Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ILS - Integrated Listening System, or Incomprehensible Little Secrets...

Written by Luke Hsieh, Community Access Center, Riverside

I am back to my favorite field of Assistive Technology after about eight months of doing Special Education Advocacy. My conclusion? Computers are way more compliant than school districts in the Inland Empire.

Anyway, the latest and hottest news for people with Autism seems to be something called an Integrated Listening System. From a strictly technical standpoint, the whole thing appears to be a glorified MP3 player. But some school districts seem to swear by it, and if it is good enough for the Californian school districts, it may be good enough for me. But first, I need to do some digging for information.

What's surprising about the system has been that other than the officially sanctioned testimonies and research articles, shockingly little is known. That does not go well with my stereotypical notion of the American public. Usually when something does not work, the allegation of fraud and scam fly off the roof, and god forbid, civil lawsuits. So, looking at it from this angle, no negative publicity equals good publicity. Although there are tons (gigabytes) of therapeutic listening CDs on Amazon, there is no integrated listening system, not even a sample. So we are left with little more than informerciously (yay, I invented a new word) miraculous testimonies, and the fact that some school districts are using it.

So, if you know something, anything, about the efficacy of the seemingly glorified mp3 player, I need to know if it helps you or your child and to what degree it has helped. Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.  


  1. Lucky you that CA is using Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) in the schools. I did a lot of research before I started using Integrated Listening Systems with my whole family at home. I have adult ADHD and my 3 kids are diagnosed with SPD, Severe Autism or ADHD. We all used the home unit called the "Total Focus" with impressive and measurable results. After going through programs for about a year we were able to get my youngest off 4 medications and he really improved in: attention, hyperactivity, academics, sleep, articulation, voice volume, behavior, sensory processing, athletic ability, socialization and auditory processing. My son with autism stopped covering his ears. As an adult I really improved on my processing speed, ability to find my words, memory, time management, attention and sleep. I have done a lot of different therapies with my kids and iLs is the therapy that really provided life changing results. I will never be without my home unit to do additional programs every once in awhile especially after ear infections or growth spurts.

    All 4 iLs programs are on a large iPod with a customized amp that is worn in a waist pack. The headphones are customized with this special bone conduction that is a slight vibration helps the sensory system. The system comes with a movement program that includes a balance board, hanging ball and bean bags.

    If you want to learn what ILs is all about you might want to take an introductory professional or parent webinar to get more information. Here is the link for the dates and times to register for the webinars http://www.integratedlistening.com/training/ils-webinars/

    I like this case study with a girl with high functioning autism who lost her diagnosis after listening while doing OT etc. http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/video-integrated-listening-systems-case-study-autism-22930432

    I wish my kids could have access to this program when they were younger. Heck I wish I had this program when I was younger…

    Thanks for giving me a chance to share information about my favorite therapy,

  2. My son has high functioning autism and has completed the receptive portion of ils, which would be bassically ot. His motor planning has improved, his processing skills are more fluent, and his attention span has improved. I don't know if this is due to the ils, or the intensity of the therapy, he gets 4 hours of ot with ils per week. We are about to enter the expressive phase,st, I am happy, but I do wish that this was an asha approved therapy.

  3. Beltone's listening systems are designed to help one hear in open places like markets, theaters. Hearing in public places can be hard whether or not one is hearing challenged. The deaf were limited to reading lips or interpreting actions while at theaters and concerts or other events. This causes a less understanding of the information.