Music is known to be therapeutic. This is why people listen to it irrespective of their mood. Music is played at parties because it can be celebratory. At the same time, it is played in funerals because it uplifts those in a sombre mood. Listening therapy is an integral part of occupational therapy and is helpful to children experiencing auditory processing challenges.
The Therapeutic listening program helps to keep children energized, and at the same time, helps to train their bodies to recognize calmness. The likely outcome is children will learn how to get to their happy place. Before going for listening therapy, it is best to know what to expect.
The listening program requires commitment.
While listening therapy is tailored base on individual needs, it is an intense program. For most people, each session lasts 20-30 minutes. Depending on one’s therapist, two sessions may be recommended daily, seven days a week. Repetition is key in this therapy, so the intense program is designed to ensure it results in the desired change.
It is not cheap
The listening program involves using specific equipment, such as headphones, a CD player or an MP3 player. If the equipment is to be used by a child, you should anticipate that some of it will break. This is one factor that makes the program expensive. However, some of this equipment is under warranty, so if it gets spoilt within the period under warranty, at least you’ll get a replacement.
Some therapists have the equipment, but it is best to have your equipment. After all, you want to ensure your child gets listening therapy on demand because, over time, he will be turning to music to calm down.
The headphones are specific for listening therapy, so you cannot just pick any off the shelf. Ask the therapist for recommendations so that you can get the right ones. Regular headphones do not offer the range of frequencies that listening therapy headphones do. Without the right headphones, the listening program will not be effective.
Be ready for behaviour change.
When a child goes into therapy, the assumption that you will see a positive behaviour change. However, with listening therapy, new behaviour may emerge, but they are not always positive.
The theory behind the unexplained negative behaviour is the child quickly develops skills that he does not understand; neither does he know what to do with them. The outcome is frustration, which children demonstrate in bad behaviour.
Fortunately, this change will only be for a short time. Before long, the child will be more organized. It is, however, important that you are keen on the changes in your child. Sometimes, the problem is the type of music.
The listening program is not a one size fits all system. One kind of music may work on one child but disagree with another. Your child may react better when listening to a particular kind of music. Discuss the changes in behaviour with the therapist to determine if a change in music is necessary.
Listening therapy is often used in combination with other sensory integration therapy to enhance sensory stimulation. Like other therapies, it works on some people and doesn’t for others. This is why the listening program must be intense. It is the only way to tell if it is working or not.