iLs & Autism Spectrum Disorders

ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders) are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, hypersensitivities, attention, motor coordination and repetitive behaviors.

iLs addresses the development of whole brain/body integration through a staged developmental approach, starting with the fundamentals of sensory integration and then extending through more complex cognitive functions, including language, self-expression, and social skills.

We support a multi-disciplinary approach to helping those on the autism spectrum, including behavioral, relationship-based, sensory and bio-medical methods.

iLs & Other Therapies

iLs is an effective intervention on its own or may be implemented in conjunction with a range of other therapies, such as Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy.

iLs & Behavior Based Interventions

Many ABA trained therapists implement iLs alongside ABA. The benefits of this combination are evidenced by both immediate (better quality ABA sessions) and long-term results (social/behavior change is accelerated by improved regulation and processing).

iLs & Relationship Based Interventions

DIR/Floortime, Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) and SCERTS are excellent complements to iLs’ approach. iLs headphone equipment can be worn simultaneous to these approaches with children over 2 years of age.

Supporting Research

In 2012 an independent, non-profit research group conducted a survey with therapists who had used iLs with over 1300 children on the autism spectrum in order to determine areas of efficacy.  The complete study is below and the full survey may be found on the Research page.

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%

Spiral Foundation Study

The Spiral Foundation of Boston, MA conducted a controlled study of 18 children diagnosed with autism. Significant improvement was shown in the areas of social skills and emotional regulation; quantity and quality of atypical and problem behaviors including behavior during treatment; number and severity of autistic behaviors; and overall functional adaptive behavior skills; visual, fine and gross motor.  The iLs programs were conducted at home by parents. A synopsis of the study.

Case Studies

Autism Case Study: Featured on Autism Support Network – including pre/post data, and video interviews with the child’s therapists and parent. Case study conducted by Andrea W. Pointer, M.S., CCC-SLP, Shannon Norris, OTR/L and Cindy Dawkins, OTR/L of Kids Kount Therapy Services, LLC

iLs and ABA Case Study – Debo’rah Merritt, PhD, LPC, ABA Post-Graduate Certificate; Enid Counseling and Diagnostics Center

PDD-NOS – Submitted by Rachel Kuenzli, SLP & Shawna DeHaan, OTR/L

ADHD and Asperger’s – Submitted by Lynn Schoeneck, OTR/L, Porter Academy

Asperger’s Syndrome – Tim Engels, MA, Psychology

Autism – Cindy Dawkins, OTR/L, Andrea Pointer, MS/CCC-SLP, Shannon Norris, OTR/L 10/5/12

Hundreds of iLs-trained therapists are working with the ASD population, and their constant feedback helps iLs management continually improve the program and training.

Specific advice from experienced therapists using iLs with ASD includes the following:

  • Acclimation: Begin with short sessions at low volume; be patient, most kids acclimate within a few sessions but some take longer!
  • Resisting headphones: iLs training includes tips on how to get headphones on kids who at first resist the auditory and tactile sensations
  • Program Choice: the iLs Sensory Motor program is specifically designed as a gentle program for those with sensory processing challenges and hyper-sensitivity
  • Frequency: longer programs with frequent sessions realize the best results, e.g. 4-6 sessions per week for 60 sessions (many kids prefer doing it daily once they feel the more regulated effect)
  • Complementary: iLs is typically, but not always, used in conjunction with other therapies, e.g. OT, PT, Speech, ABA and Floortime. These therapies, and others, are complementary and can be done simultaneous to iLs.