by Kelly, Contributing Writer
In 2013 my son Luke was two years old and he only had five words. His father was “Daddy” and I was also “Daddy.” My husband and I often said we felt like we were missing out on hearing his sweet voice and all that a two-year-old should say. In December of that year we decided to have Luke evaluated.
The morning of our meeting my eye began to twitch. I suppose this was mothers intuition, I somehow knew that the news to come was not going to be good. And then confirmation came…. my baby did not have slow speech like his previous pediatrician predicted, instead it was childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).
Tears and more tears!
My husband along with the SLP said, “DO NOT GO ONLINE AND RESEARCH THIS…IT WILL UPSET YOU TOO MUCH!” The SLP recommended speech two days a week for thirty minute sessions and we started the first week of January 2014.
In late February I realized there was no change. So I did what only a good mother knows to do….I went to my one resource…THE INTERNET!
This is where I found Jake’s Journey. And I found a MOM just like me. She seemed like she would climb mountains for her precious Jake and I knew I wanted to do the same for my Luke. If Tori went to Gilbert, Arizona and met with Lynn Carahaly then that is what I would do too!
I enrolled Luke in a week-long intensive therapy session. We did speech with Lynn at Foundations Development House (FDH) for two hours a day. On Wednesday of that week Lynn and I had a meeting and she confirmed what the SLP in Atlanta had said … Luke did in fact have severe CAS.
But Luke left Arizona with one new, clear word … “more.” With this one word I felt like I had won the lottery. My baby is improving. Even if only a four letter basic word. It was Gold to me.
It took two weeks after we were back at home to get the full evaluation back from Lynn Carahaly. Lynn recommended going to speech four days a week and doing several at-home speech therapy techniques like parallel play. She also mentioned The Listening Program, which I had not heard of before.
I called the next day and learned that over time, specialized music can reprogram the brain. FDH used the analogy of imagining Luke’s two-year-old brain being like a messy closet. After 30-40 weeks of listening, everything in “Luke’s closet” would be put where it belonged, color-coded, and reorganized.
Luke did Level One, which includes ten albums/CDs. The Listening Program also provided me with a SLP that I could call if I had any questions or if I needed guidance. The following are included in Level One:
- Full Spectrum- These albums provide the listener with an overall organizing listening experience and prepare the listener for the more specific frequency training to come in the other albums.
- Sensory Integration- These albums affect balance, coordination, L/R discrimination, and movement.
- Speech and Language- These albums impact such areas as: speech, language, vocal control, attention, concentration and focus.
- High Spectrum- These albums impact arousal, alertness, creativity and imagination.
I was like…Wow!! I want this!! But for the money, I could not afford to experiment. I did research on the web and found that it is used by many children and adults from over 35 countries. There were several testimonials that I came across on YouTube where kids seem to have had great success with this program and so I decided it was worth a try.
And I am so happy I did!
In April of this year, Luke began intensive speech therapy with a new SLP. Our weekly schedule was as follows: 2 – 45 minute sessions and 2 – 30 minute sessions. In May we added 15 minutes of sound therapy with The Listening Program, which he does the same time each day. Luke loves the music and he usually works on puzzles or plays with blocks while he does this.
The result …
I did not notice a change in Luke’s articulation right away, but I did notice a more relaxed, less temperamental 2 1/2 year old. Luke’s speech started making progress around four weeks. We went home to visit family and everyone could not believe his progress. He started calling family by names and asking for certain foods and toys. By eight weeks he started saying 5-6 word sentences with 90% intelligibility.
Luke’s growth in the past seven months has been jaw-dropping! At the beginning of this year, Luke was diagnosed with severe CAS by three SLPs. His most recent test results show that he has mild CAS. Luke communicates without prompting and he recently scored on the average range for articulation and above average for expressive language.
Jennifer, our SLP, has just reduced Luke’s sessions to 1 – 30 minute session a week and she plans to discharge him at the end of December. We will reconvene around the age of four to assess where Luke is and to work on literacy skills and reading comprehension. This means that in less than one year from starting intensive therapy and The Listening Program, Luke has come full circle.
Luke’s SLP has consistently been amazed by his progress. She had initially thought he would need therapy for several years and is beyond pleased by his extreme transformation.
From the moment that I began to do research on apraxia, I knew that we would give it our all. And that is what we have done. I would rather try everything and regret nothing than to always question. I will never know the exact what, why or how he has improved so quickly, but at the end of the day that is irrelevant to me. The bottom-line is He Did!
If you have it within your means, I would highly recommend intensive speech therapy and to incorporate The Listening Program into your daily routine.
To learn more about The Listening Program, please click here for more information.
9 thoughts on “The Listening Program”
Lynn here:-) Kelly, I am so happy for you and Luke. I am in tears reading this. I wish I could give you a big hug. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Reading about his progress made my day, my week, my month…..:-)))) xoxo
Awesome story! The listening program was just recommended to me for andon a few weeks ago by my OT and we begin this week. So excited to hear from someone else who has used it. What therapy was used by slps? Thanks and congrats! Sam
I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found something that is working for your son. My 3year old son also has severe apraxia. He only said uh-oh at two years and has made incredible progress from intensive speech therapy over the last year. I wanted to reccomend group speech therapy to anyone reading who may be thinking of trying it. My son attends 2-50 min sessions of individual therapy weekly but 4 -2h15m sessions of group a week and I think that the group has been amazingly beneficial to his progress. I must point out though that his group consists of 5 peers with a therapist for every child, we are very lucky to have a resource like that available nearby and covered by our insurance and I know it may not be an option all have but if it is available to you it has made a huge impact on his development.
Is the Listening Program the same as ILS?
@G’s mom: The Listening Program and iLs are not the same program, though both have roots in the Tomatis method. A third listening therapy that has been developed out of the Tomatis method is Therapeutic Listening (Listening with the Whole Body). There are also Tomatis practitioners, who have been trained in that method. Each program has proponents and detractors. I am an OT who has used TLP and also Therapeutic Listening, both with good results for some (though not all) of the children that I tried it with. I happened to use those programs because they were the ones my employers at the time were using, and had me trained for. There are some highly respected OT’s who also prefer iLs. I am starting a new job in about a week, and will be trained in iLs, because that is what they use. Information about all of these programs can be found on their Websites. If you can, try to also find some independently written research articles, or at least their summaries, about these programs if you have the opportunity to choose between them.
Has someone done this research already? Our OT will train in the method we choose and our funding will pay for what we choose as well! My daughter has very few words, is very quiet, and mostly echos. She also says from time to time “shhhbequie”! She does not follow commands to songs and movements so I though ILS was out and was going to the TLP spectrum. But I’m not sure! Help!
Hi Genevieve, You may want to post this question on Facebook – Apraxia Kids Learning Activities or the CASANA page. Both excellent resources where you’re bound to get lots of responses and opinions. My son, Jake, did not do the Listening Program. (This was a contributing writer for my blog). I have heard great things about it though, just no first-hand experience. Best of luck to you.
Reblogged this on Ginger Kenney and commented:
I love the results families can get using The Listening Program, so proud to work for this company!