“When Miguel started the Tomatis® Program, he would just stay in one corner and not engage in play with other children in the room. He was also like that in school. He didn't have any friends and didn't talk to his classmates at all. He would blurt things out in the classroom.

We met his guidance counselor after he had completed the whole program and she told us of how much he has improved! He now greets his teachers and smiles a lot. He is more sociable. He has so much confidence! He is a happy kid.”

- Hindy, Mother of 10-year old Miguel, Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome

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What is the Tomatis® Method?
The Tomatis® Method is non-invasive, drug-free and involves no tutoring or teaching. It allows children and adults to realize their maximum potential with greater ease and flow in social situations, learning environments, and in the workplace.

It is an auditory stimulation program that is based on the interrelationship between the ear and the voice, between listening and communication. It was designed to re-awaken the ear’s natural ability to listen and ultimately stimulate the brain’s desire to communicate.

The Tomatis® Method is guided by the principle that “good learners are good listeners". Why?
  • Good learners have discriminating ears: they can easily distinguish between the various frequencies that make up speech. Many poor learners have difficulties with that.
  • Good learners are right ear dominant. Many poor learners are left ear dominant.
  • Good learners can zoom-in on sounds that are important, and filter out irrelevant information. Many poor learners, especially those that are hyperactive, can not easily filter out irrelevant information.
  • Good learners have ears that capture the finer frequencies of the spectrum. Many poor learners do not benefit from the "sound energy".
There are three principles to Tomatis®:
  • The voice only contains what the ear hears.
  • If the hearing is modified, the voice is immediately and unconsciously modified.
  • It is possible to durably transform phonation when audition stimulation is maintained over a certain time.
Who is Alfred Tomatis?
Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis was born in Nice, France on January 1, 1920 and passed away in Carcassones, France on Christmas Day 2001. He studied at the University of Paris and was an Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) specialist.

He pioneered the study of auditory processing and language development, laying the groundwork for a new multi disciplinary science called Audio Psycho Phonology (APP). In recognition, he was named Knight of Public Health of France in 1951. Later on, he was also awarded the gold medal for Scientific Research (Brussels, 1958).

His work explains why the way we listen has a profound impact on almost all aspects of our being. The Tomatis® Effect is his astounding discovery that identified the interrelationship between the ear and the voice - the voice can only reproduce what the ear hears. It is also through his work that we know that listening troubles are the root cause of many learning problems.

The work of Tomatis has revolutionized our understanding of the role our ears play in our day-to day lives. Thanks to him, hundreds of thousands of people now live fuller and richer lives.
What does the Tomatis® Method do?
The Tomatis® Method re-trains the listening system by using electronically modified music and language to re-educate, stimulate and improve the way in which we process auditory information. It assists in enhancing the ability to differentiate between certain frequencies, which are a pre-requisite for language development and for the processing of all auditory information reaching the brain.

The training is provided through a highly developed technical sound system known as the Electronic Ear. The goal of the Tomatis® Method is to maximize the capacity for communication that everyone has, by giving or restoring to the individual his or her full potential as a listener.
How does Tomatis® Method work?
The muscles in the ear (specifically the muscles of the hammer and the stirrup) are trained to work properly. For example, by re-training the ears of a person with learning difficulties, their ears begin to focus on frequencies not previously deciphered, opening the ears little by little and therefore awakening their desire to communicate.

This method is done with the aid of the Electronic Ear. Using pre-determined frequencies, it stretches and relaxes the ear muscles by fluctuating sounds between canals, where low frequencies and high frequencies are amplified. This process over time strengthens the ear muscles and improves the ability to listen.
What problems does the Tomatis® Method address?
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)
    • Autistic Disorder
    • Asperger’s Syndrome
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Learning Disorders
    • Dyslexia
    • Dyspraxia
    • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
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. These clients include the opera singer Maria Callas, French actor Gerard Depardieu, and rock star Sting.
How effective is the Tomatis® Method?
The Tomatis® Method has been tested rigorously and has been found to be very effective in the treatment of learning difficulties and behavior problems.

One such study was done in the Toronto Center in Toronto, Canada which studied the results of the Tomatis® Method on over 400 children and adolescents. All had well documented histories of learning problems and a pattern of under achievement in psycho-educational tests. The results of the treatment were graded by the parents. In the test, 95% of the parents responded that the program had helped their children. The parents saw improvements in the following areas:

Skill or Ability Percent of Improvement
  • Greater Communication Abilities
  • Better Attention Span
  • Frustration Level Decreased
  • Reading Comprehension Increased
  • Quality of Speech Improved
  • Memory Improved
  • Better Spelling Aptitude
  • Showed more Maturity

In a follow-up program, 83% of the children in the study had maintained the improvements and/or had continued to make even further gains whereas an additional 14% maintained some of the gains. However, only 3% of children had maintained none of the improvements.
What is the average length of a Tomatis® Method program?
The programs are tailored to meet the personal needs of each client. The length depends on two factors:
  • the nature and severity of the problem, and
  • the response of the client to the program.
An average program consists of a minimum of 60 hours in two or three block sessions. However, some clients may need additional sessions.
How is progress assessed?
Prior to commencing any Tomatis® Program, a listening assessment is conducted to determine the client?s auditory skills and conditions. Thereafter, an individual Tomatis® Program is designed to meet the child?s needs. A listening test is performed for every 15 hours of the program to track progress. This test is usually followed by a short interview or counseling session to summarize what has been achieved and to explore reactions, thoughts and feelings. We encourage parents to let us know when they and their children experience reactions as a result of the program. The listening test results and feedback are very important because they may lead to changes and furthering tailoring of the program.

We also encourage parents 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. Parents are involved in this process as well, preferably mothers.
What happens during the sessions?
During the passive phase, children draw, paint, play games, do exercises that increase their sensory awareness or that improve their balance and coordination. Adults draw, work on a puzzle, meditate, rest, sometimes fall asleep as they start to relax more deeply. Art work is a great adjunct to the program: music, indeed, brings often a lot of mental images that, once projected on the paper, can bring about new ideas, associations, feelings that speed up the process, and expand awareness.

The emphasis is not on the outcome (a good or bad drawing) but on the process itself. We ask children and parents to do two drawings a day and to keep them in a file since they often provide us with important information to adjust the program. That is because often the same themes re-appear, as if the unconscious in all of us contains the same archetypal images that are released through music and sounds played during the sessions.

During the active phase, children and adults still do some of the same kinds of activities, but they are also involved in doing vocal exercises as well.
Does the Tomatis® Method work well in association with other therapies?
It works well in conjunction with occupational therapy, sensory integration, speech therapy and all natural therapies. They are all complementary. In case of emotional problems, psychotherapy may be recommended.