I wanted to become a provider for iLs Focus because I’ve seen such amazing transformations with the Safe and Sound Protocol, and have heard encouraging tales from Focus practitioners (who also use SSP) in the United States. iLs Focus is not commonly used in the UK, so I thought it would be a good idea to get hold of it to evaluate.
The iLs Focus programme is a very comprehensive programme of filtered music coupled with rhythmic movement and visual activities to integrate auditory, visual and vestibular input.
In February, I started supporting an iLs Focus Client, who had been a reflex integration and SSP client for almost a year: a nine year-old boy with sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, attention difficulties, dyslexia and emotional dysregulation.
He has already made fantastic progress with SSP – especially in terms of vastly improved social engagement and emotional regulation. However, he still has catching up to do on the dyslexia/dyspraxia/visual and auditory processing front, which is why this seemed like such a suitable programme for him.
However, iLs Focus is not for the feint hearted. It is a programme that requires enormous dedication on the part of parents.
It involves 30 or 60 minutes of listening to filtered classical music at least 5 times per week for the best results, of which around 20 minutes must include prescribed movements that help develop body awareness and improve the vestibular system.
The programme consists of the following playlists:
- 10-hour Calming Program – for emotional regulation and as a preparation for the rest of the iLs Focus programme, or as a preparation for the Safe and Sound Protocol
- 60-hour Sensory & Motor Program – helps sensory processing and improves body awareness
- 40-hour Concentration & Attention Program – improves concentration and attention
- 40-hour Reading & Auditory Processing Program – helps with auditory and visual integration for reading and auditory processing
Within a month of starting iLs Focus, my little superstar client had made some very subtle “gains”, which were noticeable to his parents. Firstly, his coordination had improved, secondly, his handwriting had become a lot more fluid (although still a struggle), thirdly he began to really understand times tables and how they relate to division, and fourthly, his voice: he always spoke in a shout, and yet his parents noticed how his voice had started to quieten!
Sadly, we had to stop our weekly in-person sessions due to the situation with Covid19. We replaced weekly sessions with a weekly review by Zoom, which has been going well. The biggest superstars are his parents, who have been keeping the programme going! I suppose it’s easier to keep up with something like this when school is not happening as usual and you have all the time in the world, though.
So we are now in June, four months into the programme. He has completed a sixty-hour sensory and motor programme and is now working through an auditory processing and reading programme. His mother has recently sent me a video of him doing a standing cross crawl movement, and the difference between this movement now and when he first started is incredible: he is now coordinating the movement effortlessly, whereas just four months ago, he had no idea what was where.
The iLs Focus programme is well worth investigating. However, ONLY if you have the time to invest, because you don’t want to spend all that money on a system only to give up after a the initial excitement wears off. My reflex integration programmes take around five minutes per day. If you’ve tried that and haven’t been able to stick with it, please don’t waste your money on iLs Focus. However, if you have stuck with a programme and would like something to bring it all together, perhaps this is something you might like to look into.