Therapy begins formally and informally, before meeting with the occupational therapist. We begun some tactics to attempt to assist Josiah with the issues he was having. The main priority is in the morning we we tried to eliminate background noise and distractions. Along with the no nag tactic, Scott has been taking Josiah to another area of the room during the story time to help him not be overwhelmed. Recently we were given a trampoline and we found that if we encouraged him to jump on the trampoline before we did a stressful activity such as going shopping it did seem to help a little.
In regards to the formal therapy side of things, Josiah has been put on a program called Listening Therapy, the idea is that listening to cd's that expose the ears to sounds that naturally would irritate a child with auditory sensitivity. Apparently it can retrain the ears and strengthen the muscles in the ear to tolerate sounds that previously were a distraction or could cause a meltdown. These cd's also have many other reported effects of treatment
The program works like this Josiah listens to a cd for 30 (we started at 15 mins and increased by five minutes each day) minutes twice a day for two weeks, the music is supposed to be background noise while he carries out the normal activities that he partakes in. With the cd we were given a cd player which I shuddered to think how in danger it would be with a four year old. So we purchased a cheap mp3 player and loaded the cd's onto this. The only issue we found with this is that sometimes the batteries on the mp3 player may need charging frequently.
While reading there is some information to say that mp3 players can distort the sound of thecd's, the frequency range needs to be from 20,000hz-20,000khz, so I checked the mp3 player it plays 20khz max and the headphones only process 30khz so I am going to ask someone who knows if that makes a huge difference.
So far we are listening to ease #1, the side effects have been numerous. Mostly a response afterwards WHAT YOU SAID? I CAN'T HEAR YOU? When you are right in front of his face, hard not to laugh and hard not to worry. I could not tell you of what results may be, but I know for the first little while it actually causes disruption. In the next post I will hopefully have something of interest to report.
If you think you would like some more information please check out these websites:
Ease these are the cd's we are using. Please check out also the frequently asked questions, I found this particularly helpful especially the section on mp3's and ipod's.
Sensational Kids this has a section on the cd's and a little information there are some good links too. The headphones pictured on this site, the larger ones are the ones we are using.
Vital Links this website includes information on Sheila Frick who is one of the developers of Listening Therapy. Her training for therapists is called Training for the Whole Body