As we step into Autism Awareness Month, we would like to take the time to spread kindness amongst our community at at large. We have taken great strides over the past few years in creating a more inclusive, accepting place for people on the spectrum and we would like to continue doing more of the same going forward.
CELEBRATING WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH WITH SOUNDSORY!
Soundsory employs a multi-sensory approach using both sound and movement to influence the auditory and vestibular systems at the same time. This unique approach leads to improved cognitive skill development, balance and coordination and various aspects of social engagement.
Over the past year, parents have tried and tested the Soundsory headphone for their kids who were diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, had issues with sensory integration, motor skills and others. It was heartwarming to hear their experiences with the headphones and how they have been utilizing Soundsory to aid the development of their children. Here are some of them in their own words..
Asperger's Syndrome or Asperger's is a developmental disorder that in 2013, became part of an umbrella diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM 5). For Victoria Eisenberg, mother to two boys with attention difficulties and Asperger's, the opportunity to use Soundsory came at a good time.
She said, "What I really like about that is because my son who is currently homeschooling, though both my boys have it, is ADHD and their attention span isn’t the greatest. So getting work done and getting distracted is something that happens more often than not. It can be a HUGE struggle because for a child without ADHD, they can function just fine without having to be more astute to no distractions than a child with ADHD.
But even more than that, my youngest child has now been officially diagnosed with Autism, Aspergers, specifically. Although, now they do have the spectrum acknowledged in the DSM 5. Which you guys, if I am being totally honest, explains so much. Not only does he have ADHD and gets really easily distracted, but combine that with Autism and school becomes a real struggle to get done. Not because of a lack of intelligence– because my son can sit down and get things done.
Since he has had the headphones, he went from being barely able to sit and focus and getting school work done to being 70% of the way done with his vocabulary… FOR THE YEAR in a few weeks. That is how important sound and focus is to these children that struggle with ADHD and Autism. They are very very bright children. But they just need that extra focus to be able to hit a home run and show that potential they have.
I am so grateful to have been able to try this out for my child and I think it really has shifted them in a HUGE positive way that is going to have a lasting impact. I just can’t wait to try it out on my other son who has ADHD too!". Read her review here.
SPECIAL NEEDS HOMESCHOOLING
Homeschooling a special needs kid is an extremely challenging job and it is a role that super mom Heidi Miller-Ford is taking on with aplomb. Her youngest daughter, who goes to sensory integration therapy training for cognitive development, had used Soundsory to complement her sessions.
About her experience with Soundsory, she had this to say..
"My youngest daughter, who has some mild sensory issues, is the one who used the Soundsory program. At first, she was irritated when I told her it was time to wear the headphones, but once they were on, she enjoyed them and the music had a calming effect. I would find her sitting in her bed playing with her dolls while listening, or sometimes she would listen while sitting on the swing on our back porch.
When she did the exercises for the first time, she felt silly and a little embarrassed, But then she got over it and jumped right in when it was time to do them each day.
The headphones fit her really well and seemed very comfortable. It surprised me they stayed on because headphones made for both children and adults (this program is for adults as well) don’t usually fit her. She had no problems while doing the exercises or other activities while they were on.
After using the program for a few weeks, I noticed she was more relaxed and not as bothered by sensory things like she usually is. It’s nice seeing her enjoy normal activities and not getting distressed like she can. This is a big improvement!
If you have a special needs child who goes to sensory integration therapy training, or any other therapy dealing with cognitive or motor delays, the Soundsory program is worth a try. It’s so much more convenient being able to do therapy at home. Your child will appreciate not having to leave the house each week and you will have time to prepare a healthy snack that doesn’t consist of stale goldfish or gummy worms!". Read her full review, here.
ENDURANCE AND MOTOR ISSUES
Soundsory has also been seen to have an impact on balance, coordination and motor skills. Kara Tavolacci, an SIPT certified Occupational Therapist had worked with little Camille during a Movement and Communication Camp and subsequent therapy sessions. Camille used to be extremely non-verbal, had poor posture and demonstrated extreme sensitivity to movement whilst easily getting motion sick.
"It was incredible!! Less effort from my side was needed as he was easily engaged with this activity."
Kara worked with him to enhance his motor profile during her sessions and recommended Soundsory to be used during his school vacations. After having used it for 2 weeks, Kara noticed huge improvements in his endurance and sustained engagement with motor tasks. In her own words, "After two more weeks of listening, Camille continued to show improved endurance and participation in activities. There was a significant increase in his awareness of his body and that of others. He was trying to explore and put his belly on different surfaces. It was like this awareness that he had a body woke up within him. And the most AMAZING thing was that he was initiating interaction and playfully teasing me. He would come up to me and seek out interaction when previously I had to bring the interaction to him. Throughout session we heard so much more spontaneous language and we heard his voice all the time. He was so much more vocal! A response that I was not expecting to change as dramatically as it did.
I continued to see Camille as he finished his program and after completing it, he continues to hold the changes he has made. His motor coordination and engagement is improved, he continues to use language more spontaneously and clearly. Camille’s aid said that the transition back to school this past September went smoothly, and since he has had this great jump in motor and language she is able to more easily facilitate peer interactions. There are a few classmates that love playing with Camille on the playground as he is more available to interact, engage and follow along with what the others are doing."
Read Kara's in-depth experience with Camille here!
Monique Dupuis, mother to two young boys with sensory sensitivities had used Soundsory for her youngest, Zakari, who is highly sensitive to sound. For Monique, the design of the headphones themselves were an essential starting point . She said, "For kiddos like my son any loud noise can cause sensory overload. The program is programmed right into a set of very high quality wireless headphones. This design was very important to me because cords can be very distracting to my son and would likely be chewed on. The headphones are very light weight and comfortable. Both my boys and myself have used them, and were very happy with their fit."
She goes on to add..
"Soundsory uses music and exercise to help rewire and organize the brain. While there are other programs on the market that do this, they are not as simple, easy to use and affordable. Because the headphones can also be synced through Bluetooth with a iPhone, we reward Zakari at the end and let him pick one of his favourite songs to listen to when his 30 minute therapy is over. Soundsory takes advantage of Neuroplasticity to help kiddos like my son to become less sensitive to noises.
I was very impressed with this product. As a homeschooling Mom of a special needs son, I’m always looking for affordable therapies to help my son overcome his struggles.
Zakari’s sound sensitivity has been crippling. Large crowds easily become overstimulating and can lead straight to a meltdown. The excitement of Christmas Eve and opening presents with his cousins quickly comes too loud to bear. He wants to be there sharing this experience with family, but sadly he is unable.
Both Zakari and I like this program. We plan to continue using this program in hopes that next Christmas it will be easier for him.". Read more here!
Disclaimer - All reviews were provided to us by homeschooling families who are part of the SchoolHouse Review Crew Network. This was a one-time promotion offer and has since ended.