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ETpro's avatar

Anyone know about the LACE (Listening And Communication Enhancement) program?

Asked by ETpro (34232 points ) December 11th, 2013

Here are the claims about it on the Neurotone website. It’s new to me. Does anyone know if it’s effective? Expensive? Worth it?

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3 Answers

geeky_mama's avatar

This sounds very interesting to me. I’ll be following this question to see if you get any helpful responses..
I’m a bit skeptical in general of “brain training” schemes like Iumiosity and the like…but I have significant trouble hearing in exactly the situations mentioned on this site..so if this would actually help my retention of conversations in noisy restaurants it might be worth the $99…

hearkat's avatar

… You have hearing as a tag, yet this was not directed to me. I forgot to mention this to Ben, and it’s been a problem for a long time.

I first heard of the program at a presentation given by it’s creator at a convention a few years back. They were touting it as the next great thing in Aural Rehabilitation and one hearing aid company was going to include it with all new orders. Still, I was skeptical whether it would succeed. I do know that these types of programs are beneficial for some people, and similar programs exist for children with auditory processing disorders.

My skepticism was based on a couple things:
1) When I was fresh out of grad school, I taught lip-reading to some of my patients in weekly group classes. Of the handful in each course, one would take to it like a fish to water, a couple would show some improvement and get the gist of it enough that it could enhance their communication, and one or two just couldn’t grasp it no matter what. I suppose there’s a bell curve among populations when learning any new skill.
2) In order to succeed with any rehabilitation, the patient has to be motivated to participate in the lessons and to apply the lessons in their daily life. How many people stop doing their exercises within weeks of being discharged from physical therapy? Add to that the fact that this is ‘self-help’ and the patient’s motivation would need to be even higher.

Shortly after I first heard about it there were some journal articles and ads for it… but I can’t honestly say when was the last time I heard it mentioned, and it probably has been at least a year. Had it been successful, it would be mentioned and competitive products would be all over the place.

With that said, most of my patients develop better listening skills just through the counseling I provide as they get used to their new hearing aids. Still, the vast majority of people could benefit from improved listening skills, but that is largely a cultural issue.

We take hearing for granted. If you notice that you are challenged to follow conversations that we’re not a problem in the past, I would recommend getting your hearing tested and seeing if there are deficits. If there is some hearing loss, listening skills will only get you but so far, since the auditory nervous system is being given a degraded signal. Correcting for the hearing loss will be more effective, and becoming an active listener will improve communication even more.

ETpro's avatar

@hearkat I should have thought to send this question to you. Thanks for the feedback.

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