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The Focus System & Occupational Therapy

The Focus System is a natural fit for OT practices, whether in clinic, school or home environments. In addition to enhancing an OT’s sensory integration work, it is also an effective rehab tool and is easily customized for different therapeutic objectives, program lengths, and client needs. READ RESEARCH

How do I integrate The Focus System into my OT practice?

A flexible therapy which is done simultaneously with OT activities in clinic, school and/or home.

  • The 3 components of The Focus System: auditory, motor and interactive language – can be used together or independently, depending upon the situation and the needs of the individual. Most pediatric OTs use the iLs auditory component simultaneous to their OT gym activities, and take specific pieces of the motor program as needed.
  • Clinic Programs: Most clinic programs involve 15-40 sessions, with each session being 30-60 minutes in length.
  • Clinic + Home Programs: To supplement the frequency of clinic therapy, The Focus System has a rental program for your clients. The Focus System handles the equipment, shipping, etc. and you oversee the therapy. More frequency = better results.
  • School Programs: The Focus System can be combined with OT in a school setting very effectively. School personnel can be trained to conduct The Focus System sessions in the absence of the OT so that the frequency required for improvement may occur.

“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.”

Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR/L

Who Benefits From The Focus System?

The Focus System has a global effect on the brain and central nervous system. As a result, it is successfully integrated into a wide variety of programs:



Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTR, Lucy J. Miller, PhD, OTR, and Jillian Sullivan, PhD
Journal of Occupational Therapy: Schools and Early Intervention, 8: 1-21 2015
Summary: This study explores the effects of iLs on individualized parent goals for children with sensory processing impairments.  The 40-session iLs program was implemented at home and in clinic over a 3-month period. Important and clinically meaningful gains were achieved by all participants in both home and educationally-related goals.  Individualized goal achievement was supported by gains in standardized measures of behavior and adaptive functioning. Changes in physiological arousal (measured by EDA – electrodermal activity) suggest the iLs program is impacting underlying regulation mechanisms that may be contributing to the observed behavioral changes.  Behavioral changes included increased relaxation, fewer meltdowns and a generally calmer disposition for participants whose arousal decreased.


Theresa May Benson, PhD, OTR/L

Abstract: Study on the effect of the iLs home program on 18 children diagnosed with autism The purpose of this multi‐site intervention study was to examine the effectiveness of the iLs Focus home program with 18 children 4 to 8 years of age with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Results found significant gains across multiple subjective and objective outcome measures in areas of social skills and emotional regulation, number and severity of autistic behaviors, and overall functional adaptive behavior skills.


Spiral Foundation, Boston, MA

Summary: Survey reviewing therapists’ experience using iLs with over 1300 children on the autism spectrum; results are in 24 outcome categories.

Outcome measure & Perceived Frequency of improvements

Never Rarely Sometimes  Often  Always  Often + Always
Motor Coordination 10%  40%  47%  87%
Self-Regulation 10%  46%  41%  87%
Sensory Int/Processing 7%  40% 50% 90%
Arousal 13%  53%  28%  81%
Attention 13%  54%  33%  87%
Transitions 1% 10%  61%  24%  85%
Following Verbal Directions 14%  47%  37%  84%

Understanding The Focus System and How it Works

The Focus System 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 can build neurological pathways and synaptic activity at any age. The Focus System trains for brain/body integration through a staged approach, starting with the fundamentals of sensory integration and then extending through more complex cognitive functions, including language, self-expression and social skills.

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