Denver psychiatrist’s sound therapy attracts attention for autism treatment

sound_therapy_article_agency_33_denver_coloradoDr. Ron Minson didn’t know how to help his daughter when she was struggling to keep a job and battling with depression. She had been diagnosed as dyslexic, but he couldn’t find a treatment that worked.

Then he and his wife discovered a form of sound therapy to which she responded.

“We found an intervention based on sound that saved her life,” he said.

Now, 20 years later, Minson’s daughter is doing great and holding a steady job, and Minson has made sound therapy the focus of his psychiatric practice.

He is the lead trainer and clinical director for Integrated Listening Systems, a multi-sensory program for improving brain function.

The Denver-based company has made strides in autism treatment that were recently recognized in an independent study by the Spine Foundation.

While the treatment is not solely for those with autism, the study focused on autism patients and the positive results were noted.

“What they found was huge improvement in social engagement,” said Minson, who added that number of autism patients has greatly increased in the past 10 years.

The treatment is also useful for patients with attention deficit disorder and other learning disabilities.

iLs is mostly useful in combination with other treatments and stimulates the brain and enhances balance, visual, auditory, motor, coordination, behavior and emotional regulation.

The company trains therapists in the treatment and they then lead a patient through the procedures. Most of the work is done in home or at a facility that sees patients on a regular basis. The professionals are also trained to work with patients remotely.

“We train therapists in the methodology and provide them with the equipment,” said Randall Redfield, CEO of Integrated Learning Systems.

Redfield said they trained about 100 therapists in 2008, their first year of operation, but this year have trained about 1,600 and have 4,000 professionals using the equipment throughout the country.

The STAR Center is a local treatment facility in Greenwood Village that utilizes iLs treatment and products on their 50-70 clients each week. Speech pathologist Lanie Holbrook said clients use iLs programs in conjunction with their occupational therapy.

One of the more popular items Holbrook said STAR Center is using actively is the sleep pillow, which delivers bone-conducted music for those too young or too sensitive to wear headphones.

“We’ve seen an amazing result in sleep. Kids go from not sleeping at all to sleeping 12 to 16 hours in a row,” she said.

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396 or