6.1.1 When to Recommend Sound Therapy for Children
When should Sound Therapy be recommended for learning support?
As auditory processing is a component of nearly all learning difficulties, Sound Therapy should be the first intervention for any learning difficulty.
- To assist auditory processing, particularly for those children who have a learning delay.
- For back ground noise discrimination problems and poor concentration.
- For a child who is struggling socially and or academically.
- For children diagnosed with either an auditory, or visual learning difficulty.
- For children with ADHD or ADHD/ADD type symptoms.
- For children with sensory processing difficulty.
- For children with autistic spectrum disorder.
- For children with a genetic syndrome which affects their development and communication.
For any child, including average or gifted children, to help enhance their language, learning and development.Parents who have a learning disabled child will not know initially what the problem is and will be seeking information from doctors, teachers and friends. Often they will be told that their child is within normal range, and to just wait and see how the child develops. One of the first tests that may be offered is a hearing test. A child may well prove to have normal hearing, although they have difficulty with auditory processing or short term memory.The parents may then find themselves not knowing where to turn. In addition they may go through an extensive maze of educational and developmental specialists, which involves many appointments and expensive tests, in order to get a diagnosis.
A diagnosis is important so that they can get specific treatment. However, even if they don’t have a diagnosis, if the parents or teachers have concern, it can be very helpful to start the child on Sound Therapy. There is no need to wait for a diagnosis or to try other things first. In fact it is more beneficial to do Sound Therapy first because it is a general treatment that will help most types of learning and developmental difficulties. It is also affordable, convenient and very easy to fit into the child’s routine.
How does it relate to other learning interventions?
Sound Therapy should be used first, before remedial instruction. “Fix brain before applying learning.”
Sound Therapy works on the fundamental information processing pathways and will optimise brain response to all learning inputs.
It will help to reduce stress and confusion which may be affecting learning.
It will enhance memory.
It will assist concentration and sensory processing, making any other learning interventions more effective.
For this reason it is useful to begin Sound Therapy as the first point of intervention. Once some of the fundamental auditory processing pathways in the brain have been awakened and enhanced, there is a much greater chance that the child will benefit from other forms of help such as tutoring or speech therapy.
When should it be offered for delayed learning?
Early intervention is key to success. Every week is crucial in the early years, so the sooner the program is commenced, the better it is for the child.
- Sound Therapy should be introduced as soon as possible after a problem is observed.
- When a child is disrupting classroom activities.
- When a child is falling behind academically.
It can be used in class or at home during homework, sleep or other quiet times.
Usually the mother or primary carer will notice if a child has delayed learning. Mothers compare their child to others and will notice if there is a difference with their peers.
Parents will report things like the child having delayed speech or trouble with pronunciation. The child may have difficulty with short term memory, and be unable to remember two or more instructions at once. They may be falling behind in school and unable to learn reading or other tasks.
Often learning difficulties will also affect a child’s social relationships. They will have trouble making friends, may be prone to temper tantrums, or may be poorly coordinated or clumsy.
Because the ear is an organ of balance and orientation, our physical coordination is also related to ear function.
When a child has difficulty with language and communication they will become frustrated, may have trouble forming relationships, and so bad behaviour or even depression and anxiety may be the result.
Sound Therapy can assist in all of these areas, and often makes a significant difference to a child’s social wellbeing as well as school performance.