Parents have long soothed their children using melody and rhythm. The site of baby in mother's arms being gently rocked and sung soft lullaby is a common reflection of early parenthood. But what happens once baby becomes toddler or child? Many forms of Music resources and Music Therapy are available to help children relax, calm and sleep. Today, I would like to explore one type of Music Therapy which the Occupational Therapists at Early Links are qualified to recommend and support a comprehensive program. This program has far-reaching beneÚts beyond sleep and relaxation. In fact this program has element to support self-regulation changes both upwards and downwards which also changing the speed of neural-processing pathways and/or creating entirely new pathways. The Therapeutic Listening Program (R) designed and distributed by Vital Links
The Therapeutic Listening program has a modified music protocol which must be monitored by an Occupational Therapist with additional training in the Protocol and also a Quickshifts option available using an iPhone App and downloadable music tracks that use bi-neural beat technology. Six (6) research papers have recently been published to support the use/effectiveness of the Therapeutic Listening Program in cases related to play skills, sensory processing and visual- motor delays - read more
Early Links CASE STUDY - *Little Billy* is 2.5 years old and newly diagnosed with ASD. He struggles with speech, communication, gross motor coordination, sensory-processing and self-regulation. He is currently receiving intensive ABA therapy at home, weekly Speech Therapy and receives Occupational Therapy monthly within a parent training model of practice. His parents reported that *Little Billy* was increasingly exhausted from his therapy routine and they were experiencing challenges trying to get him to settle at night before bed. *Little Billy* would become distressed when the bedtime routine would commense (no change in routine pre- post- starting intensive early intervention therapies). He would throw toys, scream, cry, become distressed and take over 2 hours to settle to sleep.
After explaining to his parents that the new learning he was gaining from his intensive therapies were also create fatigue in his self-regulation system which was already not functioning at optium ability, we trialed a Quiftshift music track before bed that night. The aim was to help *Little Billy* feel relaxed and to help calm/organise his brain functions which were undergoing enormous changes during the day.
To get a text message from his Mum that evening saying there was no tantrum and no struggle to get to bed would have been wonderful - but to get this message "he even initiated going to bed and walked there happily" ...blew me away!
And from all reports this was not a one night wonder - Each child and family are unique and individual results may vary when using a similar therapy program. Your unique therapy program should be designed in partnership with an Occupational Therapist and/or other health professionals and reviewed reguarly to monitor achievement