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iLS Integrated Listening: Top 10 Parent Questions Answered-Reblogging our top post of 2014

by on October 14, 2013

TOP 10 QUESTIONS PARENTS ASK ABOUT iLs, answered by iLS Company  

1. AUDITORY & TACTILE SENSITIVITY: My son with autism has a severe emotional reaction to loud sounds. Also, he won’t wear headphones. Can iLs help?

One of the most consistent areas of success with iLs programs is reducing a child’s auditory and tactile sensitivity. We typically recommend beginning with the iLs Pillow at home prior to beginning a program involving headphones. De-sensitization is best achieved in an emotionally secure environment, and listening to the Pillow in the security of one’s own home is an effective start to the process. Many children are able to begin using headphones within a week of using the iLs Pillow. Oftentimes, it is advisable to begin with shorter sessions and increase them gradually as the child’s sensitivity decreases. (For more information on the iLs Pillow, see

2. SEIZURES AND BI-POLAR DISORDER: My son’s seizures have been under control for years. Can he use iLs? I am on medication for a bi-polar condition. Can I use iLs?

In general, iLs does not recommend using our systems for those with bipolar and seizure history. We make this recommendation based on our belief that individuals with these medical histories should be carefully monitored by the appropriate professionals. In many cases, and only when certain criteria are met, designated portions of iLs programs may be utilized to address learning, attention, sensory or developmentally related therapeutic goals (rather than the seizure or bipolar condition itself). Following evaluation, iLs Associates may contact iLs for supervision if it appears the child is on a successful medication regimen and may benefit from iLs. Regarding use of the iLs Pillow, we know of no contraindications for those with seizure disorders or bipolar disorder.

3. ADHD & MEDS, ADHD & SLEEP: My son is on medication for ADHD. Will using iLs allow him to stop taking medication?

iLs defers to your son’s doctor who should discuss with you any change in medications. Many children are able to reduce dosage or stop taking meds after the successful completion of the iLs program, but it is not a given that this will occur. Our experience suggests it is very difficult to make generalizations about children with “ADHD.” We see excellent improvement in the areas of concentration and self-regulation in the vast majority of cases; however, we cannot make guarantees.

4. ADOPTED CHILDREN: Can iLs help adopted children who have sensory issues?

This is another area where iLs seems to have a unique effect. A large percentage of adopted children exhibit signs of sensory processing difficulties and sensory sensitivities. Especially when combined with occupational therapy (OT), iLs has a good chance of helping. With this population, we find the iLs Pillow is an effective way of de-sensitizing the child prior to beginning a regular, headphone-based iLs program. The greater the frequency of sessions, the better the results. If an in-clinic iLs program can only be arranged once a week, we recommend a supplementary home program to achieve a frequency level of 3-5 sessions per week.

5. READING: How does iLs improve reading?

The adage “we read with our ears” holds much truth, but is often ignored in reading programs. Decoding and phonemic awareness require efficient processing and storage of auditory information. iLs trains the auditory pathways for efficiency and accuracy through repeated sessions of iLs’ unique multi-sensory input. The subcortical visual motor system has direct neural connections to the auditory and vestibular systems. All three of these systems must work together for proper balance, coordination, reading and sound localization. iLs programs activate the auditory and vestibular systems along with visual tracking and visual perception exercises. In fact, ocular motor improvement ranks as one of the consistently strongest areas of change resulting from iLs programs.

6. AUDITORY PROCESSING: Will iLs help with auditory processing disorder? My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, but now we think she might have APD. Is she a good candidate for iLs?

The statistics vary, but it is estimated that anywhere from 25-50% of those exhibiting ADHD-like symptoms actually have an auditory processing problem. Based on 40 years of practice, iLs’ Clinical Director, Ron Minson, MD, suggests the numbers are closer to 40%. One of iLs’ most frequently reported areas of improvement is auditory processing (as measured by auditory processing assessments – see The answer to the above question is a resounding, “Yes”; iLs programs stand a very good chance of helping your daughter. The iLs Reading/Auditory Processing program specifically addresses auditory processing goals by focusing on the mid-range frequencies of the English language. This is often combined with iLs’ Interactive Language program (ILP), a fun program which involves speaking into a microphone and hearing one’s own voice through air/bone conduction headphones. The ILP provides a means of addressing targeted auditory processing skills such as auditory figure ground, filtered words, repeating words and dichotic listening. When employed by speech therapists, the ILP is typically used as an integral component of speech therapy (see

7. HOME VS. CLINIC: I live two hours from the nearest iLs-trained therapist. Can I do an iLs program at home?

If given a choice, it is almost always best to work with a professional. iLs is a neuroplasticity-based therapy, which is to say that, with a certain level of repetition and proper execution it can effectively change the brain. iLs has a provider locator on our web site (, or you can contact us and we will help you locate a suitable professional. A growing trend, one we wholeheartedly endorse, is the combined clinic/home program. This brings together the best of both worlds – clinician guidance/expertise with the recommended 3-5 sessions each week.  iLs has a Home Rental Program, which makes it possible for a home user to rent equipment from iLs if, and only if, they are working with an iLs certified professional.

8. AUTISM: Can iLs help improve stimming, eye-contact, hypersensitive hearing, social skills or learning abilities in my child with autism?

iLs has been shown to improve many symptoms commonly accompanying children with autism.  We suggest you review the results of The Spiral Foundation’s formal survey polling iLs trained therapists on their experience using iLs with 1300 children with autism.  The results of this survey can be found on our website ( along with a research study which has been submitted for publication. Results of the survey and research study showed iLs to be significantly effective in the areas of sensory processing, attention, hypersensitivity, social skills and reduction of autism-like behaviors.

9. BEHAVIORAL THERAPY AND iLs: My children have ABA programs in their school for autism. Do any ABA providers or schools offer iLs?

Yes, iLs is used with behavioral and relationship-based approaches, such as ABA, DIR and RDI.  They are natural complements in that iLs takes a physiological approach while the others are more psychologically based. Importantly, iLs can be done simultaneously with other therapies and is able to provide a calming influence, which makes behavioral and relationship-based approaches easier to implement. As one ABA therapist, who now combines iLs with ABA, puts it:  “My ‘hour of therapy’ used to be 15 minutes of therapy and 45 minutes of struggle; now it’s really an hour of therapy!” She’s referring to the short-term effect of iLs; the long-term effects are more profound and are also mentioned in her videotaped interview (

10. SPORTS: My son just said he did a new move on his skateboard he was never able to do before. Do you think that could be from iLs?

It’s always hard to tell natural maturation from therapeutic results. iLs combines auditory, vestibular, visual, proprioceptive, core strengthening, hand-eye coordination and inter-hemispheric stimulation. In addition, it requires the brain to become good at processing these inputs AT THE SAME TIME. It is very common for athletes who complete an iLs program to remark on improved balance and body control, peripheral vision, mental processing, hand-eye coordination, concentration, etc… The sports most often referred to are: golf, soccer, baseball, tennis and volleyball.


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  1. Reblogged this on mosaicchildrenstherapy and commented:

    Reblogging our top post from 2014. iLS Integrated Listening: Top 10 Parent Questions Answered.

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  1. 2013 Year In Review For MOSAIC Children’s Therapy…..Much More To Come In 2014 | mosaicchildrenstherapy

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