A continuation from yesterday, Getter ‘Better’ – Part 1
Auditory input is a continual challenge for many folks on the spectrum and their families. Loud noises, surprising noises, strange noises can (and often do) cause panic.
- Day 69 – Fans and Furnaces
- Day 70 –Rattle and Hum
- Day 188 – Getting Hairs Cut
- Day 238 – Do You Hear What I Hear
- Day 271 – Just Keep Swimming
No doubt, hearing is important business and can certainly make or break…well…just about anything. One method used to help manage these auditory differences is auditory therapy.
Auditory integration training (AIT) was introduced in France by Berard in 1982. (Sinha – see below). AIT was developed to help children deal with the auditory sensitivities that they experience.
Berard believe that it was these sensitivities that cause behavior and learning problems. He conducted plenty of research in understanding how different sounds waves and their corresponding sensitivities would cause the child to react – in both positive and negative waves.
During his research-based therapy children would listen to two half-hour session of music for 10 days straight. The idea was that the music was modified to ‘re-teach’ hearing. He had great success with this idea and actually claimed to be able to ‘cure’ children with autism.
Now, we know that there is not a cure – but these children may have retrained their brain to be able to deal with their surroundings in a more positive, productive way.
“In AIT, children are fitted with special hearing devices. These devices filter sounds, amplifying certain frequencies and “softening” the intensity of others. AIT providers claim this can correct abnormal ear dominance and help people hear, discriminate and remember speech sounds. This is similar to the way hearing aids work for people with hearing loss. (from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/alternative-therapies/auditory-training-therapy-what-it-is-and-how-it-works)
What does that mean exactly? It means that instead of associating a sound with something scary the sound became associated with something positive.
This type of treatment has had success stories and one of the programs that you can use at home is the b-Calm app. You may recall my excitement over the b-Calm headphone giveaway. Well there is also an app that you can purchase that does the same thing (essentially).
Now – I don’t generally ‘endorse’ products. Why? One thing that most caregivers understand is that something may work for one child, but not another. Which means I’m up for trying anything – and I am positive this would have worked for my Tucker. This app? It’s the real deal and closely follows the ideas of auditory therapy.
The other great part is that it’s $10 a month (for the full version, a ‘lite’ version is available for free). Think about it – $10 for peace…for your child and you for a full month. Then, if it doesn’t work for you – you can cancel the subscription.
The app is available is iOS only right now. Honestly, I don’t really know what that means except that you have to search for it in the app store on your iPhone or iPad.
Here is more about the app (directly from the app store).
b-Calm™ is an intervention and noise control tool designed to help children with sensory challenges and learning disabilities like Autism, ADHD, ADD and Down syndrome. Using the b-Calm™ app allows the individual to react positively to a noisy environment, keeping them calm so they don’t have to exit the environment.
By using audio tracks with specialized, noise-masking signals blended into live recordings, b-Calm™ technology provides an audio experience that will soothe the user while blocking unwanted sounds to improve focus.
b-Calm™ Benefits for Individuals-
- Noise that is distracting or stressful is blocked out, leading to a more relaxed atmosphere.
- Helps develop coping skills for a variety of situations
- Provides the ability to focus and concentrate while working independently or while in stressful situations
- Improvement in math comprehension and writing clarity
- Makes it easier to participate in group activities
- The ability to relax the mind through audio sedation, making it easier to overcome the challenges presented by the noisy environment.
b-Calm™ Benefits for Parents, Teachers & Caregivers
- Aids in controlling situation and limiting disruptive behavior
- Relieves stress
- Allows children opportunity to calm themselves
- Assists Special Education teachers in helping students be more productive in classroom environment
- Regular classroom teachers can balance needs of all children
Using AudioSedation™ audio tracks set to a loop, b-Calm™ technology is fitted to effectively help children with learning disabilities and sensory challenges in a variety of situations for as long as they need to use the program. The tracks are designed to limit stimulating materials found in classrooms, study halls, lunchrooms, gymnasiums, school buses and several other situations.
The free version of b-Calm™ and contains one track. Subscribe to the full version of the b-Calm™ App for the full complement of 15 tracks. The full version also contains a timer and allows you to browse in your device to perform other tasks while the b-Calm™ track continues to play to improve focus.
- Bus Ride: This track can be played when on the bus to and from school, or on a field trip when there is a lot of noise inside a tight space.
- Cafeteria: When other children are busy talking and yelling during lunch at school, this track can help keep you calm.
- Dental Office: If you are in the dentist’s chair, this sound can help you stay calm while someone works on your teeth.
- Fire Alarm: Be sure to follow instructions and use this track to help you remain calm during fire drills or real emergency situations.
- Hair Clippers: This sound will help block out the sound of hair clippers when you are getting a haircut.
- Nap Time/Sleeping: Sometimes, silence can be just as distracting as loud noises. This track gives some sound to help you relax and fall asleep when there isn’t a lot of noise around you.
- People Cheering: Limit stress at an event with this sound that will help keep you calm while others cheer loudly around you.
- Children Screaming: Children can get angry and scream, and all that noise can be distracting, and can even be scary. This track will help calm you down and keep you focused on what you should be doing.
- Reading Time: This can be used if you are reading by yourself at home, at school or when others are reading around you to help keep you focused on the task at hand.
- Riding in a Car: Using this track, you can block out sounds like honking horns, car backfires and squeaking tires and keep yourself calm inside the car.
- Severe Weather: When there are howling winds and claps of thunder, this track will help keep you calm and tune out the weather.
- Sports Event: When hundreds, even thousands, of people gather in one place for a game, there is going to be a lot of yelling and cheering. This track will help keep you calm as they are surrounded by all the loud people.
- Study Time: This track helps you keep your focus and tune out unnecessary noise so you can study peacefully.
- Test Time: This track helps you focus on the material you are being tested on and aids you in tuning out other distractions.
- Tornado Siren: This track will calm you down when a tornado siren is sounding and make sure you can focus during drills and get to safety during an emergency situation.
Sinha, Y., Silove, N., Wheeler, D., & Williams, K. (2006). Auditory integration training and other sound therapies for autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 91(12), 1018-1022. doi:10.1136/adc.2006.094649