Self-Regulation Through Sensory Training


The more we learn about the brain the more we appreciate the regulating value of exercise. And by "exercise" I mean more than a good game of tennis or a jog around the block. As my readers know, for years I have advocated what might be called "neuro-exercise" - specific sensory activities which build and strengthen neural pathways in the brain. We are all aware now of the notion that our brains are plastic and can change, but less known are two key points:

1. Lasting neurological change only happens in response to specific, repeated stimulation; and,

2. These kinds of neuro-exercises can really help regulate children and adults with attention deficits.

A program based on this concept, Integrated Listening Systems, or iLs, is being used at Hallowell Centers and other clinics and schools around the country with notable results.
The iLs approach is to combine auditory, visual and balance exercises into a neat package (an iPod loaded with processed music, special headphones, balance board and visual tools are included - see By training these specific sensory
channels, we are giving a workout to the pathways used to process and store information. Those same pathways play a big role in helping us organize and regulate ourselves.

I recommend parents, teachers and clinicians look into how they might add iLs' "neuro-exercise" approach to the other methods they are using to help focus and regulation. Not only does iLs tackle regulation and processing in a unique way, it's fun and shows results in a relatively short period of time!

All warm wishes,

Ned Hallowell


Quick Links...
Join Our Mailing List