Therapeutic Listening

Listening is an important function which is required in developing communication skills and is the key to effective communication. If one doesn’t listen effectively, messages can be easily misunderstood. It is the function of the brain as a whole that plays a role in stimulating the auditory system and in turn improves one’s ability to focus and discriminate between different sounds in the environment.

therapeutic listening

We at Reach, use Therapeutic Listening® as an addition to the on-going Sensory Integration therapies. It is used with the intention of aiding children facing challenges with listening, attention, communication along with Sensory processing dysfunctions. Therapists use it as an adjunct, with focus on improving social participation, communication, learning, academic performance, attention, and self-help skills.

Functional Outcomes of Therapeutic Listening:

It is highly effective and has shown improvement in-

  • Tactile sensitivity or defensiveness
  • Overall regulation of arousal levels and mood
  • Social response and interaction; with better “timing”
  • Awareness of background sounds, conversations and visual stimuli in the vicinity
  • Balance and postural control as demonstrated by the child
  • Bilateral coordination and fine motor control
  • Handwriting
  • Visual-motor integration
  • Oral sensitivity with increased exploration and acceptance of different temperature and textured food
  • Oral-motor articulation as demonstrated by improved means of communication such as greater range of non-verbal communication, improved/clearer articulation, greater emotional and verbal expression and improvements in pragmatic language

Our senses constantly receive, organize and filter incoming information in order to give an appropriate output in the form of movement, behavior, language and/or emotional response. For children with sensory processing difficulties (See SI), this process may be interrupted or altered. Children may experience limitations with postural alignment & control, balance, orientation and navigation through space around them.

These may be observed as difficulties with:

  • Ability to sit upright
  • Smooth eye hand coordination needed for fine motor tasks
  • Focusing on a page while reading a book or on the board during copy writing tasks
  • Responding to sounds in the vicinity, to people when called or may be hypersensitive to sounds
  • Moving through space efficiently
therapeutic listening
therapeutic listening

Therapeutic Listening has seen to benefit children of various ages who might exhibit:

  • Difficulties with attending to tasks presented
  • Communication difficulties
  • Transitional difficulties
  • Postural insecurity (fear of heights, playing with playground equipment)
  • Abnormal responses to various sensory stimuli (sounds, touch, taste, pain)
  • Difficulties with sleep regulation
  • Challenges in visual motor skills and play skills
  • Poor praxis and motor planning skills
  • Poor frustration tolerance
  • Inability to maintain the ‘just right’ arousal levels
  • Difficulty responding to sounds and verbal directions