Early Childhood Program
Certified Tomatis Center
51 St. John’s Parkside
Buffalo, New York 14210
Phone: (716) 828-9560
The Certified Tomatis Center
WHAT IS THE TOMATIS METHOD?
The Tomatis Method is a sound-based therapy that stimulates the auditory system and reawakens the ear’s natural ability to listen. It takes an individual through the different stages of listening development from the earliest stages of life (in utero), to the acquisition of speech and language. Through this process, each stage of listening development is repatterned to build up or reinforce weak or missing steps. As these missing steps are repatterned, one’s ability to listen improves. As listening improves, it impacts one’s ability to learn, understand and use language. The more an individual can “listen” or tune into sounds contained in voices, the more that individual is able to understand what he or she is hearing. The more one understands what they hear, the more able they become to express themselves, attend to tasks, and learn.
The Tomatis Method was designed by Alfred Tomatis, a French physician and Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Developed in the 1950s, his method has been widely used in different countries with a variety of applications. Here in the United States, this method is gaining momentum and is being introduced as an educational method.
How will it help?
The Tomatis Method is appropriate for individuals of all ages. It helps to improve:
- balance and coordination
- fine motor skills
- sensory integration
- attention and ability to focus
- organizational skills
- ability to speak and communicate
- social skills
- reading, writing and spelling skills
As a result of participation in a Tomatis Method listening program, learning becomes easier and self-confidence builds. Often, behavior problems and social difficulties may become less obvious as an individual’s abilities and self-confidence improve.
This therapy may not be for everyone. The Baker Victory Services (BVS) Early Childhood Program staff can conduct an initial assessment to determine if this therapy is beneficial for a particular individual.
WHO can it help?
The Tomatis Method can help children and adults improve their ability to listen. It is possible to have normal hearing and still have listening difficulties. Hearing is the passive reception of sound, while listening is the ability to analyze and interpret the sounds for meaning. Many individuals may seem like they don’t hear well, but they are just not able to “listen” or tune into the sounds in another’s voice. They have a listening problem.
The Tomatis Method has helped children who have learning difficulties and developmental delays. It addresses the listening difficulties that many individuals with disabilities exhibit, including those with the following conditions:
- Autism, PDD, Asperger’s Syndrome
- Developmental delays
- Down Syndrome
- Neurological impairments
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Sensory Integration Disorder
- Learning disabilities
- Auditory processing problems
- Speech and language difficulties
The Tomatis Method has helped adults who want to develop organizational skills, become more focused, listen better, follow conversations more easily, develop visual motor skills for sports, or learn to use their voice better for speaking or singing.
The basic program involves listening to 62 hours of electronically-modified sound stimulation through headphones. The 62 hours are typically broken up into three listening loops with 4-6 week breaks in between to allow for the changes to become integrated. Each day, the individual listens to the filtered sounds of Mozart and Gregorian Chant for a total of two hours. Currently, we offer therapeutic Tomatis sessions for adults and children, as well as integrated preschool Tomatis classrooms.
Therapeutic Tomatis Sessions
for Adults and Children
Each listening program is developed individually to address a person’s specific needs. The Listening Training Programs involve an initial assessment, listening tests, and consultations.
The Tomatis Classroom
The full-day integrated preschool Tomatis classrooms offers one of the most comprehensive developmental programs available. Children in this classroom engage in a variety of developmentally-appropriate activities as they listen to their Tomatis program. Activities involving tactile stimulation, sensory integration, motor planning and visual-motor stimulation are particularly utilized during the listening program to enhance the child’s ability to integrate the different sensory systems. During the listening program, the classroom is staffed with a certified Tomatis consultant, a special education teacher, teaching assistants and speech therapists. Physical therapists and occupational therapists also provide services in the classroom during the program.
Why it works
The Tomatis Method utilizes the music of Mozart and Gregorian Chants. The music passes through an electronic device that filters it and progressively gives the muscles of the ear a “workout.” This helps the muscles become more capable of tuning into sounds contained in voices, while simultaneously tuning out unwanted sounds and background noise.
As the muscles of the ear begin to work more efficiently, an individual becomes better able to listen and communicate. As listening and communication improve, learning, socialization and self-confidence are impacted. The ear also functions to help one maintain their balance and posture. As the ear is stimulated through the Tomatis Method, so, too, is the part of the ear that coordinates motor tasks. This is why changes in motor skills are often noted with this therapy.