TOMATIS Method: Not Only for ADHD, Speech Delay and SPD

Second Friday of the month:  Family / Kids / Health

Having the ability to hear does not mean you can listen.  Listening is voluntary.  When you can listen, you can learn better.
  • Fidgety
  • Lacks focus
  • Easily distracted
  • Sensitive to certain sounds
  • Frequent need for repetition
  • Clumsy and uncoordinated
  • Seeks certain tactile sensations
These adjectives may well describe any active child, or adult. Among other things, these words apply to my personable young boy.  If you see him, you'd say he's just like any typical active growing boy, BUT with some quirks that you just can't seem to point your finger at.

After consulting with developmental pediatricians, doing my own research online and reading up on several books, we have come to the conclusion that these behavioral manifestations are consistent with having Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Aside from the above checklist, he also experienced difficulty organizing sensory inputs around him, sort of having "sensory overload".  Since he can't filter through these stimuli, it causes him to lack focus, shut-out certain sounds and verbal instructions, or he just gets too excited at times. As a result, these caused so much stress and challenges in the classroom. Often, when you're talking to him, you'd literally feel like you're talking to a wall!

So where does Tomatis come into the picture?

While I was doing research about SPD and appropriate intervention programs, I came across Alfred Tomatis, Mozart music, and auditory integration and stimulation.  I knew a listening program like Tomatis would help with my son's challenges and so I read up about the methods further and was thoroughly impressed.  But at that time, Tomatis was not yet offered here.

Standard headphones connected to the patented Tomatis audio machine -- the "electronic ear"
What is Tomatis?
Tomatis Method is an auditory stimulation program that is non-invasive, drug-free and involves no tutoring or teaching.  It was developed by Dr. Alfred Tomatis, a French ear-nose-throat specialist, who discovered that listening problems are the root cause of many learning disabilities.  The Tomatis program was designed to "re-awaken" the ear's natural ability to listen and stimulate the brain's desire to communicate.
Guiding principle: “Good learners are good listeners". 

Good learners... 
  • Have discriminating ears that can easily distinguish between the various frequencies that make up speech
  • Are right ear dominant -- many poor learners are left ear dominant
  • 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.
  • Have ears that capture finer frequencies of the spectrum
What problems can Tomatis Method address?

The Tomatis Method can help children with:
  • ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)


Autism, PDD-NOS, ASD


Asperger's Syndrome


Dyslexia and Dyspraxia


Speech and Communication Disorders


SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)

It has been found effective in:
  • Improving receptive and expressive communication


Increasing attention and concentration skills


Reviving the desire to communcate


Better awareness and focus


Lessening sensory integration issues


Improving motor skills

Fast forward to 2010.  We were given the opportunity to try the Tomatis Method for my son and I want to share our experience here. I don't want to go into further detail about the method and the program since everything you need to know about it is here at Tomatis Philippines's official website.

My boy was already starting first grade when we began the basic program with Tomatis. Going to "big school" requires him to adapt to a completely different environment and rules. Listening attentively and keeping still have been a main issue for him. So I thought he'd need all the support he could get to cope with the challenges in school life.

Listening assessment, before and after each phase of the program
Our 60-hour Tomatis Listening Program - 3 phases of 20 hours (2 hours/day for 10 days)

Listening assessment was conducted together with personal interviews before we began


Listening test results - my son was clearly left-ear dominant, w

hich takes longer for him to process and respond to verbal instructions and what he hears


He gets easily distracted and still lacks eye-contact when spoken to


He has difficulty calming himself down after he gets stimulated or excited


Good concentration with table top activities like drawing

His condition was not very bad to begin with, so expectations were set to a minimum.  For me, that's a good sign since we already "invested"years of occupational therapy (OT) for early intervention.  Tomatis would prove to be a great complimentary program to his OT and we welcome any form of improvement.

The 2-hour listening therapy was a form of relaxation and "down time" for him.
At first, he didn't like the long hours but as soon as we get to the center, he was more than willing to put on the headphones and listen to the classical music by Mozart and Gregorian Chants, which he really enjoys and appreciates.

During each session, he engages in floor activities and drawing, and plays with manipulative toys. At times he will be with one or two other children. Kids are even encouraged to take naps! The center is intended as a "no stress zone", even for the moms who accompany the child.
My boy during one of his listening sessions at Tomatis
At the end of the whole program, the results came with a fairly good percentage of improvement with test results showing that my boy's listening more with his right ear!

Other positive observations:
  • Better, uninterrupted sleep patterns -- which can also be expected when one goes through the program
  • Better eye-contact when responding
  • Less sensitive to certain sounds
  • Less repetition when calling his attention
  • Can focus better even with some distractions
  • Can calm himself faster after an exciting activity
After my last meeting and interview, I had the chance to meet with all the ladies behind Tomatis Philippines.  I was satisfied with how the program helped my son and I thought I'd share my experience with other moms as well.  So a few weeks ago, with my fellow mom bloggers, we were warmly welcomed by these hardworking and dedicated moms from Tomatis Phils. who gave us a chance to visit their center and to learn more about this amazing listening program.

Tomatis Philippines is the first with centers in the whole of Asia and these ladies are all certified to conduct listening assessments on children and adults under the Tomatis Method.  Meet the women behind Tomatis Philippines:  Ria Vecin, Joanne Pedrosa, and Gem Mañosa.

The beauty about the Tomatis Method is that there are also standard programs for pregnant women, school kids and elderly people.  The 30-hour programs are:
Brain Gain - for school kids with no diagnosed disorders but need to improve on their listening skills and focus
Bellies and Babies - for pregnant women, this program produces an alert, relaxed and physically toned baby as well as calming the mother for ease of delivery
Nifty After 50 - for senior citizens who need increased energy and vitality, improved attention, concentration, and memory 
Check out these photos during our very educational visit.
Play area at the Tomatis Center in BGC, Taguig 
Blogger moms got to listen to a manipulated sample music used for the program. It's varying frequencies are intended to train, exercise and "re-awaken" the ear muscles.
Clockwise, top: Jane, Chats, Tina, Cookie (Julie, not in photo)
Admiring the artworks done by students
A casual get-together after the educational tour of Tomatis at BGC
Ready to open your ears?

Learn more about their amazing programs through their website.
If you are interested for an assessment, call or visit a Tomatis center nearest you:

Alabang - Kid's First Discovery Space
Ground Flr. Venture Building, Market cor. Prime St., 
Madrigal Business Park, Muntinlupa City

Tel. No.: (632) 710-5229 

San Juan
Unit 9, #59 Connecticut St. Greenhills, San Juan City
Tel. No.: (632) 727-9285

Taguig (Fort) - 2nd Flr. Kensington Place
1st Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Tel. No.: (632) 856-7631

Thank you for dropping by.
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