The Safe and Sound Protocol and.... ADHD

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a short duration sound-based program demonstrated to provide sustained relief from many of the symptoms presenting in those with a diagnosis of ADD and ADHD, such as difficulties in emotional regulation, focus, attention, self-initiation and organization, sensory sensitivities, sensory processing challenges, and anxiety. The SSP does this by working with the person’s system, not against it or over it, to return his or her system to a relaxed, regenerative, and progressive state of functioning. This return to a regenerative state of functioning allows the person’s system to let go those behaviours necessary for the alarmed state of functioning in which he or she is currently situated and to engage instead in regenerative and restorative behaviours such as focused attention, planning, digestion, sleep, attention to human voice, and gatekeeping of sensory input. This return to the restorative state is accomplished through triggering of the person’s biologically evolved safety processes through exposure to specifically tailored sound frequency pitches. As a program which addresses the root sources of a person’s symptoms through direct engagement of his or her own systems the Safe and Sound Protocol is a natural and non-intrusive ADHD treatment, an alternative to the pharmaceutical approaches which chase symptoms, not causes, and cognitive training interventions which attempt to impose executive control over autonomic functioning. The results of the SSP are also self-sustaining and repeat administrations are generally not necessary unless in the case of the experience of a traumatic event or events. My offices are located in Calgary, Alberta, however, as I offer the Safe and Sound Protocol via remote administration for treatment of ADD and ADHD I am able to provide the Safe and Sound Protocol as an alternative treatment and therapy for ADD and ADHD not only to those in the Calgary area and around but also to those located elsewhere in Canada, including in remote locations. The SSP as an alternative treatment for ADD and ADHD is applicable to adults as well as children and youth.

For general information on the theory behind the Safe and Sound Protocol and the clinical science backing it up, as well as particulars about my qualifications and the services I offer, please visit my main Safe and Sound Protocol page here. For more detailed information on the Safe and Sound Protocol as an alternative treatment or therapy for ADD and ADHD, read on.

The Safe and Sound Protocol addresses three areas of need typically presenting in those with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, these areas of need being deficiencies in executive functioning, anxiety related to primary ADD / ADHD symptomology, and sensory hypersensitivities and processing difficulties.

A primary diagnostic criterion for ADD and ADHD is deficiency in executive functioning. Executive functioning includes the activities of behavioural inhibition, sustained attention, verbal and non-verbal working memory, planning and problem solving, emotional self-regulation, and self-motivation. Challenges in these areas intrude into “real life” not just in school performance by school age children but also by individuals of all ages in terms of their ability to relate to others, obtain and keep employment, realize self-care, manage themselves and their households, adapt to changing life circumstances, and plan for the future, to name just a few areas of impact. As a result of difficulties in the areas of executive functioning both children and adults with ADD / ADHD generally experience less overall success in life as well as higher point to point mortality rates and lower life expectancies than their peers and colleagues (Hyperactive Child Syndrome and Estimated Life Expectancy...). ADD / ADHD is not a trivial diagnosis and its impact does not go away outside of the school setting. The Safe and Sound Protocol can help. For detailed discussion on how the SSP can help with challenges in the areas of executive functioning, what could be expected as a result of relief of challenges in the areas of executive functioning, or for questions regarding applicability to your particular situation, please call me, Erika, at 1-403-472-8405, or send me a note via my contact form here. For those presenting with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD in addition to discussion and planning specific to the symptomology presenting in each individual I also include in his or her SSP package pre and post SSP in-house administration and interpretation of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale.

It is not unusual for individuals with a diagnosis of ADD / ADHD to also exhibit elevated levels of anxiety associated with their primary ADD / ADHD symptomology. Those with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD who participate in the Safe and Sound Protocol typically experience a lessening of anxiety symptomology even within the administration period, even if they have not been formally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. This reduction in anxiety symptomology has been demonstrated to be pervasive, meaning, it stays. You do not have to be tense and on guard all the time. For discussion on the impact of the SSP on anxiety in those with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD please call me, Erika, at 1-403-472-8405, or send me a note via my contact form here.

It is very common for individuals with ADD or ADHD to be extremely sensitive to certain sensory stimuli, particularly sounds and lights. Incredible as it might seem not everyone experiences pain from the noise in a restaurant, not everyone needs to wear sunglasses to go outside on even cloudy days, and not everyone has to leave their exercise class because the studio decided to make the lights flash. Sensitivities to texture are also not uncommon - some people really are just as comfortable in jeans as they are in sweats. Difficulties in these areas can all be helped with the SSP, it often starts before the administration is even completed, and it sticks. Imagine the freedom of being one of those people who can go freely outside without sunglasses, any time, who can sit at any table in a restaurant, who can have a social visit with a friend in a coffee shop, who can attend their child’s Christmas concert without pain, who can go to a hockey game…. For adults and adolescents presenting with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD I administer the Brain Body Center Sensory Scales and the Body Perception Questionnaires pre and post SSP to provide a general sensory experience profile and to obtain a measure of autonomic nervous system functioning both before and after the SSP, for younger children I provide the Brain Body Center Sensory Scale for auditory processing and the SSP Parent Questionnaire. These measures and their interpretation are included in the SSP administration cost and are provided in-house.

People with ADD and ADHD often also have difficulties with sensory differentiation, again, particularly visual and auditory. This makes focus difficult or impossible as all those other sounds and movements, such as the air conditioner, the furnace, the humming of the computer fan, the leaves rustling outside the window, and the cars driving by, intrude with equal priority to the task at hand. Conversations become difficult or impossible when every other sound has equal priority as the human voice you are wanting to hear. You can’t watch a movie without subtitles and the telephone is your worst enemy. This is one of the areas most adjusted by the SSP and again, the effects start very early, even during administration, and again, the effects are pervasive. Status and changes in sensory differentiation are tracked via those same measures mentioned under the sensory sensitivities paragraph, above. These measures are provided in-house and included in the SSP package.

It is impossible to predict exactly what effect the SSP will have on any particular individual, but I have yet to administer the SSP to an individual with ADD or ADHD without the individual experiencing some desirable effect, most commonly in the areas of attention, focus, learning, system regulation (i.e. sleep and digestion), anxiety, sensory hypersensitivities and sensory processing. The clinical trials with the SSP and those specifically with diagnoses of ADD and ADHD are formally assessing for changes in auditory processing, state regulation (i.e. heart rate, heart rate variability), social behaviour (emotional regulation), voice prosody, and attention. For feedback from some of my clients, please visit the “Testimonials” section on my main SSP page here.  To learn more about why to go with me as an SSP provider, visit my main SSP page under “Why me?” here.  To learn more about the particulars of my administration of the SSP, please visit my main SSP page under “What I Provide” here.  And, for any questions, including those on the topics just mentioned, general discussion, or a chit chat about your particular situation, please feel welcome to call me, Erika, at 1-403-472-8405, or use my contact form here to send me a note.

Thanks and have a great day!



Erika Gomez

Musical Dreams Piano Studio