A Critical Link in Sensory Integration
Jean Ayres' groundbreaking work in the field of sensory integration brought to light the critical
importance of integrating information from our senses for the organization of movement, learning,
and behavior. A primary focus of sensory integrative treatment is to enhance sensory processing
through the vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile senses to facilitate self-generated,
Recent clinical practice demonstrates the efficacy of incorporating
sound into sensory integrative treatment strategies. In fact, many
experts agree that the auditory system is a critical link in sensory integration
theory. Therapeutic Listening® is an innovative program for providing
high quality auditory input within the context of sensory integrative
Listening is a Sensory Integrative Experience
Sensory integration is the ability to organize sensory input from the body and the environment
and to incorporate it adaptively in meaningful occupations. In everyday listening we are doing just
selectively to auditory information and integrating it with other salient sensory
Listening is a voluntary, survivalrelated,
whole brain, and whole body process. The survival of an
animal living in the wild depends on its ability to listen and monitor and then actively respond to
changes in the environment. Because of its importance in survival, Ayres acknowledged that the
processing of sound could be classified as one of the 'primal forms of sensory integration'.
What is Therapeutic Listening?
Therapeutic Listening (TL) is an expansion of Sensory Integration. It is an auditory intervention
that uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system.
Auditory information from Therapeutic Listening CDs provides direct input to both the vestibular
and the auditory portions of the vestibular-cochlear
continuum. The emphasis of TL is on
blending sound intervention strategies with vestibulo-proprioceptive,
core development, and
breath activities so as to sustain grounding and centering of the body and mind in space and time.
Providing these postural, movement, and respiratory activities as part of the TL program is critical.
Therapeutic Listening utilizes numerous CDs that vary in musical style, types of filtering, and level
of complexity. The music on Therapeutic Listening CDs is electronically altered to elicit the orienting
response which sets up the body for sustained attention and active listening.
For more information please consult the Vital Links website or download an introduction pdf .