iLs Focus 30 enables those working in a school environment to implement iLs more effectively.
iLs Focus 30 enables those working in a school environment to implement iLs more effectively.
The iLs School Program includes the following components:
- iLs Focus 30: iLs’ state-of-the-art audio technology combined with movement equipment and Playbook with 30 minute program sessions
- Online Portal: allows therapist, teacher and administration to access school and student accounts, track program progress, and report results
- Measure of Foundational Abilities (MFA): an online assessment of symptoms related to learning abilities; teachers and therapists use the MFA before and after iLs to provide a clear measure of individual and aggregate results
Data were compiled from nine schools (public, charter and private) using the iLs School Program during the 2014/15 school year. iLs’ MFA was used before and after the programs of 78 students to measure changes in the five categories of balance, gross & fine motor control, sensory, social/emotional, auditory/language and attention/organization. Some schools also collected changes in math and reading scores, as well as NWEA assessments.
Teacher and parent comments were collected to capture qualitative changes and feedback regarding implementation, including the video below where parents and therapists discuss the iLs School Program.
School Program Data
Data from 78 students were collected, including the iLs Measure of Functional Abilities (MFA), NWEA assessments, district or school-specific math and reading scores. All schools reported strong gains with a variety of students.
The students completed 20 to 40 hours of iLs Focus sessions over the 2015 winter/spring semester. Start dates, testing schedules, snow days and staff changes were all factors in the number of the iLs sessions each school was able to complete.
Schools were creative in their implementation of iLs Focus sessions, conducting sessions during pullout time, one-on-one therapy, physical education class and in the general or special education classroom. Therapists, aides, teachers and parent volunteers all implemented the program with the students.
The Measure of Foundational Abilities (MFA) measures change in five categories: balance, gross & fine motor control, sensory, social/emotional, auditory/language and attention/organization. (There is an optional sixth category of sleep.) Lower scores denote a reduction in symptoms, i.e., improvement. Better results were seen in schools where there was time for the full iLs program; lower scores were typical of situations where only a partial program was completed.
Teacher & Staff Feedback
|Have there been positive behavior changes in the student’s classes?||5%||95%|
|Have there been positive changes in the student’s peer interactions?||4%||96%|
|Has the student’s class participation increased?||18%||82%|
|Have the student’s grades improved?||5%||95%|
|Has the quality of work the student is producing increased?||5%||95%|
Parent Feedback on the School Program
|Parent Feedback on the School Program|
|Did you notice positive changes in your child’s interactions at home during the last semester?||50%||50%|
|Did your child’s grades improve during the last semester?||0%||100%|
|Did your child’s quality of work improve during the last semester?||0%||100%|
|Would you recommend iLs to other parents?||0%||100%|
The Schools & Their Students
- Parkdale Elementary – a public K – 4 school in Buffalo, New York, offered iLs to select students with LD and autism, all of whom have an IEP and also receive Occupational and/or Speech Therapy.
- Kingsway Elementary – a public K – 5 school in Port Charlotte, Florida, offered iLs to select students on the autism spectrum.
- Oakland Christian School – a private pre-K – 12th grade school in Auburn Hills, Michigan, offered iLs to select students with LD.
- Buck Lake Elementary – a public preschool – 5th grade in Tallahassee, Florida, offered iLs to students with and without IEPs.
- Central Christian School – a pre-K – 12 private school in Robertsdale, Alabama, offered iLs to select students having an IEP.
- Washington Discovery School – a K – 4 public charter school in Plymouth, Indiana, offered iLs to select students having an IEP.
- Acres Green – a public preschool pre-K – 6th grade school in Littleton, Colorado, offered iLs to select students with an IEP.
- Mountain Phoenix – a pre-K – 8th public charter school inspired by Waldorf Education in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, offered iLs to select students with learning difficulties and autism.
- Greeley-Evans School District 6 – a public school in Greeley, Colorado, added iLs as part of an early intervention program for pre-K children.
Components of the iLs School Program
- The Focus 30 and 60 Series – The iLs Focus is core product for implementing the iLs method of brain/body integration. Including music, movement and cognitive components, the Focus is as much a game, or an exercise, as it is a therapy. The different versions of the Focus, the Focus Series, give it flexibility, making implementation easier in clinics, schools and home.
- iLs Portal – online platform with access to training resources, program tracking and the Measure of Foundational Abilities (MFA). District and School Administration can view overall program progress, Student Focus use, view data by School and manage student seats.
- Measure of Foundational Abilities (MFA) – measure change in five categories: balance, gross & fine motor control, sensory, social/emotional, auditory/language and attention/organization. There is an optional sixth category of sleep. Lower scores denote improvement. Automatically generated PDF of pre/post MFA results can be used at parent-teacher conferences, IEP meetings and as part of a child’s progress report. Results are assessor specific, so multiple staff and/or parents can assess the student.
- iLs Training – We offer in-person and online training for the school or district. Individual registration is also available. Register for upcoming trainings, or contact iLs for more information.
Parkdale has been offering iLs since 2012, they started with 4 students and this past year had 38 students listening to iLs programs. Students ranged from Kindergarten through Fourth Grade, with varying academic, emotional and social needs. All students receive Speech and/or Occupational Therapies.
Parkdale uses a standardized reading assessment given to all students three times per year. Annual increases in correct words read in 1 minute were tallied and compared to 2013-2014 school year, in which these students received special education instruction for reading skills without iLs and 2014-2015 in which similar instructional program was done with the inclusion on iLs as part of the student’s education plan.
Kingsway Elementary completed a controlled study as part of the Pilot Program. They measured the effect of an iLs school program on ten students diagnosed with ASD. Measures used in the study include the SCAN:3-C, and iLs’ Measure of Foundational Abilities (MFA). The iLs group received therapy 30 minutes per day, on an average of four days per week while the control group students continued to receive ABA, OT and Speech therapy on their regular weekly schedule. Auditory processing and behavioral changes were significant for the iLs group, with an average gain of 36 in the SCAN:3-C composite percentile rank scores, and a 32% average improvement in the MFA categories. Results for the control group include a change of -6 in the SCAN:3-C composite percentile rank scores and a 2% improvement in the MFA behavioral evaluation.
The complete case study and the interview with Kingsway staff is available here.
Oakland Christian School expanded their use of iLs in the school, and using the Portal, tracked all of their students’ listening programs. Through the Portal, they were able to share the information about each student’s session with the next teacher or therapist, as multiple people completed sessions with the students. “I must tell you that recording the program tracking and the assessments via the web based program is such a relief! I am so looking forward to starting out the beginning of next year with this program already.” – Patrice Whiting, M.A.Ed.
Ms. Whiting also submitted a case study of one of the children she worked with available here.
Buck Lake Elementary had an implementation team of four staff and therapists working with ten students. Working in small group settings, they were able to complete the iLs program and saw a 44% average reduction in symptoms as reported in the Measure of Foundational Abilities (MFA).
Acres Green had nine students enrolled in iLs programs implemented by multiple staff. Due to a late start, staff changes (maternity leave) and standardized testing requirements, some students were able to complete more of the program than others. Students who completed less than half a program saw smaller gains, while those who were able to complete over half a program with more consistent frequency, saw gains of 34 – 53%.
Central Christian School was offering iLs through a local pediatric therapy clinic on a referral basis. They implemented iLs during Physical Education classes using the Playbook activities with all the children in the class, as well as breakout therapy sessions. The main therapist reports “I really think we should do it for the whole school year [to see better results]”. After starting halfway through the school year, when schedules were somewhat set, staff changes and snow as well as spring break closures, the children in the study completed about half a program. The highest gains were seen in Auditory/Language 23%, Social/Emotional 21% and Balance, Gross & Fine Motor Control 20%.
Mountain Phoenix enrolled 25 students in iLs programs during the 2015 Winter/Spring semester. They gathered MFA data from both school staff as well as parents to closely track the child’s progress both at school and at home. In doing so, they were better able to address behaviors seen in only one, or both locations. Students listened in small groups as well as during one-on-one therapy sessions.
Washington Discovery School saw gains in student behavior though they were not able to complete the entire program due to significant snow days.
“Student A is classic Autism and has limited verbal skills. We have seen global improvement. Since beginning iLs he is now finally able to follow 2 step directions! This is something we worked on all first semester but he couldn’t get it. His motor planning has improved. Most recently he has begun eating different textures.”
“Student B seems calmer and able to handle the classroom better. This is a student who is very sensitive to sound and tends to wear sound reduction headphones most of the day. At first he resisted the iLs headphones but no longer and he seems motivated to do the exercises.”
“The intensity of meltdowns has decreased significantly for student C. Fine motor skills are improving and less reluctant to write.”
“Our OT and PT are VERY excited about the overall growth they have seen in these students.” – Teacher at Washington Discovery School