Tomatis

Dr. Tomatis started studying occupational noise after the second world war. He laid the groundwork for what he called Audio-Psycho-Phonology (APP).

The theory explains "why the way we listen" has a profound impact on almost all aspects of our being. In the early 50's, Dr. Tomatis also noticed that Listening Problems are the root cause of many Learning Problems.

He was named Knight of Public Health of France in 1951 and awarded the gold medal for Scientific Research (in Brussels, 1958).

The Three Laws of Tomatis
  1. When our ears cannot hear certain frequencies, our voice does not contain them either.
  2. If we modify the hearing, the voice changes immediately.
  3. His third observation was that certain opera singers developed a professional deafness, and as a result were losing their voices. They damaged their ears because they were singing too loudly. More specifically, they developed a "deafness" for the frequencies in the singing range, around 2,000 Hz. As predicted by the First Law of Tomatis, their voices lacked the frequencies around the 2,000 Hz.
His first machines were designed to exercise and strengthen the ear muscles. He used what he called 'gated' sound that switched between high and low frequencies to exercise these muscles.

The link between listening and learning was established because people with his "ideal listening curve" learn more easily than those who have a distorted curve. To improve someone's listening curve, Tomatis used 'gated' music that is filtered. He added 8 frequency filters to his system, he called the Electronic Ear, to train selectively those parts of the listening curve that need to be strengthened.

Not only did the people learn better, they also gained more energy. In the ear, there are many more receptors (Corti cells) for high pitch tones than for lower ones. High frequencies previously ignored are stimulating the brain more, resulting in more energy.

Motor skills also improve. The gated music also stimulates that part of the ear that regulates all of our movements (the vestibule), and when the ear is "normalized", people will improve their motor skills.

The Tomatis Listening Therapy has helped children and adults with auditory processing problems, dyslexia, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, autism, and those with sensory integration and motor-skill difficulties.

It has also helped adults fight depression, learn foreign languages faster, develop better communication skills, and improve both creativity and on-the-job performance. Many musicians, singers and actors also found it helpful in fine-tuning their artistic skills.

Berard

Berard started his interest in hearing and learning working with Tomatis. Berard decided that he could make the process more efficient and reduce the time required for the treatment.

After five year he produced the AudioKinetron and later revised the design to product the Earducator. These devices took normal music, modified the frequencies and controlled the loudness in real time in response to the settings of the equipment.

This machine is effective after only two weeks of treatment, which he named A.I.T.

His book was first published in France in 1982. In 1991 he took the treatment to America where his book was published in english. He treated Georgina Steli in the USA and the resulting book titled Sound of a Miracle did much to publicise A.I.T. around the world.

The latest system is called Digital Auditory Aerobics.

An assessment of the prospective trainee's auditory system is conducted. The assessment will indicate whether the individual is an appropriate candidate for AIT. Information from testing is used to determine the electronic filtering.

During the training music is sent through a specialized electronic device. The output is filters and the sound level controlled. The trainee listens through a set of headphones.

The randomized frequencies mobilize and exercise the inner ear and brain. For example, the sound waves vibrate and exercise the muscles that control the three ossicles (the small bones in the middle ear). It is important to note that if the trainee's audiogram has indicated a hypersensitivity to certain frequencies, the electronic device will modulate and control the volume of those particularly sensitive frequencies.

The training requires twenty sessions of thirty minutes listening time. Two sessions per day with a break of at least three hours between sessions. For a period of ten consecutive days or 10 weekdays, Monday to Friday.

A mid-point assessment is done after ten sessions to reassess the trainee's hearing and note any changes. Any necessary changes to the filtering on the electronic device are made at this time.

Behavioral changes involve a learning and re-organization process and will generally become evident over the course of three to six months. It can take up to one year for all behavioral changes and benefits to become evident.

Berard AIT has resulted in:
Improve language discrimination or comprehension
Greater interest in verbalization and communication
Reduction of hyper-acute and/or painful hearing
Less complaints of sounds causing pain or discomfort
Reduction in noise or tinnitus in the ear
Less startle responses to loud noises
More appropriate vocal intensity (volume)
More appropriate affect, expression and interaction
Easier, more frequent interaction with others, including increased eye contact
Exhibition of age appropriate behavior
Improved academic performance
Improvement in social skills
Increased comfort level
Less impulsivity and restlessness
Reduction in distractibility
Less lethargy
Less irritability
Increased independence and self-esteem

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