What is Therapeutic Listening?
Therapeutic Listening is an auditory treatment modality provided through specialized headphones using specially filtered and gated music to achieve goals such as improved self-regulation, spatial awareness, decreased tactile defensiveness, and improved attention. CD’s are carefully selected by the therapist to achieve specific goals and are changed at regular intervals.
Q: How often does my child “listen”?
A: Children listen to the music twice a day for thirty minutes. Each listening session should be separated by at least three hours, so it may be best to listen in the morning and the afternoon. It is best not to listen too close to bed time.
Q: What activities can my child do while “listening”?
A: Children can engage in their typical routines while listening, with the exception of watching TV and playing on the computer or with videogames. Listed below are some fun activities that provide strong input to the muscles and will maximize the calming effects of listening music:
1. “Bubble mountain”: Fill a container with soapy water and use a straw to blow bubbles over the top
2. Wheelbarrow walking
3. Crab walking (lie on back, pick up body with hands and feet, walk using hands and feet)
4. Play “Hide and Seek” under cushions or pillows
5. Jump off the couch and crash into pillows
6. Wall push-ups- place open hands, shoulder width apart, against the wall and push as hard as possible against the wall with both hands
7. Bounce on a “Hippity Hop” or large exercise ball
8. Play catch with a weighted ball (”medicine ball”)
9. Play with putty or Play-doh. Use cookie cutters to make shapes or play “hide and seek” with pennies or marbles.
10. Practice writing letters or numbers using different textures such as “Funny Foam”, shaving cream, Play-doh, finger paint, marshmallow fluff, chocolate pudding, etc.
Q: What can I do to keep my child’s headphones on while playing?
A: 1.Doing activities with both hands, such as playing with Play-doh, will naturally keep your child’s hands busy and prevent him/her from removing the headphones.
2. While engaged in active play:
a. Wear a stretchy headband over the headphones to keep them in place. Personalize it by decorating it together with your child.
b. Line the headphones with fabric to keep them from slipping off
3. To keep the CD player in tact during play, place a Tune Belt (www.tunebelt.com) around your child’s waist.
For more information about Therapeutic Listening, visit their website at www.vitallinks.net.
Blog written by: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR
Chaye Lamm Warburg, MA, OTR, Director POTS
January 25, 2010