New Research Article: The Listening Program Effective In Reducing Auditory Sensitivities In Children

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Yesterday our team at Advanced Brain Technologies announced the publication of a peer reviewed journal article that discusses the unique properties of the acoustically modified music of The Listening Program®. The article also includes a review of the research on the effectiveness in its use for significant improvements in children’s listening, auditory processing, educational abilities, and as treatment to reduce auditory hypersensitivity.

Published in Music and Medicine an interdisciplinary journal, the article Use of Acoustically Modified Music to Reduce Auditory Hypersensitivity in Children appears in Vol 11, No 1 (2019) is authored by Jay R. Lucker, Professor of Communication Sciences at Howard University and myself.

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 listening.

 

One treatment which is found effective in helping children with hypersensitive hearing feel safe and comfortable, is the use of specially recorded and acoustically modified music and sound, known as The Listening Program (TLP), which we produce at Advanced Brain Technologies. The recorded music and sounds are carefully chosen and systematically produced to enhance positive emotional and calming reactions during listening. The listening method uses specially recorded instrumental music. The music is acoustically modified to lead the child to react less negatively to sounds and, thus, reduces the child’s hypersensitivity while opening the auditory system to listen more effectively. The article provides a full description of this music listening therapy method which has been used successfully for 20 years.

Following a regiment of daily listening to the TLP music protocol for 15- 30 minutes through headphones, 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 activities.

The Listening Program offers a safe, enjoyable and effective solution for children and adults who exhibit hypersensitivities to sound including those on the autism spectrum, with sensory processing issues, concussions and more. This paper provides detailed information to help the reader understand how the music is created to have the specific effects it does, and to appreciate that TLP is more than music, and how this neuroscience-based music listening therapy uniquely stands apart from other audio-based methods.

The Listening Program is available exclusively through Advanced Brain Technologies and our international network of thousands of trained providers; occupational therapists, audiologists, physicians, speech and language pathologists, psychologists, other clinicians and educators in schools, hospitals, clinics, companies, the military and offering home-based interventions throughout the world. TLP programs are available for use on digital music players and as a subscription-based music streaming service for mobile devices.

Learn more about The Listening Program

Research abstract

Press release

 

 

 

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

The Music Instinct

I’m eager to watch The Music Instinct: Science and Song, a two-hour documentary on the science of music, which premieres tonight at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS.  Check your local listings. One of my favorite neuroscientists Daniel Levitin author of  This is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs is co-host and will be doing a live Q & A on Twitter @danlevitin during the broadcast. Use hashtag #musicinstinct in Twitter search to follow or join the conversation.

Although I have not yet seen the program I know it will be outstanding. Why? In part because my friend Don Campbell, author of  The Mozart Effect and nearly two dozen other books on the power of music was one of the first co-producers for two years. A decade in the making, The Music Instinct should prove to be a key resource for anyone interested in music and the brain.        

Yo Yo Ma plays Bach, Bobby McFerrin creates an improvised melody with his son Tyler, and the acclaimed percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who happens to be deaf, shares how she hears music through the vibrations in her body (bone conduction). There is so much more;  music and evolution, medicine, the brain, the physics of sounds, and interviews, need I say more?

I’ll be joining the conversation on Twitter @alexdoman. Hope to see you there!  Please share your thoughts here after you watch.