Results of Pilot Study Published in Journal Music and Medicine Reveal The Listening Program Helps Children With Down Syndrome Improve Speech Skills

Advanced Brain Technologies today announced results demonstrating that a modified music program followed for ten weeks, improved speech skills in children with Down syndrome. The results of the study, conducted in Nottingham, United Kingdom, were published Monday, in an early online before print version of the article scheduled to appear in the journal Music and Medicine(i).

It is well documented that children with Down syndrome have difficulty with hearing, auditory processing and language development. This pilot study was undertaken to trial tests and questionnaires for suitability for use with the children, to determine if any benefit could be established from the use of The Listening Program® as a prelude to a more formal study. The Listening Program was developed by Advanced Brain Technologies (ABT) as a modified music method to improve auditory processing, self regulation and brain performance.

Nine children between the ages of 5 and 12 years took part, acting as their own controls. They used The Listening Program over a 10-week period. Each child listened to acoustically modified music, through headphones, for two 15-minute sessions, 5 days a week, for 10 weeks. A battery of tests recommended by specialists in speech and language and human communication, were performed before and after intervention. In addition, questionnaires were completed at the end by parents and teachers involved.

Although the children only completed half the recommended twenty week protocol due to time constraints, all experienced positive changes in speech and listening. Some made improvements in a number of additional areas. These positive findings are consistent with previous research studies using The Listening Program with children with learning difficulties, auditory processing disorder, and autism; among other issues.  

“There is a great need to have a cost-effective, non-invasive approach to improving speech and language skills in people with Down syndrome,” said Alex Doman, founder and CEO of Advanced Brain Technologies.  “While further study into the impact of The Listening Program is required for this purpose, the pilot study demonstrated this approach could be a very useful tool in improving communication in children with Down syndrome”.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development. It is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder, present in one of every 800 live births.  

(i)  Jeyes, G., Newton,C. Evaluation of The Listening Program in Assessing Auditory Processing and Speech Skills in Children with Down Syndrome. Music and Medicine August 2, 2010 doi: 10.1177/ 1943862110371809

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