Helping Edmonton Families Access an Innovative Therapy Tool

The Cause

A Heart for Children Foundation Ltd. (AHFC) is a non-profit corporation that serves Calgary and Edmonton by providing families with children who have a disability access to dynamic and innovative educational and therapeutic programming, in all environments, from birth onward.

AHFC is applying to the Field Law Community Fund Program for funding that will go toward helping families in Edmonton gain access to an innovative therapeutic tool and multisensory program called iLs (Integrated Listening System).

iLs increases a child’s ability to achieve goals in learning, performance optimization, neurodevelopment, and more. iLs integrates music, movement, and language exercises for improving brain function. A device is connected to special headphones that deliver music through air and bone conduction to the cochlea and vestibular systems while a child is simultaneously engaged in visual and motor exercises. Activities are fun and are customized for age and skill level. iLs is intended to be used daily and can be integrated into any part of a child’s regular routine.

Children with a variety of physical and/or cognitive/emotional disabilities can benefit from iLs. This may include children who have autism, down syndrome, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, dyslexia, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, etc.

It would normally cost a family $3000.00 to purchase an iLs device plus the cost for programming with a certified therapist. Funding from Field Law Community Fund would help 12 families by subsidizing half the cost of an iLs device and four months of home-programming with a certified therapy professional. Through this initiative, families will receive a brand new iLs device with headphones and four months of home-programming with a certified therapy professional that includes:

• Individualized iLs activities and programming.
• An initial assessment to determine the foundational direction of programming.
• Monthly reassessments to inform ongoing programming.
• Monthly check-ins following the initial four month.

Who Will it Benefit?

For this initiative, it is AHFC’s intention to target families that have children and youth aged 2-18 years who have a disability and that may not be eligible for funding, have exhausted or limited personal funds or are new comers to Canada who are in the process of establishing their roots and navigating their options. This initiative will not only impact the child or youth that uses it, but will impact the entire family unit and the community.

This initiative will benefit a child or youth who has a disability by equipping them with a fun and engaging tool that will impact them in the following ways:
• Learning: Building the skills which enable success in school: attention, visual and auditory processing, working memory, self-expression, social skills.
• Performance Optimization: Improving processing speed and timing (athletics), creativity and imagination (arts), self–esteem and self-confidence (personal development).
• Neural-Developmental: Achieving therapeutic goals related to emotional and behavioral regulation, sensory processing, communication, and social skills.
• Psychological/Emotional: Improving attention, emotional balance, and vitality.

This initiative will impact the families and ultimately the community of children and youth who have a disability by:
• Relieving some of the financial burden of the costs associated with iLs.
• Empowering families to use iLs independently outside of the home-programming sessions.
• Strengthening the family unit through AHFC’s family-centered approach to therapy.
• Supporting families and children who have a disability to better integrate into their community and participate in social activities.