"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The End of Our journey With Therapeutic Listening

In July we began a Therapeutic Listening program with Peanut.  We were not sure how it would help, if any but after some research learned it couldn't hurt him and so the only downside would be that we might spend some money on something that wouldn't help.  The possible benifits were countless and so we decided to take the plundge and give it a shot.

What is Therapeutic Listening?
Vital Links came out with a great video explaining Therapeutic Listening.  I have found this video to do a perfect job explaining Therapeutic Listening.

1. Find a Therapist: We first needed to find a therapist who was trained in Therapeutic Listening to run the program.  We are blessed to have an Easter Seals 30 minutes from our home who had trained providers available.  Their pricing was, in my opinion, very fair (insurance does not cover this therapy).  Peanut already goes to this facility for Occupational Therapy (OT)/Sensory Integration Therapy, and Speech Therapy so it was easy for us to start up the Therapeutic Listening Program.  Peanuts OT performed his initial evaluation and gave us our new CD's every 2 weeks.  She also used the Therapeutic Listening during his therapy sessions as well.
2. Purchase the equipment: In order to do Therapeutic Listening you need at least 2 (if not 3) pieces of equipment.  First you need a portable CD player, preferably with the "random" feature.  At first we bought a less expensive CD player and found it skipped way to easily.  We ended up going out and buying another CD player that wasn't as sensitive.  We then needed headphones.  In order to do the therapy correctly you need headphones that provide a particular quality of sound.  On the Vital Links website there is a link to purchace equipment.  The site is called Vital Sounds.  
There are two options for head phones.  The HD500A Sennheiser Headphones which cost $145.00 or the PRO-50 Pro-Luxe Headphones, which cost $65.00.  The HD500A Headphones are higher quality and include a 2 year warranty.  The PRO-50 Headphones will work for a Therapeutic Listening program, but only offer a 90 day warranty.  After speaking with the OT running our Therapeutic Listening Program, and reading about the experiences of others we decided to go with the HD500A headphones.  The therapist told us stories about how useful the warranty had been for past clients and how easy Vital Sounds made it to use the warranty when it was needed.  Knowing this made us feel better about buying the more expensive headphones because we know how destructive Peanut can be.  We decided we were not going to try to cut corners either.  If we were going to commit to this new therapy, then we were going to get the higher quality headphones to try to gain maximum benefit.
Finally, it was recommended to us to buy a Tune Belt CD Player Carrier.  We looked into buying a less expensive one elsewhere but after some research, we found that the carrier sold through Vital Sounds website was designed specifically for use with their headphones for a Therapeutic Listening Program and so we decided to get the case through Vital Sounds.  The carrier is not required to do the therapy,  but came in very handy when we wanted to do a session while playing outside or in the house.

The Therapy: 
I wrote a post about starting the Therapeutic Listening Therapy.  In it I talk about a couple of interesting behaviors we noticed in the first few weeks of therapy. You can read more about the start of the therapy HERE.   Other behaviors I noticed was an increase in his chewing needs throughout the day, and he became more sensitive to sounds.  As we progressed I noticed Peanut calm down a bit and by the end of our course of therapy Peanut was no longer pinning his sister down to the ground (Thank God!).  I have read from other parents that when their children listened to the music that it would calm them down and almost put them in a trance.  I saw that happen with Peanut sporadically, but not often.  When it did happen I enjoyed every second of it (Peanut can be a very energetic child to say the least!).  He seemed to really seemed to enjoy the music and would sometimes sing along with the CD.  At least once a week he would request the music, sometimes when he was upset.  When we embarked on this adventure I wasn't sure how well it was going to go and I was pleasantly surprised at how well he adjusted to the new therapy.

The Results:
So what were the results of doing this therapy?  For us personally, I believe it was worth every penny.  The supervising OT did a test prior to our first day of Therapeutic Listening, an then the same test was done once we finished the program.  The testing showed:
  • Increased environmental exploration and awareness.
  • Improved gross motor coordination.
  • Improved expressive language skills.
  • Improved receptive language skills.
  • Improved social interaction/engagement.
  • Changes in emotional tone.
  • Increased independence.
  • Increased pretend play.
I agree with every single one of these improvements shown in the testing.  In 4 months time we saw all of these changes in our child.  We did not add any other new therapy's to his schedule while using the Therapeutic Listening Program.  We did continue his OT, Speech, Music therapy and ABA which he has been doing for almost 2 years now.  We are essentially done the therapy unless Peanut is found to need a "tune up" .  In that case, we will do a 2 week course of listening to help him with whatever may be his struggle.
All in all I can say I loved this therapy.  It could get daunting every now and then trying to get in two, 30 minute sessions a day in but once we started to see changes in Peanut, it was worth it to us.  We are very happy with the program and happy to recommend it to other families.  For more information about Therapeutic Listening visit the Vital Links website at: www.vitallinks.net

God Bless,
Mommy Provost

(This post is meant as informative review of a service received.  My Angels and Autism is in NO way affiliated, employed, paid or reimbursed by Vital Links or their affiliates in any way.  Compensation was NOT received for this review.  This is just a mothers honest opinion.  Thank-you)


  1. I have been interested in Therapeutic listening for my son. He is high functioning, but I think it would help a lot. Do you mind my asking how much the therapy cost?

  2. Not at all. It was $145.00 for the head phones, the CD player we bought (the nicer one) was about $50.00 I think, the belt was $20.00. The therapy where we went (I'm sure it depends on location) was $75.00 for the initial evaluation and then a $25/month CD rental fee. Our therapy lasted approx. 4 months so it was $175.00 total. Honestly it's not a bad price and I can spend that on supplements and Naturopath visits. We saved up a bit ahead of time too to soften the financial blow. I hope this helps!

  3. Thank you! I was searching for reviews on the therapeutic listening program and found your blog. My 9yo son was diagnosed with SPD, primarily auditory issues. His therapist is suggesting we start this program and I'm really encouraged by your son's experience.

  4. Your welcome! I have been speaking with Vital Links and they are going to write a guest post soon for the blog. Stay tuned!

  5. I tried this listening program.But instead of improving my child situation his condition is getting worse.He was much better before we start the program.This program was not good for my son at all.his sensory problems increase(specially auditory).this program disturb our life

    1. I'm sorry to hear you had this experience with your child. My first thought is how was the program done? Was it under supervision of a trained OT? What conditions was it performed under? Where there any other recent changes in diet, therapy or life that could have contributed to the issues? Also, when he program was found to cause issues, was it modified to a different protocol? Although this program works great with many children, it is not a "cure all" for every child. Every child is different and have different needs. God Bless.

  6. Can you please share which CD player you used? I am looking for one and can't figure out what's good enough... everything gets at least some negative reviews so I'm left completely befuddled. I was told anti-skip is a good idea, and I know Sony is a good brand for audio, but then reviews on Amazon say that Sony's anti-skip feature distorts the sound. On the other hand, other brands are just completely junkier. So I am at a loss!

    1. We bought a Sony CD Walkman. Here is the link to it through their site (I bet you could find it less expensive online elsewhere) http://m.store.sony.com/products/27-DEJ011

  7. we were told to use a micro SD player with the headset we got ours on amazon.