Sound-based therapy helping kids with developmental disabilities

August 19, 2012 (DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.)

Milestone for Kids' Success promotes sound-based intervention.

Sound-based therapy uses modified music to exercise the muscles in the middle ear, which enhances transmission of sounds to various parts of the brain.

It is an important tool for children with sensory process challenges.

At Milestones for Kids' Success in Downers Grove, Emmalene Lara is working with occupational therapist and founder of Milestone Janet Puderbaugh. Emmalene was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder a year ago, says mom, Rebekah.

"We initially had noticed problems with her feeding when she was between nine and 12 months old," Rebekah said. "She went on like a hunger strike and later we found that she would only eat crunchy foods. So, that's how we got hooked up with feeding clinic, and they noticed that it was a texture problem that she was having with her foods. She also didn't like if her hands [were] dirty."

Shortly after Emmalene was diagnosed with her disability, she started sound-based intervention at Milestone.

"Sound is such a powerful form of sensory input. It can have an influence on a wide range of behaviors," said Puderbaugh. "The benefits of the sound-based intervention includes improved sensory modulation, improved behavioral organization, improved emotional regulation, improved posture and motor control, improved awareness and engagement of the environment, increased independence in a wide variety of daily skills."

Milestones starts working with babies all the way up through adolescents.

"We see children with mild type of difficulties, speech language delays, all the way up through more severely involved kids of disabilities. We see a lot of children with sensory processing difficulties," said Puderbaugh.

"We have 14 therapists on staff currently. We service approximately 270 children a year," the therapist said.

Since starting at Milestones, Emmalene has made a lot of progress.

"Bath time used to be a huge struggle, and now, she looks forward to them. She has gained a lot more confidence. She is more willing to try new things that she wouldn't before like grooming and clothing. She is doing really well," Rebekah said.

To learn more about Milestones for Kids' Success and their fee structures go to

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