Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect - Overview
Some children, because of a brain injury either before, during or after birth, are unable to properly habituate to sounds that neuro-typical people take for granted. These children become hyper-sensitive to sounds, even low volume sounds. Their condition is called auditory processing disorder (APD) and is related to sensory processing disorder (SPD).
When these children are 18 months and younger, they may exhibit startle reflexes to a vacuum cleaner in the next room or many other normal acoustic events. By the time they reach three or four years old, some of these children appear deaf, and have developed defensive mechanisms to protect them from unbearable noise. However, their auditory defensiveness is not proper habituation. It is a global "shut down" that isolates them from the world and prevents them from acquiring language.
In many cases these children are diagnosed with autism. In milder cases the child may be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). In yet milder cases a child may not be identifiable as having any auditory issues but may not be achieving the academic levels that his or her intellect would indicate. Other individuals, especially adults have become hypersensitive to sound for other reasons such as a brain tumor, surgery or an acquired brain injury. It has been estimated that 20% of the general population is hypersensitive to common noise to some degree and exhibits sensory processing issues.
The purpose of all Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect (EASe) products is to stimulate, challenge, and promote sensory processing in children on the autism spectrum and others experiencing difficulty with sensory processing and organization.
EASe products are inspired by principles of sensory integration and neurological organization taught by Jean Ayres and Glenn Doman. EASe music is encoded according to the principles of Auditory Integration Training from Guy Berard. Sheila Frick's work to connect auditory and vestibular integration inspires the visual/vestibular link, now present in the EASe Games series.
EASe products deliver short, intense bursts of sensory experiences to stimulate but not over-stimulate a child experiencing difficulty with sensory processing and organization. This virtual sensory diet creates a palette of experiences to help a child cope with typical environmental conditions.
Our EASe audio CDs are the original disc-based auditory stimulation program, developed in 1995 and used by tens of thousands of parents, therapists, teachers, non profit organizations, and school systems all over the world. Our EASe Off-Road, Airshow, UFO, Snowmobile, and Rover games are unique multi-modal tools disguised as video games. They are designed to stimulate and challenge the virtual-vestibular, visual, and auditory triad of sensory pathways to reinforce and promote appropriate response to sound and reinforce balance. Our latest product, EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt, additionally reinforces organization and attention. It incorporates auditory processing by encouraging the child to listen and follow verbal directions, as well as visual processing by providing on-screen directions to scan the environment to find and collect letters, words, faces and objects.
All of our game products are interactive, not testing environments. The child is always in control of his or her movement through the world and is never tested about what he or she does or does not know. All teaching is presented as a simple gift of knowledge to the child.
We strive to balance the sensory experiences in our games and audio products. Too much stimulation and a child resorts to fight-or-flight defense responses. Too little stimulation and we won't get through the barrier of existing sensory defense mechanisms. As the child experiences short intense challenges to his or her sensory abilities, the brain learns to cope in small steps. The more we tumble, the more the balance centers of our brain organize and the better our brain is at tumbling. EASe products stimulate and challenge a child's sensory pathways without exceeding his or her ability to cope.
Stimulation exists in two primary forms: auditory and visual. Auditory stimulation is created by encoding a music bed within the parameters of Berard Auditory Integration Training. Material encoded in this way is characterized by passages of muted music, low pass filtered at 1000 Hz and then randomly punctuated with short bursts of intense high frequency boost equalization. The swing of the high frequencies from muted to boosted states exceeds 80 decibels. The effect on a neuro-typical individual can be agitation and discomfort, but many auditory hypersensitive children recognize the sound as calming.
Each game contains approximately 60 minutes of encoded music. Each song lasts between two and six minutes. Every song is carefully encoded with filtering adjustments made for its particular high frequency content. In this way, each song is optimized instead of being a generic list played through an automatic AIT device. EASe games randomly shuffle the play list, maintaining a fresh auditory environment.
Visual stimulation is in the form of various video driving games. The player controls a buggy, airplane, UFO, or toy tractor, navigating around in a three dimensional space, falling and careening from one place to another. The horizon is in constant motion, causing spatial disorientation and, in some cases, a sensation of dizziness. This virtual vestibular environment is enhanced by visual challenges in the form of distractions flying at the screen, challenging saccadic eye movement and visual concentration. In some games, these challenges are caused by a starburst when the player collects a target, while in others, they are the result of bushes flying past the camera. In every game, the general scene is relatively busy, challenging the player's ability to concentrate on his or her goal, tagging as many targets as possible within a given time limit.
In EASe Funhouse, we have added a treasure hunt. The treasure hunt places a wide variety of collectable treasures in the world and guides the player to them with a soothing voice and visual directions in the heads up display (HUD) at the top of the screen. The player sees either a single object or a list of multiple objects in the HUD, one of which (for example, a picture of six red dots) is larger than the others. The voice-over says, "Go to the six red dots." The player then drives around in search of the image of six red dots. If the player tags a different treasure, such as an image of a happy man, the voice-over says, "That is a happy man. Find the six red dots." In this way the player is never tested on a subject and information is regularly reinforced. This mechanism creates a mental image map for the player to recall from when later asked to find the "happy man."
Treasures range from word cards, to dot cards (quantity), to images of human faces (sad, happy, laughing, frightened, etc.), to colors, geometric shapes, fruit, and more. The player is encouraged to follow directions, to concentrate, to explore, and to remember.
EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt has six unique rooms, each with a different personality and challenges. The player controls a tiny toy tractor, a bit like a child pushing the tractor around the floor of a gymnasium. Most things are oversized, giving the sensation of being very small in a huge space. One room is filled with elevators and three levels to explore. Another room has mesh panels that allow the player to look through and down onto a complex environment. Some rooms have ball games stimulating and challenging a child's concentration. All of the rooms are fun to explore, encouraging the child to willingly participate in their own therapy.
The content on the site is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended in any way to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, medication, wellness program, symptoms, medical diagnosis or treatment. Neither the content nor any other good or service offered by or through the site is intended to be relied on for medical diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you accessed on this site.