When you hear a loud or unpleasant sound, how do you normally react?
Your instinct may be to look up or turn your head toward the sound’s general direction. You may even cover your ears when a sound is too loud or unpleasant.
But children with sensory processing disorder can find sounds overwhelming – even painful. Some of these children may even struggle with coordination, anxiety, and behavioral problems. These children usually have what’s known as auditory processing disorder (APD).
The safe and sound protocol (SSP) is a proven technique that can help children suffering from APD. Here’s more information about SSP to help you understand your treatment options.
What is the Safe and Sound Protocol?
Each child with APD faces their own set of unique challenges. Luckily, there are various forms of APD treatment that can cater to your child’s needs.
Some children may need to undergo intensive speech therapy. Others may need to wear sound-blocking headphones in loud or busy environments. Then there is something like the SSP protocol, which tackles APD from several angles.
Children suffering from auditory sensitivity can especially benefit from this form of treatment. That’s because these children may also struggle with anxiety, socializing, and communication. It can prove challenging to treat all these issues at once, but SSP can help.
The safe and sound protocol is an intensive 5-day program. It not only helps children learn how to absorb and process sounds they’re sensitive to. It helps them learn how to communicate their thoughts and cope with external stress.
The program can even help children suffering from balance and coordination issues. It can also help those who struggle to pay attention or make sounds.
Not sure if your child has an auditory processing disorder? There are APD signs you can look for. But only a pediatric speech therapist can officially diagnose your child with APD.
How Does SSP Work?
A child’s ability to process sensory output so often hinges on their emotional state. A child in distress is more likely to have adverse reactions to sounds in their environment. SSP works by helping children achieve a calmer mind state where they feel safe and relaxed.
Each one of us is more receptive to tasks when we feel rewarded and motivated. This is especially the case for children. So, how do you get a child to relax and focus?
Music therapy is at the core of SSP. Children are receptive to something like music because they enjoy it. But the music used in SSP is specifically designed to challenge their nervous system.
SSP music trains the areas of the brain that handle auditory processing. It prepares the brain and body to relax. This helps a child gain more control and makes them more receptive to therapy.
SSP works in combination with other forms of therapy. It acts as a prelude to the nitty-gritty of their therapy, which can range according to your child’s needs.
What Are the Results of SSP?
What can you expect to see after your child undergoes SSP therapy?
Your child’s therapist will pay particular attention to changes in their body language. As a child relaxes, their eyes focus, they can express emotions, and the tone of their voice may change. These signs all indicate when a child is ready to undergo other forms of therapy they need.
After combining SSP with other therapy, children generally feel less fearful and anxious. Their ability to socialize improves immensely. They’re less likely to throw temper tantrums and some children can even start to sleep better.
Can Your Child Benefit from SSP Treatment?
No parent wants to watch their child struggle in fear of their environment. It’s distressing to watch a child suffer from things in their environment, like sounds.
Luckily, our understanding of sensory processing disorders has improved tenfold. Now more than ever, it is possible to help children cope with SPD and live a happy childhood.
To learn more about how safe and sound protocol can help your child, contact us today!