Why might my child need to see a Pediatric OT about Hearing?
- Do you notice your child covering their ears in busy or loud places?
- Do you notice that you have a hard time getting your child’s attention when they are distracted or playing?
- Have you checked your child’s ears for hearing loss?
These are all situations where Pediatric Occupational Therapy can make a massive difference in your child’s life. Our team of providers specialize in auditory function and The Safe and Sound Protocol.
What is the Safe and Sound Protocol?
The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges and is based on the Polyvagal Theory. In essence, The Safe and Sound Protocol addresses issues within the auditory system, and helps build curiosity of social engagement and supports management of anxiety.
Having your child complete The Safe and Sound Protocol will:
- Calm their nervous system
- Improve social engagement and support their ability to feel more open to cues for listening and learning
- Improve flexible thinking: glass half full vs. glass half empty
- Improve expression of self and self confidence
- Improve motor skills and motor responses
If you would like to learn more about the Polyvagal Theory or the Safe and Sound Protocol, please visit https://integratedlistening.com/science-of-feeling-safe/ or https://www.polyvagalinstitute.org/ for more information.
What to expect in a SSP Appointment?
Prior to arriving to your first appointment, you will receive paperwork and fill out a questionnaire related to your child and their sensory system. During the first session with your occupational therapist you will speak in depth about what brings you and your child in to see us. We take this step very seriously, and truly listen to your concerns to get a solid understanding of where the issue or problem may be.
Once we get to know you and your child, we may determine that the Safe and Sound Protocol is part of the plan. If so, we begin the treatment right away. First, we will ask your child to put on a pair of over-ear headphones and ask them to listen to specially filtered music. Next, we work with you to empower you on how to interact with your child while they are listening to the music with the headphones on. We prescribe a toy that your child can play with in a calm and relaxed manner, these can include building bricks, play dough, or something else that is small while listening.
You will attend the first session in the clinic with the occupational therapist. Following your first appointment, you and your child will continue the rest of the sessions in the comfort of your own home. Your provider will be checking in with you to best support and evaluate how your child is responding to treatment. Depending on progress and your child’s unique needs, there may be further evaluation or treatment needed. Our number one goal is to provide you with all the tools, techniques and resources to help guide your child to reach their goals as quickly as possible!
What will my time commitment be at home outside of OT Appointments to complete the SSP?
Typically, 30 minutes for 10 days. You will need to provide direct supervision of your child during this time.
Questions or want to learn more?
Contact us at 406.522.3722 or click to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION below:
CONTENT CREATED BY: Lori Swenson, OTR/L
Lone Peak Pediatric Therapy