Listening Therapy: FSA Eligibility
What is listening therapy?
Listening therapy is a type of therapy used by occupational therapists to help a patient with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) develop improved sensitivity to sounds. Listening therapy is based on the theory of neuroplasticity, which suggests that the brain grows and develops in response to experiences. Listening therapy is typically administered by recordings, played through headphones, which include a variety of sounds across various frequencies which stimulates the brain (Vital Links).
Occupational therapists use listening therapy as part of an overall process called sensory integrative therapy. Sensory integrative therapy helps individuals with ADHD who have sensory processing disorder. Sensory processing disorder is a theorized disorder, sometimes considered a separate disorder from ADHD. Symptoms include sensitivity to loud sounds like fire engines and sirens or animals, or a craving for more sensory stimulation. Sensory integrative therapies are being researched for their effectiveness in treating impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Listening therapy works by stimulating the brain with specific sound frequencies and patterns. This improves the neurological foundation for integrating sensory input in the brain. Basically, the brain is introduced to a "catalogue" of stimulations of these various sounds, and so the brain learns to interpret, archive and react to sounds more effectively.
Listening therapy and listening therapy devices, such as the integrated listening systems, a product that works with electronic music devices to deliver sound through headphones with bone conduction capability. There are multiple configurations of products like these, and they usually come options for hearing-impaired individuals as well. Listening therapy devices and products might also include microphones for integrated speech therapy (UNDERSTOOD.org).
Listening therapy training, devices and equipment are eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.