Specialty Programs

Integrated Listening Systems - iLs

iLs is a multi-sensory program for improving brain function. It is an enjoyable activity, or “exercise,” which can be customized for all ages and skill levels for implementation in clinic, school, or home. The goal of iLs is to improve the neuropsychological foundation for integrating sensory input by using specific sound frequencies and patterns to stimulate the brain. iLs, like OT, is based on the theory of neuroplasticity, which refers to brain changes that occur as a result of an experience. iLs has a global effect on the brain and central nervous system, influencing the following systems: balance, visual, auditory, motor, coordination, behavior, and emotional regulation. As a result, it is successfully implemented for a wide variety of conditions: 
  • Learning Difficulties, Reading, Auditory Processing
  • Attention and Regulation
  • Sensory Processing
  • Speech and Language
  • Autism and other Neurodevelopmental Difficulties

How iLs works

iLs’ programs are based on the premise that healthy self-regulation, processing and motor skills are dependent upon a mature and properly integrated nervous system. When the nervous system is immature or faulty, the flow of information between the brain’s two hemispheres and/or integration of sensory information from the visual, auditory and motor systems can be disrupted. As a result, many problems can arise including: poor impulse control, deficits in attention and concentration, poor academic performance, challenges with balance, coordination and motor control, and poor auditory and sensory processing. These types of problems are commonly reported among children with ADHD, learning disabilities and autism and are precisely the types of issues that iLs addresses. 
Research shows that the brain has the ability to change in response to stimulation. This is known as “neuroplasticity” or “cortical re-mapping”. iLs programs activate the pathways used in the processing of sensory information by providing gentle and specific stimulation. This is essentially a type of training: neuronal connections in these pathways are strengthened through repeated sessions of multi-sensory input. iLs programs are customized, i.e. individualized for each person’s therapeutic goals, and they gradually become more complex and challenging as they progress. 

iLs programs include classical music that has been acoustically modified to provide enhanced or filtered signals in certain frequencies, as specific frequencies are believed to be correlated to certain brain functions. The music is loaded on an iPod paired with special headphones which deliver it through both air and bone conduction (a low frequency vibration that is conducted by bone into the inner ear and vestibule). Simultaneous to the auditory component, the user engages in visual, vestibular and motor exercises which maximize the interaction of these systems. 

Interactive Language Program

The Interactive Language Program (ILP) builds on the gains of improved listening and processing of spoken language from the Receptive Auditory Program (RAP) to develop clear speech and language skills for optimal communication.
The Interactive Language Program (ILP) focuses on language exercises designed to hILP children and adults with various auditory processing and Interactive language skills. We are integrating and strengthening extensive neural pathways we have been working on during the iLs Receptive Auditory Program. The ILP begins with repeating into a microphone simple sounds, words, and phrases (sometimes filtered, sometimes not) heard through headphones. The ILP ends with reading aloud—one of the most complex neurological tasks the brain undertakes (reading aloud requires the coordination of vestibular, auditory, and visual senses with motor and sensory systems). 

The full expression of voice is representative of one’s ability to take their place in the world. Our purpose in this program is to improve the skills that support that expression. 

iLs Dreampad

The Dreampad™ delivers music through gentle, calming vibration which only you can hear. The process brings about a relaxation response from the body and mind which has been aptly described as a “massage to the nervous system.” 
  • Reduce stress 
  • Improve sleep – falling asleep and staying asleep 
  • Decrease sensory hypersensitivity 

The Dreampad combines iLs’ psychoacoustic expertise with Intrasound Technology™, which is based on the natural conductive quality of the human body. Data shows a decrease in sleep-related problems and improvement with daytime performance (physical, emotional, social and executive functions). 

Interactive Metronome

Interactive Metronome assist in achieving motor learning, by encouraging the pediatric population to complete tasks repetitively and efficiently, while encouraging higher cognitive processing. Interactive Metronome effectively addresses the neurological basis for coordinated movement, focusing on synchronized timing within the brain and between the brain and limbs. In the case of a pediatric client, interactive metronome addresses sensory integration and cognitive abilities such as reciprocal social engagement, eye-contact, self-regulation, focus/concentration, handwriting, and academic achievement. Once children are engaged, the feedback features of the IM are introduced and they begin taking steps towards improving: 
  • Attention 
  • Sensory Integration 
  • Self-Monitoring & Self-Control 
  • Sequencing for ADLs & IADLs 
  • Motor Planning & Sequencing 
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills 
  • Bilateral Coordination 
  • Balance

Community Therapy

Beach Therapy sessions include a combination of aquatic therapy, sensory processing, sensory motor and gross motor therapies. The beach environment provides a sensory rich setting for occupational therapy treatment. Paddle boards, surfboards, boogie boards and kick boards are utilized in combination with the waves and movement of the water to work on balance, motor-planning/praxis, bilateral motor coordination, postural development, gross/sensory motor skill development. What to bring: Beach Towel, Water Bottle. Child should arrive in bathing suit with sunscreen applied. Other things to consider: Change of clothes, snacks, rash guard or wet suite Life vests and beach therapy equipment is provided by Sprouts Therapy.

Feldenkrais Method

What is the Feldenkrais Method®?
The Feldenkrais Method of somatic education is a process of learning that improves both physical and mental functioning through the exploration of body movement patterns and the use of attention. Moshe Feldenkrais D.Sc. (1904-1984), the founder of the method was a mechanical and electrical engineer, world-renowned physicist, and judo expert. 

Neuroplasticity and The Feldenkrais Method®
By Eileen Bach-y-Rita, GCFP

Your brain loves to learn. In fact it thrives on acquiring new skills such as playing a musical instrument, learning a new dance or a new language. Your brain also thrives when engaged in an inner awareness activity, like meditation or a Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® lesson.
In order to learn anything, you need to focus and pay attention to the task at hand. You need to move slowly and deliberately and think about what you are doing when learning a new motor skill. Without this focus and attention, you wouldn’t acquire the new skill, or deepen knowledge in the field of your choice. The focus on and practice of these new activities causes the brain to morph, to grow new connections between billions of cells, and to create new motor and sensory-motor maps for each new activity. Even when you pretend that you are moving, visualizing your movements in your mind, brain changes can be measured and seen in PET scans. Your brain’s ability to change itself is called “neuroplasticity.” It allows brain cells and nerves to change their appearance and function, to grow, shrink, connect, disconnect and re-connect to each other in entirely new ways, to exchange duties and functions, to use unexpected parts of the brain for novel tasks, and to be malleable and accessible to new needs as they arise during an experience-driven life.
Science has shown that the brain is not only capable of this rich and surprising re-organization but that it also produces new neurons throughout our life. It was thought, until 1998, that we were born with billions of brain cells that would die off as we got older, and that no new cells would ever be born. In fact we are born and we die with millions of unused, unformed stem-cells in our brain. The potential for birthing these cells into live neurons exists throughout our life-time, pushing the boundaries of what we previously thought possible, especially in the fields of health and the recovery from injuries and illnesses.....Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc, (1904-1984), a mechanical engineer, physicist and Judo martial artist, who taught himself how to walk again in the 1940’s, after a serious knee injury and against all odds.
Through his own self generated exploratory learning process, he created an elegant and economical system of focused attention and unique movements that led thousands of individuals to overcome the results of accidents, illness and disabilities. He would not have succeeded if the brain wasn’t plastic. His novel movements were sequential, a property which has been shown to stimulate plasticity in the brain; they required attention, which has also been shown to change the brain, and they reproduced the complex non-linear strategies that are involved in our motor development from birth through age ten, which lead the brain to self-organize and spontaneously produce higher levels of organization and skill. Moshe inferred the plasticity of the brain from his voracious readings in the fields of health and sciences, his common sense and his observations of infants and small children learning to move.

Who benefits?
The Feldenkrais Method is for anyone (children and adults) who wants to reconnect with their natural abilities to move, think and feel. It helps people of all ages discover new options to move with less effort and/or pain, and with improved function. Whether you want to be more comfortable sitting at the computer, playing an instrument, or learning to crawl or walk, these gentle movements can improve coordination, balance and performance.
Most of us think we have a brain so we can think. But actually we have a brain so we can move. The complex and crucial relationship between movement, vision, language, emotions, memory and other "higher" brain functions such as learning has only recently begun to be fully investigated.

Creative Learning Through Movement with Children
We begin life ready with a large palate of universal, reflexive movements. Rolling over, reaching for a desired object, hand grasping or crawling are motor development patterns that appear to be essential for the future development of reading, writing, memory and social interactions. In a healthy child, a particular movement or series of movements are investigated, enjoyed, and the corresponding neural circuits created. Once firmly established these circuits are moved to lower levels of the brain for connection to the whole body movement system. These neurological connections, first established to sequence gross motor movement, get reused later to help sequence and adjust mental acts and thoughts. Adequate movement and sensory stimulation, in the presence of another loving human being, are essential for normal human development.
This dependence on movement for brain development and function continues throughout life. The overwhelming importance of movement is evident from the amazing fact that 90% of the brain’s capacity is spent in orienting and moving the body in its gravitational field.

The natural state of a child is one of constant movement, curiosity, and play. They know what they need to do for their own development. If a movement sequence is interrupted, however, or fails to develop, important neurological circuits also fail to develop. These simple building blocks are then unavailable to support the development of more complex thoughts and actions in the future.

Early intervention can save a life-time of difficulties for the child, and wear and tear on the whole family system. It is never too late to change the course of a child’s inadequate development, whether physical or emotional. The earlier the intervention, the better the outcome, but the brain remains remarkably adaptable throughout childhood. If you are concerned about even subtle difficulties your child is experiencing we may be able to offer a surprisingly simple solution.

Chava Shelhav, who has done extensive research on the Feldenkrais Method® with children, found that “the Feldenkrais Method offers a process of organic learning through action, thereby teaching the ability to learn, and not just learning to be taught.” Through movement we experience our world. Long before verbal and cognitive development take center stage, we learn through our actions—through how we react to and interact with our environment and ourselves. By using movement as a vehicle for learning, we not only tap into these early learning patterns, but also into inherited ancient evolutionary patterns. This makes movement a potent and powerful learning tool. In “Creative Learning Through Movement” classes, our emphasis is not learning how to move, but rather using movement as an educational tool for learning. We solve movement puzzles, generate and develop ideas through doing and invent movement solutions. We play dynamic games that increase spatial awareness and develop interpersonal skills through nonverbal collaborations. We explore the anatomy of emotions and how we shape our feelings. We translate classroom curriculum into experiential education, making it tangible and personal.

By grounding problem solving, emotional exploration and creative thinking in physical experience and expression, Creative Learning through Movement fosters the relationship between our thinking, actions, feelings and sensations. This integrates cognitive, sensorial, emotional and motor development, adding greater potency and relevance to learning.

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