Q: Does The Tomatis Method Work?
A: The Toronto Listening Center studied the impact of the Tomatis Method on 400 children and adolescents with well-documented histories of learning problems, and a pattern of under-achievement on psycho-educational tests. The results of the study were based on a survey graded by the Tomatis participants’ parents. Improvements were seen in the following areas:
- Communication: 89%
- Attention Span 86%
- Frustration Level 80%
- Reading Comprehension 85%
- Quality of Speech 74%
- Memory 73%
- Spelling 69%
In a six-month follow up assessment with the original 400 parent survey participants, 83% of the children had maintained the improvements and/or had continued to make further gains. An additional 14% of the original 400 had maintained some of the gains. Only 3% maintained none of the improvements. For additional test results, please see Research.
Q: What is the average length of The Tomatis Method program?
A: Each client’s Tomatis Method program is tailored to meet his or her specific needs. The length depends on two factors:
- Nature, length and severity of the problem.
- Client’s response to the program
Some clients respond more quickly than others. As much as possible, we try to give an accurate estimate for the duration of the program before starting. Keeping this in mind, an average program consists of three blocks and approximately 70 hours in total. However, some clients may need additional blocks.
Q: What is the reason for the breaks between the different phases of the program?
A: The human body needs a rest period to integrate the changes that are occurring as a result of auditory stimulation. Parents often observe noticeable changes during these periods, as the child starts to process information in a more integrated and natural way.
Q: How is progress assessed?
A: Prior to beginning the program, our clients undergo a lengthy, standardized battery of tests to determine areas of weakness. At the end of our client’s prescribed listening program, a follow up evaluation is performed for pre-test and post-test comparisons. This is followed by a client interview to summarize what has been achieved and to explore our clients’ reactions, thoughts and feelings. The test results and the feedback are very important because they may lead to additions or modifications to an individual client’s program.
We also encourage parents (or adult clients) to chart their children’s progress by keeping a journal or writing a short report to summarize their observations during each period of the program. We have adults who keep a diary throughout the program, which deepens and intensifies their therapeutic process.
Q: What do we do during the daily two-hour sessions?
A: During the passive phase, children draw, paint, play games, and do exercises that increase their sensory awareness or that improve their balance and coordination. Adults draw, work on a puzzle, meditate, rest, and sometimes fall asleep as they start to relax more deeply.
Art work is a great adjunct to the Tomatis program: music often conjures a lot of mental images that, once projected on paper, can bring about new ideas, associations, and feelings that enhance The Tomatis Method therapeutic process. The emphasis is not on the outcome (a good or bad drawing) but on the process itself.
Often times, the drawings contain recurring themes that appear in the subconscious as a result of the music and sounds being played during the Tomatis sessions. Because the drawings provide our Tomatis practitioners with important information that can be used in adjusting their program we ask our adult clients to keep a daily file of two drawings.
During the active phase, children and adults continue doing activities similar to those done during the passive phase, but they are also involved in doing vocal exercises as well.
Q: Does The Tomatis Method work well in association with other therapies?
A: Yes. It works well in conjunction with occupational therapy, sensory integration and speech therapy. They are all complementary. In our experience, the program speeds up the other therapies. In cases where emotional problems are present, psychotherapy may be of help.
Q: I have a hearing loss. Can The Tomatis Method help me?
A: No. The Tomatis Method is not a treatment for hearing loss or deafness. This is the domain of the audiologists. Actually, we refer hearing-impaired clients to them. Our role is very different.
Q: Which music do you play during the Tomatis sessions?
A: We play Mozart, Gregorian Chant or suitable. Dr. Tomatis, the founder of The Tomatis Method, investigated many forms of music. His research showed that Mozart was universally accepted and had the best therapeutic results. When Mozart is played the music is filtered and does not sound exactly like the music you play on your CD player. We also use Gregorian Chant because its rhythm is the same as that of our heartbeat, or breath when we are very relaxed. It has a very calming effect on people who are anxious or hyperactive. In addition, its vowels are elongated, leaving enough time to perceive them clearly. As a result, it helps children with auditory processing difficulties or speech problems to improve their speech.
Q: What is the difference between The Tomatis Method and other CD programs?
A: The Tomatis Method is an intensive clinic based program, performed under strict supervision of a Tomatis expert. Unlike other CD or tape listening programs, which are based on a “one size fits all” philosophy, each Tomtis program is tailored to address the client’s specific auditory processing symptoms. Additional benefits of The Tomatis Method that the CD and tape based listening programs DO NOT have are:
- Bone conduction to desensitize the way the body absorbs sounds which increases learning aptitude
- Audio-vocal feedback through an Electronic Ear, a combination of passive and active listening to further enhance listening and learning ability
- Clinic-based setting with constant monitoring and supervision to ensure that clients are using the program properly to achieve maximum results
- Two hours daily listening versus 30 minutes to further integrate permanence in listening results.
Q: When will I start seeing changes?
A: The effects of changes will vary from client to client. Changes occur gradually over the first 70 hours of treatment. Sometimes changes are observed and measured within the first ten hours of listening. In general, the rate at which change occurs depends on the following:
- Age of the client
- Nature and extent of the problem(s) being treated
- Medication that may be interfering with the treatment
Q: How will The Tomatis Method affect my child if they are taking medication?
A: First, notify your physician of your intent to alter your prescription. Once an understanding and plan is established, provide us with the details of the weaning process. With this information we can monitor any changes in behavior.
Q: Can we visit The Listening Center?
A: Yes. One of our Center Directors will be happy to schedule an appointment with you to visit The Listening Center during our regular operating hours and answer any questions you may have regarding our client services.