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Auditory therapy of A. Tomatis (part 3)

Program of hearing
Training in listening is carried out by using sound effects, which is generated by a special electronic device. To change the function of the hearing, intensive intervention is required from the beginning. The first 15 days are used sound stimulation, lasting two hours a day. Subsequent blocks are usually shorter and are held with a break of one or two months. Active work with the microphone is used to help a child or adult learn to listen to their own voice.

Does it really work?
The method of Tomatis Has passed many tests. It has been particularly effective in addressing learning difficulties and behavioural problems. Stutt (3) concludes in its critical review of canadian classes that the Tomatis Method is of considerable benefit to the education system. Children past “auditory therapy” showed a significant increase in I. Q.(intelligence quotient), good reading skills, accelerating the processes of perception, and the ability to verbally Express their thoughts and feelings (4, 5, 6, 7). Only recently did Tim Gilmore complete a meta-analysis of previous studies, confirming Stutt’s findings.

The Tomatis center in Toronto (Canada) studied the results of “hearing therapy” on more than 400 children and adolescents. All of them showed good results during psychological and educational testing. In this trial, 95% of parents testified that the program helped their children. They saw positive changes that can be expressed in the following parameters:

Improving communication skills – 89%
The increase of concentration 86%
Reducing the level of disorders – 80%
Reading comprehension – 85%
Speech quality – 74%
Memory – 73%
Record on letters – 69%
Maturity – 84%

Over the next six months, 83 per cent of children maintained and even developed their achievements. The remaining 14% of children retained only some achievements, and only 3% lost the acquired skills.

For several years, the Tomatis Method has been used in some French schools with funds distributed by the Ministry of education. Children with the most serious learning problems were selected. Despite the fact that the conditions of the program in the educational institution are far from ideal, the results were quite successful, so many parents and teachers insisted on the need for annual such programs.

In 1983, De bruto (8) conducted a number of serious experiments to investigate the effectiveness of the method of Tomatis in working with people lagging behind in development. Thirty people from a rehabilitation center in South Africa, aged 4 to 14 years, with a preliminary diagnosis of “underdeveloped”, but able to sit and walk, were arbitrarily divided into three groups that passed:

Group A: auditory stimulation (Tomatis) and sensory excitation program.

Group B: musical stimulation (without the effect of Tomatis) and the same sensory excitation program.

Group C: no effect.

The results showed that in the experimental groups a and B there was an increase in mental abilities, but the changes in group A were significantly higher than in group B. In group C no changes were observed. One of the positive changes recorded in group A was a significant reduction in involuntary (spontaneous) responses and an increase in conscious targeted responses.

Currently, there is a lot of clinical evidence confirming the effectiveness of the method of Tomatis in working with children with autism. Dr. Joan Roy devoted a lot of work to the study of this issue. It will probably be published soon. The effectiveness of the method in working with people with stuttering (9), anxiety and depression (12) was also studied.

Testing of listening abilities
(From When Listening Comes Alive, by Paul Madaule, Moulin Publishing, 1994)

We can’t “see” the hearing process, we can only test it indirectly – through the presence or absence of skills that are associated with it in one way or another. This checklist offers a catalog of these skills and enables you to evaluate your own, your child’s or your students ‘ listening skills. It does not have any rating scale. If any of these phenomena are related to you, they may indicate a lack of developed listening abilities.

History of development
Knowing these causes is extremely important because it can help to detect and prevent hearing problems in a timely manner:

pathology of pregnancy;
difficult birth;
early separation from mother;
motor development delay;
delayed language development;
often repeated infectious diseases of the ear.

Receptive hearing.
It is a hearing that is directed outward. It helps us to perceive the events of the world around us, i.e. what is happening at home, at work or in the classroom:

the lack of fixing the attention;
“insensitivity” to certain sounds;
misinterpretation of questions;
confusion of words similar in sound;
the need for frequent repetition of individual words or phrases;
inability to execute sequential commands.

Expressive listening
This is a local hearing that we use to control our voice when we speak or sing:

“flat” and monotonous voice;
intermittent speech;
poor vocabulary;
simplified proposal structure;
abuse of stereotypical expressions;
failure to properly intone, to propagate ringtones;
confusion of letters;
poor reading comprehension;
difficulty reading aloud;
inability to write under dictation.

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