Staying focused is often a challenging task for students with special needs. The Adams 12 Five Star School District decided to change the approach of teaching students with autism and other learning disabilities. At Rocky Mountain Elementary School in Westminster, Colorado, a change has been made. This started as an Integrated Listening System (ILS) pilot last year and is now being planned to expand.
They have been implementing these new teaching strategies with special needs students. By combining music and physical activities, the students work to help the brain process multi-sensory information. For example, a few times a week, some students puts on a headset and listen to music that was picked specifically for their brain functions. Exercises with a physical therapist also are done to stimulate different parts of the brain at the same time.
An example of this process could be balancing on one foot while reciting the alphabet. The music is played through headphones and also through another speaker that is placed at the top of the student’s head to send vibrations through the skull to the inner ear. With the changes in these frequencies, students with different types of learning disabilities are affected.
For many students, it helps them focus. Being able to hear noise and perform a task translates into better focus and attention in the classroom. The student featured in this video has made successful progress since starting the program. Other students have made progression both in and out of the classroom thanks to this program.
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