Category Archives: Listening Therapies

Integrated Listening Systems or Therapeutic Listening to support children with sensory processing difficulties to improve motor skills, sensory regulation, concentration and attention, and learning.

Integrated Listening Systems therapy at ot4kids

I use Integrated Listening Systems (iLS) Therapy to improve children’s sensory processing, motor skills development, auditory processing, attention and regulation.

I have found that iLS and Occupational Therapy together make a good pair and help children progress faster.  It is also effective as part of a home program for many children.

iLS is unique in providing bone conduction in the headphones.  This is highly beneficial as it offers additional vestibular (movement) input to the child working on a neurophysiological level.


iLS is built upon the techniques and theories developed by Alfred Tomatis, M.D., and has been refined by Dr. Ron Minson over many years.  It is based upon the theory of neuroplasticity, strengthening and creating neuronal maps that support sensory processing, movement, attention and learning.  iLS is a sound-based multi-sensory program that combines movement, visual and auditory input.


Classical music has been digitally manipulated to specific frequencies and vibrations that stimulate various parts of the brain to improve the neurological foundation for sensory integration.

Music is delivered via a portable iPod through specially designed headphones with bone conduction (a small transducer).  The bone conduction unit is inside the top of the headphones and provides specific vestibular and auditory stimulation.

In my practice, after I assess a child I determine whether iLS will benefit their program.  We then create an individualized listening program along with sensory, movement, visual and auditory exercises based on the child’s goals.  Generally, the program is administered approximately 3-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes.  For the first 15-20 minutes, the child participates in their home program exercises and for the remainder of the program, they either relax or complete fun projects.  I either use iLS during the child’s treatment sessions or offer units for rental for intensive home programs.


Sensory processing, body and spatial awareness, motor skills coordination

Motor Planning, sequencing

Attention and following directions

Auditory Processing, sound sensitivity

Visual Motor Skills


Sensory regulation, calming, sleep

iLS can be used for children who have various diagnoses including:

Sensory Processing Disorder

Autism, Asperger’s syndrome


Learning difficulties


Neurodevelopmental delays



Research and case studies:

Free parent webinars:

Online videos and talks by Dr. Ron Minson about iLS:–ils

Study by the Spiral Foundation regarding the effectiveness of home-based iLS therapy:

How iLS influences sensory processing

Parents’ account of using iLS and music therapy with their child:

Tips on introducing headphones to a sensitive child:

Auditory Processing Disorder

Here is a 3-part series of short videos by “A Place of Our Own” regarding Auditory Processing Disorder. I think it’s great how they emphasize the importance of having a multidisciplinary team working together, as well as having a Sensory Diet.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

If you prefer, you can read this transcript:

Pay Attention! ADHD or Auditory Processing Difficulties?

I just found an interesting article about Rosie O’Donnell and her son who has an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). APD is when an individual’s brain has difficulty identifying, filtering, and interpreting sounds.  Children with APD typically have difficulty attending, following directions, having conversations, and can also be sensitive to loud sounds and large busier group settings.  I have often treated children who are mislabeled as having ADHD or ‘attention problems’ due to these difficulties whereas they really have Auditory Processing problems amongst other Sensory Processing difficulties.
At schools, children are often told to ‘pay attention,’ ‘listen,’ or ‘be a good listener’ however in reality these children are listening…..they just struggle to hear and make sense of auditory information ‘right.’ Here is an interesting post by a young woman of ‘What it’s like to have an Auditory Processing Disorder?’
Raising awareness about APD with teachers, parents, and medical professionals is key so that these children can get the right support versus being treated incorrectly or labeled as having a behavioural problem. Therapy using a Sensory Integration approach combined with an Auditory Training program (e.g. Therapeutic Listening, Listening Program, etc) have been helpful for many children with APD.

Mozart Helping Premature Babies Gain Weight!

Music has a powerful effect on most of us. I know this because I wrote a 200+ page thesis on the Therapeutic Use of Music. 🙂 There has also been lots of research about the scientific, neurologic and developmental benefits of Mozart including its effect on learning. Now, here is an interesting article from the Telegraph about an added benefit…….helping premature babies gain weight! Hope you like it too.