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Auditory Integration Therapy on a 3 year old boy with social pragmatic communication disorder

Finn is a 3 year old boy.  He currently undergoes ABA, OT and Speech Therapy.  Finn was initially referred by a developmental pediatrician for a different type of auditory therapy as there were no slots available.  Finn’s mom decided to do diligently do some research on the internet and came across Sound Therapy.  She compared the different forms of therapy available and settled on AIT due to the short amount of time it needed.

Finn is diagnosed with social pragmatic communication disorder. Children like Finn have difficulty using spoken language in socially appropriate ways.  Finn has limited speech.  He also has hypersensitivity and is dislikes certain sounds of the blender, electric toothbrush, vacuum and  the rosary announcement as SM.   He also gets easily surprised by loud sounds.  He has fleeting eye contact with people. He has difficulty expressing his needs.  He tends to ignore people and needs to be prompted in order to him to greet.   He likes to play by himself.

Finn for his age is easily distracted, and has difficulty with long periods of sitting and paying attention. Finn’s mom often uses the ipad as a way to make Finn sit down for longer periods of time.  In a restaurant, Finn’s mom often requests for a high chair as a way of physically restraining Finn from wandering around the place.   Finn’s mother hopes this therapy will help Finn with his auditory sensitivity and help Finn improve in other aspects such as attention.

Finn is resistant to having AIT done.  He has difficulty with tolerating the sounds.  He would cry often during the sessions, especially the 1st and 2nd day.

3rd day: Finn was a little bit more behaved and calmer during the 1st session, but was again crying during the second session.

4th day:  Finn didn’t cry during the 1st session and was actually able to say “ I’m finished” within 2 minutes of the starting.  When Teacher didn’t remove the headphones, Finn started crying and wanting to remove headphones until the end.  He also had to be prompted to say “Finish”.  On the 2nd session, he cries again and says that “I’m really sad” which is says three times.  He also turned to Teacher and demandingly asked. “ Are you sure?”  Ang sakit. Carry. I’m sleepy. Ayaw mo.  Ayaw ko. Why? Go down. Daddy Go down. Finish na.    He would say these words during the session.   He also needed again to be prompted when the session was over . He calmed down after the music stopped and looked up at the airplane mobile hanging in the room and said “Airplane” and spends a few seconds staring at the airplanes.

5th day :  Finn is again upset and crying.  “ Mommy “ , “ I’m finished na”, “Teacher, mommy, yaya. Why? Why? “ At the end of the session, when the music stopped, Finn was able to say “ Teacher, I’m finished “ with a little prompting like “ Are you finished?”.  At the start of the 2nd session,  Finn already says “ I’m finished.”  “Teacher Music go home na.” “Why?”  “ Go home na”.  He was actually able to say  “I’m finished” without prompting when the music ended.

That night, Finn surprised his family by greeting his Lola and aunt by saying “ Hi Lola and Hi Tita Cha “without prompting.  Previously, he would just ignore his Lola and Aunt.

6th day:  Finn again cried during the first session.  On the 2nd session,  he was also crying but fell asleep at the last part.   When Finn woke up, he was in a good mood since the session was over.  He was asked by his mom to say goodbye, since Teacher Steph was distracted and talking to someone else.  He went over and touched Teacher’s wrist to  call her attention, this made Teacher Steph look at Finn, and Finn said his goodbyes.

Finn surprised his parents today by greeting and kissing Manang Tess . This was done with no prompting from anyone.

7th day :  Finn started fine and then starting crying and having a tantrum.  He kept saying “ I’m done”  “Are we done na?” “I’m done pa”.  After that he shouted “ Oh my God!” “Mommy” “God! God! God!  “  “Remove headphones.” “I want to remove headphone.”

After the session, Finn again says his goodbyes.  He now kisses people on the cheek with sound effect.  He also looks at people and waves goodbye.

8th day:  Finn says “ no more sound”  “ I want music please.”  “Teacher  remove headphones”. For the first time today, Finn did not cry.  He also kissed Teacher on the cheek.     On the 2nd session,  Finn got upset and said “ What are you doing? “ Why?”.  He also said “ I want remove? “   He needed to be taught to how say “ headphones”.

9th day :  During the first session, Finn is crying less.   He asks “ What’s wrong? “ “Sakit” “Remove the earphone” “Massage the ears”. He would whine but would also try to cooperate.  He wanted to pull his eyelash  On the 2nd session,  he was able to say more words “ Teacher look. I remove it. No.  It’s okay. Don’t cry (while crying).   He says again “ Teacher look.  I want to remove it. Later. Later. It’s okay. Mommy I remove it.  Look at me. Look at you.  Then he turns to teacher and says “ look at me first (with eye contact).  I want to hear.  What you want to say.  At the end, he was able to say “Teacher I want remove”  .  He had to be prompted with “ I want…”.

Finn went to his Grandparents’ home for a party. Finn surprised everyone by showing interest in wanting to play and interact with the adults, something he would not do before.

10th day :

1st session.  He said “ Look, Teacher. I want to remove this.  Please help. Help me. Help me . Help.   At the end of the session, he says “ Look at me. Teacher, please get.”  After he requested, we removed the headphones.  At the end of the session, Finn surprises Teacher Steph by saying goodbye. He hugged Teacher and pressed his cheek to Teacher’s cheek.

Finn’s mom took him out to lunch and was pleasantly surprised to find the Finn was able to sit down on a regular chair and pay attention to his food.  He was not given an Ipad during this time and was very well behaved during the entire lunch.

2nd session was much better. Finn was much calmer. Although he whined and complained that he wanted to remove the headphone.  He said he was sleepy and eventually fell asleep.

Mom’s observations:

Finn has lost his aversion to the blender, vacuum, and electric toothbrush.  He now pays attention to what he is working on during coloring activities and even looks at the numbers on the sheet.  He has also become more verbal.  Mom plans to have Finn do another session next year as a follow -up.

It’s surprising to see how much one’s hearing can have so much impact on one’s behavior.