Use of Acoustically Modified Music to Reduce Auditory Hypersensitivity in Children
Background: Some children cannot tolerate sounds so their systems “shut down” and stop taking in what they hear, or they fight not to listen or run away from listening situations. Research has demonstrated that the underlying problem is not with the children’s auditory systems, but with the connections between the auditory system (listening) and the emotional system leading the children to have over sensitivities to sound and respond with negative emotional reactions when listening1,2.
One treatment found effective in helping children with hypersensitive hearing is the use of specially recorded and acoustically modified music and sound, such as found in The Listening Program® (TLP)3. Following a regiment of daily listening to this music, research has demonstrated significant improvements in listening (called auditory processing) and educational performance as noted by greater focusing and listening in the classroom, improvements in educational performance on standardized measures, and greater participation in educational activities4,5.
Objective: The purpose of this paper is to discuss TLP describing some of the acoustic methods used to enhance the sound to make it therapeutic for listening.
Methods: What specific music was chosen and why that music is used is discussed. An overview of the material and equipment used in TLP training is presented. To demonstrate the effectiveness of TLP training, research completed on children who went through such training is presented as well.
Results: Review of the research on the effectiveness of TLP demonstrates that the use of the specially recorded music, significant improvements can be found in children’s listening, auditory processing, and educational abilities.
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