The VoicePro™ is an exciting and unique tool designed to help children and adults improve various auditory processing skills. The VoicePro is applied for all ages and abilities relevant to: articulation, phonemic awareness, auditory memory, auditory figure ground and dichotic listening. Therapists working with children on the autism spectrum also use the VoicePro as an effective social training tool.
“While all of the children showed some improvement in the other areas of auditory processing, 22 of the 29 tested at or above normal limits in ALL areas of auditory processing (auditory decoding, prosodics, integration, organization, and association) after the program…”
Aimee Levin Weiner, AuD, speaking on her auditory processing disorder study
THE GOAL IS NOT A QUICK FIX; IT’S LASTING CHANGE.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Decoding, phonemic awareness, listening in a noisy environment and speaking clearly require efficient processing and storage of information. The goal is to train the ear and the brain to analyze and process sound more efficiently and accurately.
Through repeated exercises, iLs programs train one’s ability to:
- Discriminate similar sounding phonemes
- Process and differentiate rapid occurring speech sounds
- Improve inflection and rhythm in speaking and reading aloud
Bone/air conduction headphones deliver unique and efficient stimulation of the auditory and vestibular systems. Exercises in auditory figure ground, filtered words, repeating words and dichotic listening focus on skills related to auditory processing.
THE GOAL IS NOT A QUICK FIX; IT’S LASTING CHANGE.
The VoicePro has been so beneficial to my practice as a pediatric speech language pathologist. With ability to amplify both the client’s and my own voice, I have seen improved sustained attention and accuracy of speech production. The microphone allows for visual and auditory modeling at the same time. This has been a key tool in making progress with each of my clients, and as a bonus the children think it is cool and are motivated to use it each session!
The VoicePro is a great addition to occupational therapy! I am able to work on a range of skills from voice modulation to structured auditory processing tasks. The best part is the headset with microphone – the child’s hands are free for playing and the cord is long enough for the child to swing!
Thank you iLs. My daughter was just re-tested post iLs with auditory processing skills and has progressed all around; however, specifically in phonological skills (sounding out words and blending sounds into words) she has progressed from the 6% for her age (significantly below normal) to 97% for her age (well above normal). She was crying very night last year we had to read and had difficulty with sounding out c a t. Now she is excelled in reading, reading at the top of her class, and best of all she likes to read. She is 5 1/2 and READING! Thank you so much to ILS and a great speech therapist!
WE INTEGRATE MUSIC, MOVEMENT, BALANCE AND LANGUAGE EXERCISES TO IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION.
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SLPs incorporate iLs into their practice because this therapy tool provides a means to enhance sensory input (i.e. address subcortical functions) while continuing to address targeted speech-language/voicing goals, increase attention and focus with directed tasks, enhance auditory and language processing skills, and address organizational components of speech and language. Social skills improve through the use of the microphone (Interactive Language Program) and through the interactive components of the program. The multi-tasking required with adding iLs as a therapeutic modality is more intensive within a shorter time frame and the progress is at a much faster rate. A key point to remember is iLs is not intended to serve as a stand-alone speech therapy modality; the iLs program should be used as a dynamic and integral component of the therapy.
iLs’ three main components of receptive language, expressive language and movement may be used independent of each other or they may be used together. iLs feels Speech-Language Pathologists incorporating iLs the receptive and expressive components into their traditional therapy are practicing within scope of practice guidelines, provided speech therapy exercises occur simultaneously.
In order to maintain records and practices within a SLP’s scope of practice, the critical documentation always focuses on progress made with regards to speech-language, cognitive-linguistic, voicing, literacy/phonological awareness, and auditory processing goals. The focus of goals and progress towards goals should always include evidenced-based practice guidelines for each therapy session.
Based on the ASHA’s Position Statement (2005) regarding (C)APD and the Role of Audiologists, programs for treating and managing APD should
- Involve a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches.
- Service delivery should be intensive and extensive.
- Therapeutic approaches should take advantage of cortical reorganization and principles of neuroplasticity.
iLs is based upon the principles of neuroplasticity (integratedlistening.com). As such, it is important that iLs programs be implemented both intensively and extensively to achieve optimal results.
Utilizing the iLs VoicePro, both bottom-up (auditory training) and top-down (i.e., cognitive, metacognitive, and language strategies) approaches are utilized. For example, the dichotic and auditory figure ground tasks of the VoicePro incorporate a bottom-up approach. Top-down approaches are addressed with auditory sound blending, rhyming and songs, tongue twisters, auditory associations, auditory memory and other exercises.
- After OT (in a multi-disciplinary clinic): Many SLPs working with OTs will begin using iLs after their OT colleague has completed the first phase of combining iLs with occupational therapy, which may vary from 10-30 sessions. This lays the foundation (i.e. improved attention, regulation and sensory processing) for the SLPs to use iLs’ VoicePro.
- Simultaneously with speech therapy: Speech-Language Pathologists use traditional speech language therapy simultaneous to iLs’ receptive phase to address auditory processing, literacy, language, voice and cognitive-linguistic deficits. In this process, the client is wearing headphones, listening to iLs’ receptive language programs at a low volume while working with the therapist. Sessions are the same length as the speech therapy session.
- Expressive language exercises: Once a client has been re-introduced to language range frequencies through the receptive phase, each session can be split up to incorporate a receptive and expressive component. The receptive component is described in the bullet above; the expressive component, iLs’ VoicePro, involves the use of a microphone and headphones for the purpose of working on voice quality, auditory memory and auditory processing-related skills. The VoicePro worksheet is utilized as a screening to gather baseline data and to record improvement. Weak areas are targeted in both pre- recorded activities (i.e. using pre-recorded language exercises from the VoicePro i-Pod) and a natural approach (i.e. using stimuli guided by interactions between the client and therapist).
- Supplementary home program: Many Speech-Language Pathologists recommend an iLs home program for clients who are able to utilize activities from the iLs Playbook – balance, visual, proprioceptive, etc. – on their own, simultaneous to the clinic program. Playbook activities help reduce stress, improve self-regulation, attention, sensory processing, etc., which makes any client more receptive to speech therapy. Note: the iLs Playbook is not a treatment modality; it is used by Speech-Language Pathologists to supplement brain/body integration during home programs.
The focus of goals and progress towards goals should be noted in each session. Speech-Language Pathologists use speech therapy goals and techniques at all times in order to comply with speech insurance codes for billing purposes. This can be done by having music in the background and speech therapy exercises as primary/foreground activities, or incorporating the iLs VoicePro as part of the overall plan to target specific deficits.
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