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Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and ADHD

ADHD, Sensory and Auditory Processing Disorders

Does anyone have a child who suffers from ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder?  I would love to get your thoughts on how you deal with all three of these disorders?


My 5 yr old son has all three of these.  We are using fish oil, magnesium,  Integrated Listening Systems therapy, and a lot of OT, play therapy, and music therapy… and still struggling. We have tried stimulant and non-stimulant medications and had horrible reactions on both, so we are waiting before we try the medication route again.

Posted by khrys1119 on Dec 14, 2011 at 10:14pm

We too are using fish oil, magnesium, ILS Therapy, OT, Play Therapy and music therapy.  Our daughter loves music.  We are also on stimulant meds, Adderall XR and melatonin at night for sleep.  Good Luck. 

PS. We are about to add counseling into the mix.  We are still struggling too.

Blessings, grin

Posted by karen4880 on Dec 14, 2011 at 11:36pm

What is ILS therapy? My daughter has ADHD, sensory processing disorder and texture sensitivity to food, hair, and clothing and they believe she hasis Auditory Processing Disorder too, which I have as well. She hasn’t had any testing for it, but she is just like me. Can you guys explain why what you’re doing for your child helps them? As in thethe fish oil helps attention, the ILS helpstherapy ________ etc..  She has had counseling which does help but is expensive so she can’t go all the time.  She is on Adderall XR, but still has horrible issues listening, bad self esteem and some mild attention issues. I’d like to get her off all meds and see how she is for awhile and try some of these other ideas. Can u help?

Posted by Kristi on Dec 15, 2011 at 2:33am

Hi Kristi,
ILs therapy is Integrated Listening Systems (iLs). I have used it for my adult ADHD and for all three of my kiddo who have either SPD, ADHD or Autism.  I got the Total Focus home unit and the whole family used it for just the initial price. It is listening to specially treated music through special vestibular stimulating, bone-conduction headphones and doing a movement program at the same time.

It helps with auditory and sensory processing, attention, sleep, academics, mood, hyper-sensitive hearing or to normalize volume in people who talk too loud etc. I was able to get my son with ADHD off 4 different medications (for attention, sleep, mood, obsessions) he improved in every fiber of his being and he stopped talking toooo loud. My kids with hyper-sensitive hearing stopped covering their ears etc. I could go on and on about all the improvements.

ILs works through neuroplasticity where it helps to grow the neuropathways.  There are a lot of video’s on their website, case studies and research that talk about the results. They have parent webinars to give you more info.

Hope you look into it!

Posted by RGADHD on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:57am


Ditto to everything RG said.  Also… if you can not afford to purchase the system (we could not) it is possible to rent one through a place in Colorado. I believe it’s $25 shipping and then $50 per week. If you want/need more information I can send it to you.

iLs is by far the best/biggest help for my son. He is most likely on the spectrum to some extent, has ADHD empahsis on the H, auditory processing problems, and tons of sensory issues.  He is hypersensitive to all medications and most supplements (for example as I just wrote in another post, just half a mg of melatonin knocks him out. The tiniest possible dose of Metadate, further cut in half, turned him into a wild animal). 

The results I see with the iLs are that it helps him to not act out aggressively (has helped with hitting, biting and screaming), to be far less impulsive (ie he can stand to stop and think a moment rather than just automatically react to whatever is bothering him). He is less frustrated, and less angry. He is using his words a LOT more. He is speaking more clearly and in a more normal volume rather than always either whispering or screaming. He is more aware of his body and his physical needs and stops having potty accidents. He is spinning less and not stimming as much. He is happier and smiling more.

I can say enough about how this helps us. That said, for us (and this is not typical) I do see that he has a harder time sleeping on nights we do the iLs and he seems to also not eat very well.

That, however, is a very small trade off for such great overall mental improvement.

If I can help in any way, with experience, or contacts or anything, just let me know.

Good luck!


Posted by khrys1119 on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:11pm

PS: the fish oil (we use Barlean’s Kids Omega Swirl, 3 tsp in the morning with food) helps with the hyperactivity and his overall mood. The magnesium helps to calm him. We do 1/4 tsp morning and night of NaturalCalm lemon (powder we mix with water into a lemon drink).  The play therapy is for social skills (he has great difficulty reading social cues). The music therapy he gets at preschool to help with his social issues there and to also help with some of the more sensory issues he has in that environment. The OT is necessary when doing the iLs. I don’t think you can purchase a system (or rent one) without going through an Occupational Therapist.

Posted by khrys1119 on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:16pm


Our kiddos sound perhaps much alike!  Question for you… did you ever try Metadate CD? I wondering if it might be worth it for us to try Adderall after he had such a horrible reaction to metadate…

Posted by khrys1119 on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:18pm


My son currently takes Metadate CD and Clonidine for sleep. He is 9 years old and suffers from ADHD, Sensory and Auditory Processing Disorders. We have tried Focolin, Ritalin, and another non-stimulant drug, but the non-stimulant was horrible for him. He had a terrible reaction and I had to take him off of it. He is doing very well on the Metadate CD. But as I am sure you know, all kids react differently to medications. Good luck with finding a new med.  .

Posted by sunflowermom24 on Dec 17, 2011 at 4:09am

I am very interesting in finding out more information about ILS. Do you know if your children can get ILS through OT services? My son is currently recieving OT and I was wondering if it might be something that your insurance company might approve and pay for if your Therapist could administer it to your child. If it helps your kids with inpulsivity and using their words instead of hitting/kicking, if it helps them to eat better and use the bathroom instead of soiling their pants, then I will try anything.

Posted by sunflowermom24 on Dec 17, 2011 at 4:16am


I have not ever heard of anyone’s insurance covering iLs therapy in and of itself.  However, if you get an OT who will do it as part of your already insurance-covered sessions, you might be able to swing it.

It did take about 3-4 of constant therapy for us to see much improvement, but it really did and does help.  We are in a study now through the Spiral Foundation and doing the therapy 5 hrs per week at home and it really does help my son.

That said, I have found that in our case (which I hear is NOT typical) when we stop the therapy we lose the progress we have made.  I hear this is more common in kids on the spectrum and that kids like this take a lot longer to hang on to the gains.  So, while one child may be a able to do the 60 session sensory motor program one time and retain the gains, my son has done it over twice now… and we are hoping he will retain them this time.

Good luck and private message me if I can help at all in connecting you with resources….


Posted by khrys1119 on Jan 15, 2012 at 1:06am

My son was on ILS for the better part of 9 months and it definitely had an effect - both positive and negative.  Our OT was great and worked closely with us.  When certain CDs were “too much for him” we would switch them out for other ones.  As he was working through some strong sensory issues, the ILS helped take the edge off to allow him to better address situations.  Our OT only charged $10 for rental of the CDs.  Good luck!

Posted by ADHD Dad on Jul 30, 2012 at 6:30am

I know this is an old thread, but thought I might clarify that there are multiple auditory programs out there with some variation in approach.  If CD’s are involved it’s not iLs, but a different program.  iLs (integrated listening systems) uses an iPod. iLs has a great website with lots of good information and videos to check out if you are interested in more information.

Posted by Nikiki on Mar 25, 2013 at 8:49pm

Nikiki, I have a 10 yr old son with mild PDD-NOS, ADHD, Sensory and Auditory processing disorders. I am very interested in learning more about the ils programs. So far I have only found one location in my area that provides the program however they do not accept any type of insurance.

Posted by sunflowermom24 on Mar 25, 2013 at 9:53pm

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