Autism Therapy Success:
I know there are many kinds of therapies for our kids who have Autism that help them tremendously, including ABA therapy and Occupational Therapy (OT). But if it weren’t for me making the decision to homeschool Travis through K12, we would have NEVER heard about The Listening Program.
The Listening Program is a music based program, and quoting from their website, “The Listening Program’s psychoacoustically modified music and patent-pending production techniques are designed to stimulate, or “exercise” the different functions of the auditory processing system. This enables the brain to better receive, process, store and utilize the valuable information provided through the varied soundscapes in our lives such as music, language and the environment in which we live.” http://www.thelisteningprogram.com/
Prior to starting the program in October 2011, Travis (who had already been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome) had been regressing since November 2010. He went from a higher functioning child, to a mid-functioning child (and then diagnosed with PDD instead of Asperger’s Syndrome), and it kept getting worse, and worse, and worse. He went from being mostly a happy child, to a child who was having several meltdowns every day, and retreating into his own world. He stopped speaking so much, and would just mostly cry, or rock. He had no desire to play with his toys anymore. He would just go into his room and watch movies on his DVD player when he wasn’t doing school. His fear of germs increased, and he would have meltdowns where ever we went with him. It was even a struggle to get him to do any of his school work. It was exhausting to say the least, and it caused a lot of turmoil, and heartbreak in our family.
After we started K12, the school gave us a wonderful Psychologist who suggested we put him on the waiting list for The Listening Program. He explained the program to me, and because of how severe Travis was regressing, he was able to get Travis at the top of the list. So, we started the program in October 2011.
The lady who taught us the program warned that while the program may help, it might be a long hard road, with even more meltdowns, and things could get worse for awhile. She was right, but the positive results we got out of the program were definitely worth it.
At the end of the first week, Travis had the desire again to play again with his brothers; he also started climbing to the top of his bunk bed again! At the end of the 3rd week, Travis gave me a hug while listening to the 4th song on the 3rd CD. On the 4th week, he was much calmer and starting writing stories again and wrote the word “protagonist”. Also during these weeks, he started realizing that he was emotionally younger than his age, and it bothered him greatly.
The 5th week he started handwriting again a little bit. By the 8th week, he was starting to focus a little better, he expressed to me his feelings, and he wrote sentences describing things with adjectives, and I caught him reading our Game Informer magazine. By the end of the 9th week, he was starting to communicate to me better, he was more expressive in his language, and he told me that his dream was to be emotionally and physically brave and strong, and he started wearing jeans again! At the end of the 10th week, he was chatting a whole lot more, and started using the word “personality”.
After that, we started working backwards on the program. Week 11 he wanted to play with his brothers, he wanted to paint, and he made his bed, and helped me to unload the dishwasher! On week 12 he wanted ketchup on his meatloaf! Week 13 he was talking more, he was focusing more, and started to speak technically, and he asked questions in his math class connect session! Week 14 and 15 were meltdown weeks, but on week 15 he shared his feelings with me.
Week 16 and 17 his communication skills increased, and he was understanding his feelings better, and he started trying new foods like carrots and salsa. Week 18, I caught him trying to do pushups while I was reading to him our lesson. And weeks 19 and 20, we hardly had any meltdowns, and he ate food that accidently touched the table (he would not do that before the program), he was focusing A LOT better, and his comprehension increased (which helped A LOT with school), and Travis’ started acting mostly like his old self prior to regressing.
So, here are the results…
* He went from having several meltdowns a day, to hardly having any at all.
* Went from hardly speaking; just mumbling mostly, to speaking all the time and communicating to us
* Went from crying most days, to laughing, and smiling pretty much every single day.
* Went from being oblivious to his feelings and other people’s feelings, to understanding his and others feelings and emotions better. And he thinks things through more thoroughly even if it takes some time (better at rationalizing).
* Went from having major comprehension problems, to improved comprehension skills, and better focusing skills. He also asks questions more often.
* Went from refusing to try new foods, to wanting to try some new foods.
* Went from hating to read, to wanting to read, especially fantasy books.
* Went from refusing to do any handwriting, to being okay to handwrite sometimes.
* Went from NOT being able to do a lot of things by himself, to becoming a little more independent and doing more for himself.
* Went from no desire to play anymore just wanting to stay in his room to watch movies, to watching TV with us, to going places, and wanting to play with his brothers, to wanting to go outside and do things, and wanting to write stories on the computer again.
There are other things that he has also improved on as well; these are just the most improved ones we have seen. We still have a ways to go on some things, but our son’s life has improved. We still have a lot of work to do in some areas, but I am so grateful to ALL of those people who developed this program!
Jenn Alvey – Autism Mother