right brain hemisphere are useful for calming, visualization of narratives, understanding causal relationships, increased comprehension, and making predictions.
Imitation skills support right brain activation by building mirror neurons for emerging speech. Left-sided activities target right-brain performance are used for individuals with sensory processing deficits. Right brain also allows thinking in pictures, calmer focus, drawing conclusions, making predictions, understanding causal relationships, and increased comprehension of narratives. Each of these skills combined enhances pragmatic language skills for making relationship connections.
Left brain activities support higher focus, linear, organized thinking, and motor planning. Right-sided movement activities build clearer speech and integrate speech with body movements and control.
Individuals that benefit from left brain activation include:
I have found that TLP supports emotional and mental health. 58-year old “David” was above average intelligence, but came to me with severe depression, anxiety, and deficits in language processing and social pragmatics.
He had a history of chronic childhood ear infections and severe learning disabilities. He had pursued various therapies his whole life, including speech therapy and neurofeedback. He had never had auditory processing training. He used TLP as the core piece of his therapy program along with rhythm, memory, and phonemic awareness. After six months of clinical use, he used TLP Spectrum at home for an additional six months.
Now “David’s” anxiety and depression are easily managed, and he feels hopeful about his future.
I have also found BrainBuilder, a computer software program developed by ABT helps to improve memory skills. For David, his verbal/non-verbal pragmatic skills are more efficient and available to him in “real time.” He reported last month that he can now understand verbal presentations to groups, understand dialogue on television, follow conversations, and has an internal awareness of who he is. Socially, he feels more engaged and attuned to different personality types.
The Listening Program and other ABT products create higher brain performance for increased goal-directed behaviors known as executive function skills. Performance of executive function skills reflect the reliability and the quality of one’s processing skills.
Calm, focused attention is core to the awareness of speech and one’s environment and is also necessary for learning and meaningful, effortless communication. Efficient balanced auditory processing allows executive function skills to emerge with innate pragmatic verbal communication. Social pragmatic language emerges as a developmental skill when auditory and language processing improve.
My clients gain the skills they need with less time and effort using The Listening Program in combination with other time-proven therapy strategies.
Jane Shook, M.S., CCC, SLP
Jane is the Clinical Director and Owner of the Center for Therapeutic Strategies located in Dallas, Texas. Her therapeutic model addresses a variety of communication conditions, sensory processing, and executive function issues.
Over her 40-year career, Jane Shook has developed a myriad of unique cross-disciplinary treatments that combine the best approaches of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy that improve communication, executive function, and social awareness to manifest.
Jane’s home and practice are in Dallas, but she consults with families and professionals around the world. She is regarded as a top expert in the field and is a highly sought-after speaker.
“A wise teacher makes learning fun, even if it is hard work.” – Jane Shook
Jane Shook, M.S.CCC, SLP, D.PSc, has been a speech pathologist in private practice serving both children and adults for the past thirty years in the Dallas area.
She served for five years as founding member, secretary and president of S.I. Challenge, Inc., a not-for-profit agency serving families with sensory processing dysfunction.
Tags APD, auditory processing disorder, communication, Developmental Delays, down syndrome, Executive Function, Learning Differences, non-verbal, Processing Disorders, Social Engagement, Speech Delays, The Listening Program
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