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Focus System

What is the iLs Focus System?

The Focus System is the core product for improving brain function through the implementation of the iLs method: brain and body integration through multisensory input. The Focus System is a clinical-level intervention designed for home use. Focus System programs consist of therapeutically-treated music combined with fun movement activities, and, when ready, cognitive challenges to further activate brain networks. The flexibility of 60-minute or 30-minute versions of the programs, which target specific goals, make implementation easy in clinics, schools and home.

How does it work?

Focus System programs provide simultaneous multisensory input to help develop new and reinforce existing pathways governing organization of the body and brain function. Therapeutic music is delivered via iLs’ air and bone conduction headphones, providing auditory input to the brain and sensory input to the body. Movement activities, customizable for all levels, provide additional sensory and motor input for body organization. Finally, cognitive activities, added later, challenge the brain to process multiple pieces of simultaneous information, which is reflective of demands required of the brain in our day-to-day world.

Especially in younger people and those recovering from injury, this staged approach develops a foundation that may never have been fully developed or was interrupted due to an event. With appropriate stimulation, the brain’s ability to successfully process and retain information leads to better academic outcomes. In addition, there is an increased ability to control impulses, self-regulate behavior and engage appropriately with others.

Teens and adults also see improvement in these areas, as well as improvement in reading comprehension, concentration, memory and performance at work. Most report less stress and anxiety and a happier disposition.

With a suggested frequency of three – five times per week, home-based programs often supplement once-a-week clinic visits.

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All Focus Systems Include:

  • 10-hour Calming Program
  • 60-hour Sensory & Motor Program
  • 40-hour Concentration & Attention Program
  • 40-hour Reading & Auditory Processing Program
  • Two 24-hour Optimal Performance Programs
  • A Playbook and Integration Kit for movement activities
  • At STAR Center our therapists use iLs for a few key reasons: it can be customized to each individual’s needs, the bone conduction delivery is a wonderful vestibular supplement, and the quality of the music is remarkable... We have seen tremendous developmental growth spurts using iLs in combination with OT. iLs combined with OT seems to accelerate or “jump start” many of the children’s developmental changes. It also can have a calming effect on some children which makes it easier for our therapists to work with the child. In general, we see accelerated gains by adding iLs to OT… We use it with most of our children in clinic and we often send clients home with an iLs Focus system for continuation of therapy once their intensive short-term program is complete.

    Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR/L author of Sensational Kids, Founder of SPD Foundation

Who uses the iLs Focus System?

The iLs Focus system is a complementary therapy that can be integrated into a broad variety of practices such as:

  • Speech Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • ADHD Coaching
  • Autism Specialties
  • Psychology / Counseling
  • Sports Coaching
iLs for Professionals

A professional therapeutic or medical background is required to train. Training is required before purchasing the Focus system. The Focus System Training is available onsite or online. Advanced courses and specific applications courses can be viewed on the Training page.

Supporting Evidence

iLs is based on the fact that we can change our brain – we can essentially re-wire it through specific and repeated stimulation, a concept known as neuroplasticity. As in building strength and endurance with physical exercise, we are able to build neurological pathways and synaptic activity at any age.

See How iLs Influences Learning for more details.

See the iLs Research page for data and case studies on iLs with learning, attention, reading, auditory processing, autism, head injury and stroke rehab.


What is the success rate of children and adults who undertake the Integrated Listening Systems programs?

We have not undertaken the controlled study which would be required to answer this question scientifically. Most, if not all, of iLs clients are doing the iLs program concurrent to other interventions. The cost of a double-blind, controlled study is prohibitive for a small company like iLs; nevertheless, we have ample empirical evidence of iLs’ efficacy. The combination of clinical observation and pre- and post-program measurements allow us to say with confidence that a vast majority of our clients achieve “successful” results. (Please visit the Research section of this web site to view research results, and the Feedback section for feedback from therapists and clients.)

What is considered ‘success’ in this context?

The program is considered successful when the presenting or underlying problem has been resolved or shows significant improvement. In many cases, even when the underlying problem is improved, such as a reading difficulty due to poor auditory processing, some time and training will be required for the client to catch-up to their appropriate age level. In the case of inattention, the child will show increased ability to sustain attention. With irritability and mood changes, the mood shifts are generally resolved and the person is happier. The same can be said for sensory processing, emotional regulation and social skill difficulties.

Are gains temporary or permanent?

Most people who complete a program do not need to repeat it to maintain their gains. Program gains typically “stick” and regression is rare. Having said that, many people can continue to see improvement by doing additional integrated listening therapy. The more severe the difficulty, the more likely one can benefit from a 2nd or 3rd program.

What is the warranty on the equipment? What happens if there is a problem?

There is a one-year warranty on the iLs sound equipment. Extended warranties are available. If there is a problem with the equipment, we will try to work through it over the phone, though some systems may need to be sent into our technical department for repairs or replacement.

Can Practitioners submit private insurance claims for Listening Therapy?

iLs is an educational intervention and does not have insurance codes. However, licensed practitioners may file claims according to standardized professional guidelines for assessment portions of a program, such as the initial and periodic evaluations that are part of a program. An occupational therapist who provides therapy to a client while listening may bill insurance for the occupational therapy portion of the fee. Parents and family members privately fund most listening programs.

What age is appropriate for a iLs program?

We have worked with children as young as 22 months of age. There is no ceiling on the upper end, we have had clients in their 70’s and 80’s receive great benefit.

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