Totaly Sense-Sational - Tomatis, Occupational Therapy, Art, Language and Yoga

Tomatis® Method

The Tomatis® Method The Tomatis® Method is a system of sound stimulation and audio-vocal training developed by Dr. Alfred Tomatis, a French ear, nose and throat specialist.

The goal of the Tomatis® Method is to improve the functioning of the ear, especially as it is involved in listening, understanding and communication. In addition it also facilitates increased:

  • postural functions, including increased muscle tone, balance, fine motor skills, etc.
  • auditory processing
  • expressive and receptive language
  • organizational abilities
  • attention and focusing
  • communication and social skills
  • regulatory behaviors, i.e. eating, sleep wake cycles, bowel-bladder cycles
  • vestibular processing

Tomatis® involves “re-education” of the way we listen. These postulates facilitate developing and enhancing the above skills such as:

  • Listening-Attending: taking in information
  • Learning-Reading: spelling language based information
  • Language abilities (receptive and expressive)
  • Organizational Abilities based on motor planning
  • Communication Skills (2-way)
  • Social Behavior

Dr. Tomatis theorized that many of the behavioral and communicative characteristics observed in children with developmental and learning difficulties and those on the autism spectrum are not actually the root causes of the disorder but are only symptoms based on underlying biologically based regulatory disorders.

The inner ear (the vestibular-cochlear system) is one of the earliest sensory symptoms to develop in utero and completes its development well before most other sensory organs. Because of its primary position in the developmental process, it develops and maintains connections with the rest of the emerging nervous system.

Sound stimulation offers an opportunity to influence many areas of function, including gross motor, fine motor, visual processing, auditory process, attention, and speech and language.

The Tomatis® Method Applications

The use of Tomatis® can be employed in the treatment of physical, attention, learning, and communication disorders including:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Sensory Integration Disorders
  • Organizational Disorders
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Attachment Disorders
  • Communication Disorders including Selective Mutism
  • Mood disorders, anxiety, depression

The Tomatis® program can begin when an individual is

at least 17 months old and well into adulthood. The child/adult listens on specially designed headphones (with bone &air conduction) to the music of Mozart and Gregorian

Chant; eventually the mother's voice is used to helpfacilitate increased engagement and language because this is the primary voice the fetus

heard in utero.

The Tomatis® Method The Tomatis® program is administered in 31 two-hour sessions of listening consisting of filtered and unfiltered music and speech. Sessions are conducted six days a week in the following three phases:

  • 15-day intensive followed by a 4-6 week break
  • 8-day intensive followed by a 4-6 week break
  • 8-day intensive followed by a 4-6 week break

 

Testimonials:

There are not too many times in your life when you realize you are in the midst of a significant life-changing event. When my daughter started Tomatis at Totaly Sense-Sational, I knew it within days. Our family was in a daily struggle with frustration caused by difficulty in communication. Through Tomatis we have watched our daughter become more self-sufficient, agile, confident and most importantly, happy. Just reflecting on our experience fills me with pride and positive emotion. Our family's experience at Totaly Sense-Sational has impacted us so profoundly that it feels difficult to convey in just words. - Chris C., Proud Father or Chloe

Eli's Tomatis Experience:

When Eli was 11 months old he fell down a flight of stairs and began having seizures. The consensus was that it was not epilepsy but a form of breath holding syndrome as it only happened when he fell or got hurt. He also was constantly sick, with at least 6 ear infections in a few months and the doctors kept wanting to put him on antibiotics. Thanks to an amazing homeopath and a restricted/special diet he is virtually seizure free, but he seemed to me to be a little delayed in certain skills (not enough for anyone but me to really notice, but he was not at the same level my twins were at the same age). I began Tomatis [later than I wanted] mainly because I want to help 'fix' the delays I am seeing and help him have better awareness of his surroundings so he won't have any more seizures.

Loop 1: (Jan. 4-Jan 20)

    Jan. 4: Eli began Tomatis today with Heather's son Logan (who's 3). I was not with him for the first 20 minutes because I was fearful that he would not keep the headphones on. He did keep them on for the whole time so I was thrilled! See even experienced Tomatis consultants worry that their own kids won't wear the headphones!

            Eli was very calm during the first hour and then began moving around. An hour after taking off the headphones he began independently jumping on a trampoline (a skill we have been working on since Sept.!) He did fall asleep immediately leaving the office and slept well through the night.

    Jan. 5, 6, 7: Eli is seeming a little more active with more of a heightened arousal level. He also seems to be a little more assertive or stubborn - a new behavior. Not sure if it is the 2's or Tomatis (we keep 'blaming' Tomatis!) He seems to be gaining a new word every day - words we have been working on for months, like 'more', 'milk', and 'avocado!'

         Ever since Eli's fall down the stairs I have always felt that he did not have sufficient spatial awareness - I think he fell down the stairs because he did not understand the need to stop like most infants do. On Thurs (after day 3) we went to our usual gymnastics class where Eli usually runs free all over the gymnasium. On this particular day he was much more cautious. He held my hand to step down from the mat to the floor, he was careful climbing up the stairs to the trampoline, and he walked slowly across the balance beam.

Jan. 8: Today Eli demonstrated new visual motor skills. Again, we have been working on Eli actually putting puzzles together as opposed to just taking out the puzzle pieces and today was the first time he sat down and put a 12 piece shape sorting puzzle together independently after one demonstration!. He also began crawling down the stairs on his belly and listening to me give him the direction to do so (again something I have been working on since he began crawling up and down stairs 8 months ago!)

         One of the 'negative' things creeping up is that Eli is having a lot more tantrums and is crying more easily. He seems to know what he wants but is having more difficulty letting us know what it is he wants. So Norah and I also made a list of all the words Eli knew prior to Tomatis and the new words he has gained in the last 5 days. Unbelievable! If I wasn't documenting it myself I am not sure I would believe it. He has gained at least 15 words in the last 5 days - that's about 3 new words a day. I know that at this age there is a surge of language and children should be able to be gaining a new word a day but this is rapidly occurring and he is also practicing the words over and over (such as "Ready, set, go!)

WEEK 2: Days 6-10

OK I think I may hate Tomatis! I am kind of just kidding but really my mother may kill me and I can't believe that I am putting myself through this!!! I remember going through this with Liam and Norah when they did Tomatis but I don't think I had as much going on in my life as I do now! Eli is being a bear!!! He is tantrumming a lot and waking so early! Thank goodness that he sleeps in a crib and is happy when he wakes up so I can go back to sleep. His whole sleep cycle is out of whack. He falls asleep on the 7 minute drive home and then we have to wake him to put him in his crib and he'll sleep till 5 and then wake up really cranky. It seems that he also gets upset a lot more easily - when he would want something before and I would 'deny' him he would get over it but now he gets so upset and cries and cries! I feel terrible but I have to set limits you know!? So we are having a lot more power struggles - which of course is normal.

  Jan. 15:  Of course my kid is the one who won't wear the headphones! Logan gives us no problem and Eli will keep them on and then suddenly hurl them off his head! So today it took literally 5 of us to keep him occupied and keeping the headphones on. I also found out what his delay really is. Finally Susan (our resident SLP) told me what Eli's speech delay is. She is calling it a mild speech delay but considering that Eli has 60 words and the norm for his age is about 150+ I am saying that his delay is more than just mild. Heather, Colleen, and Ashley say that he keeps changing and that his affect is unbelievable -  he is so animated and lively. He also is 'talking' more - he's not really saying words but he is having full conversations. He is also interacting with Logan more and more each day, trying to play with him and sit and talk to him.

            Today Eli did something new - I have never been worried about Eli's fine motor skills but he is definitely getting better and better in this area. At the beginning of Tomatis Eli was learning vertical and horizontal lines and today after a couple of demonstrations he began doing circles!!! He spent the better part of a half hour making circles with markers. He also said 3 new words tonight: BED, HAT and HEAD! Well - I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Loop 2 (March 3 to 12th); 25 months

Ok so there was a long break between the first and second loop; actually the second Loop began Feb. 22 with Logan and he actually did 3 days however we had to stop. On Tues. we started seeing Susan Paul our resident speech therapist because of Eli's speech delay. After working with him for a half hour her consensus was that he was demonstrating an auditory processing deficit and that he should be checked out by and audiologist. Of course here I am feeling like a complete idiot! This is what I do I should know better; but denial is a powerful thing right?! So the next morning I called my pediatrician who sent me to an audiologist who happened to have an appointment to see Eli the next morning at 9am! Totally B'Sheret right? (for those who don't know what B'sheret means - 'meant to be') Anyway here we are first thing Thursday morning at the ENT's and the first thing they say is that he has fluid in his ears and ask if i remember a time when he's gone to the doctors in which he has not had fluid, which i cannot. So then they do the hearing test - which I know immediately he has failed and is not hearing below 30Db. He failed the infant hearing test on the left ear and it was inconclusive on the right. Finally, he failed the tympanogram on both ears, indicating fluid. So the ENT says we can do one of 3 things - wait it out and hopefully he will be among the 5% that heals on his own, be among the majority and wait and he'll continue to have speech and language deficits, coordination issues, etc., etc. Or get tubes. So I chose tubes (of course). He scheduled Eli for the upcoming Monday, which is why we did not 'finish' that loop of tomatis. I felt that it would not benefit Eli the most if he couldn't hear and that we should wait a week until after he had healed and such.

So we began Tomatis again on the 3rd of March. Before we even started Eli was demonstrating wonderful changes that I attribute to the tubes such as better balance and less clumsiness, and some increased speech. Mot nearly as much as the doctor had thought but a decent amount. The first day back with Tomatis was initially difficult. As I mentioned above ELi is the difficult one with wearing the headphones and today was no different. So I had to do what was necessary to have him keep them on - I held him until he understood that I meant business. And you know what? He kept them on and even would place them back on if they fell off. Throughout the 8 days the only time he took them off was if he thought they were going to fall off, were stuck and he wanted to move, or when Gregorian Chant started. The GCs were by far the hardest for Eli but again, once he knew that we meant business he didn't take them off and on the last day Colleen asked me if he always hummed along with them!

During this loop we went up from 2000Hz to 8000Hz in 8 days. This means going from the low frequencies to the high frequencies in a very short period of time. It can cause a lot of emotional uprising and regression, especially in how a child responds to his/her mother. For Eli it seems to mean that he wants me more than anyone else (unless his brother and sister are around). I need to carry him more and he throws a lot of tantrums. Of course this could also be because he is 2 but it happened so quickly and I do do this for a living so...On the positive side he is showing a lot more motor planning skills and independent play. Previously he would only play if one of us played with him. Now he will play with his toys and on his own. The other day I wanted to make dinner, (which was difficult to do without another person there to watch him and even then I would have to take constant breaks to engage with him), and I was alone with the kids and I made dinner not only for me and my husband but all three kids as well! It was an amazing experience that Eli was in the living room with his siblings and playing and happy!

His attention span has also increased dramatically. Previous to the last loop he wouldn't sit down with me and put puzzles together or even attend to a short book. Now he will sit and play with me doing numerous puzzles and his other favorite pastime now is reading books with me, his daddy, his grandparents and his sitters. He also used to only throw the puzzle pieces and now he will do all the shape sorters, magnetic puzzles (the ones with the fishing rods), and he is stacking blocks. Eli was always a child who would try to do what Norah and Liam did and rarely played with age appropriate toys, his favorite pastime being opening and closing doors and cabinets and taking out spices off the shelves and putting them back. He was also obsessed with dreidels and enjoyed watching us spin them over and over for him. I know that this should have been a concern - repetitive behaviors and all - but he was also very engaged with us and expressive so motor planning deficits never crossed my mind. It wasn't until he actually started playing age appropriately that I realized that he didn't know what to do before! He would go to gymnastics and follow the routine, and his fine motor skills are amazing, but when it came to doing his own thing he needed assistance.

Monday March 8 (4th day): My Mom took Eli to his movement class and for the first time Eli didn't just run and play with the other kids. He stood by my mom and watched first before beginning to join all the other kids. This was a shock to both my mom and the teachers, but we think that it was because there was a lot of noise and he could finally hear. We did not notice any other problems.

Wed. Mar. 10 (6th day): Gymnastics class. Crazy man - doing somersaults and jumping on the trampoline. This was the first time I saw him do independent jumps and follow the directions of jump 10 times and then sit!

Thurs. March 11(7th day): The final piece is speech. This is still an area of concern and he is gaining more and more speech everyday. He is seeing Susan a half hour a week starting today - immediately following Tomatis - and he began saying 5 new words in just that short time! Susan did report that he is a bit apraxic mainly because he has not had the experience to make the words because he was not hearing it. He also saw the ENT and he said that his ears were clear and free of fluid, he passed the hearing test going from 30Db or below, to 20Db and higher! So everything seems to be happening at once and I am continuing to see new words everyday.

Fri. March 12 (8th day): Today was the day that Eli began humming with the Gregorian Chants. His rhythm is crazy awesome! He dances to Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas and he'll dance to the beat and try to sing words too. He continues to throw tantrums and scream (silliness) for no reason but it is getting less each day now. I also think that while his speech is still delayed he is behaving more and more like a 2 year old and I don't feel he is as far behind.

Loop 3: (April 20-29)

Tues. Apr. 20: Eli was very good with keeping the headphones on today! Thank goodness - made the time pass with greater ease. He played so nicely with Logan and immediately began talking more. Literally overnight he started to string 2 words together and saying words that we have been working on for months (such as "play" and "where did it go?"). In the past month he has been asking more questions and watching TV. I know that that is a really bizarre thing to be happy about - a child watching TV - but I could really never leave Eli alone and cook or go to the bathroom (TMI?) because he was constantly on my leg or demanding one of our attentions. He suddenly became interested in watching a couple shows/videos - Baby Wordsworth and Curious George. He loves Baby Wordsworth and has learned all of the signs on the show and began saying dozens of new words because of it (bowl, cup, table, bear, dog). Susan says that he is beginning to experience the world more and is therefore learning as a result. Some of the other things that I have noticed in the last month is that Eli's balance is so much better. He still falls (like any 2 year old) yet he catches himself. His protective reflexes are better and he just seems more aware of his surroundings.

Wed. Apr. 21: From the moment Eli woke up (extra early non-the-less) there was a big change. The language overnight was extraordinary. Besides the 2-word phrases everything out of his mouth was clearer and understandable. We went to gymnastics class and both of his teachers stated that they could understand what he was saying now. He started really jumping on the trampoline ("getting air"), walking on the balance beam with less support, running and doing somersaults. He was singing, "Row, row, row..." as he always does but now instead of him just sounding like he was mumbling the words to the tune, he actually was singing the words. When we got back to Ashley (his sitter) within a couple of minutes she noticed a change in Eli's language as well. He said to her, "go play" and by the end of the day and the 2nd day of Tomatis he had 'learned' 3 new words: Dog, bologna, and wet! It seemed like he was imitating more and not just words but behaviors. Cleaning up and playing with toys like his friends.

Thurs. Apr. 22: I had to leave early this morning so Eli did Tomatis with Ashley and my Mom. He was playing with a tactile shapes puzzle and was working on saying the names of the shapes such as oval, square, and rectangle (he couldn't say rectangle). He also started mother's voice today and Ashley said that as soon as the cd came on he stopped moving, tilted his head and listened. Then, she said, that Eli began saying "mommy, mima, mommy, daddy" over and over. I got back just in time for his speech therapy session and Eli was standing by the front office door and was so excited to see me - jumping up and down and squealing for me like seeing me was the best part of his day. During speech Susan noticed a change in Eli too and asked me what I was doing differently - Tomatis DUH!!! She was thrilled too. He managed to say a bunch of new words during our time together - fish!!! Bubbles, and blow were just a few. At one point Susan was asking Eli to clean up the 'pizza party' toys to be able to play with the train and he kept trying to go into the cabinet to take something out. Susan held her ground to get Eli to follow through and he broke into sobs (drama is his new middle name). Finally he acquiesced and cleaned up. Then he went into the closet to get out the pizza cutter! We were both so surprised that he knew that it was hidden in there (we had no idea) and he had been trying to tell us!

     A lot of what I am seeing him so far is so much more affect and intention to communicate and engage with everyone. Eli has always been extremely social and a 'flirt' but in terms of the DIR levels I feel like he is beginning to really progress and solidify the levels as he is supposed to.

       

 

Tomatis Pregnancy Program

Hearing is the first sense to be fully developed in the fetus. By the 18th week of
pregnancy the human ear is fully developed and functional. According to Tomatis the nine months in the womb is a crucial time not only for physical development but also for psychological development. The perception of the mother's voice is the very first bond of communication with the world and can help influence one's experience with the rest of the world.
Dr. Tomatis developed a special program for pregnant women to help enhance
prenatal communication between mother and child.

  • Pregnant woman using the Tomatis Method benefit from:
  • Extensive body relaxation
  • A reduction of fear of childbirth
  • Better and deeper sleep
  • More energy
  • A reduction in the length of labor

Children of mothers who have completed the Tomatis pregnancy program:

  • Are more relaxed, even-tempered and well-adjusted
  • Have better sleeping patterns & tend to sleep through the night earlier
  • Are more social
  • Are more communicative, and speak earlier and better
  • Have increased strength, muscle tone, and enhanced motor skills
  • Have increased attention span
  • Show less fear and cry less than other children of the same age

The SOLISTEN TC has arrived!

New Tomatis Product - The Solisten TC

The Solisten TC is a small portable device, similar to the size of an i-pod, which was engineered by Tomatis Développement with "TOMATIS® Effect Music".

The SOLISTEN TC is a new way to offer an alternative to people who are looking for solutions to improve their life - communication, listening, attention, focus and decrease stress

It will be an ideal solution for people who cannot undergo a full TOMATIS® program in a clinic setting. For instance the SOLISTEN TC would be beneficial for those who:

  • Live far away, either because of the distance or by lack of accessibility
  • Have time restrictions (work, school, etc.) and cannot easily come or bring their children to the center/clinic
  • Are physically incapable of coming to the center
  • Already have done a full program in the center and are interested in doing an ongoing program at home without all the constraints of coming back to the center (the SOLISTEN TC can be used as a booster