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Dorinne Davis,  "TITLE: The Tomatis Method, and Other Sound Therapies."

Tuesday,  June 10th at 9 p.m. (Eastern), Note portions of the text have been edited for spelling and grammatical errors, while other text with errors was left in tact in the context of the chat.

Rebecca {public msg} Hello and Welcome to our talkAutism Specialty Chat. If you have a question for our Host Speaker, "Dorinne Davis, The Tomatis Method, and Other Sound Therapies", Just type a “?” in the room. The names will be taken in order received. Hold your questions until you are cued by the Moderator. Also, Please keep chit chat down to a minimal, unless ok'd by the Host. Thank You and enjoy your stay!

Dorinne {public msg} Hello everyone. By now, perhaps you have heard of the Katie Couric's Today Show segment on the Tomatis Method.
Dorinne {public msg} I am a Registered Certified Tomatis Consultant in NJ. Perhaps you have questions about the Tomatis Method. If so, please let me know.
Rebecca {action} has read all over your site Dorinne, Wonderful!
Dorinne {public msg} Okay, Dr. Alfred Tomatis began his quest with sound over 50 years ago. His parents were famous opera singers and he was an Ear Nose Throat physician. Most of his early referrals were friends of mom and dad's and he saw many issues with the singer's voices. He began testing their hearing and noticed specific sounds would be reflected in their voice when they were not singing as well.
Dorinne {public msg} In 1957, his theory about the voice-ear-brain connection was established at the Academy of Science and Medicine in Paris. His theory summarized says that the voice produces what the ear hears. This concept was questioned and his ideas unique at the time. It was not until many years later that many of his ideas were proven correct.
Dorinne {public msg} In the 1960's, Dr. Tomatis and others came to the Americas to establish his method here. It started basically in Canada.
Dorinne {public msg} Much later, a few practitioners were found in the US. Currently there are only a few certified practitioners of the method in the US. The method is an intensive one in order to make brain change.
Dorinne {public msg} The minimal program lasts for 15 days on, 30 days off, and 15 days on, in my office.
Dorinne {public msg} For the autistic child and developmentally delayed child, this time is expanded. The concept is to use all of the vibrations of sound stimulation in the ear to make change.
Dorinne {public msg} Dr. Tomatis firmly believed that the ear needed stimulation through air conduction and bone conduction.
Dorinne {public msg} Air conduction is sound coming down the ear canal to the eardrum and eventually to the cochlea.
Dorinne {public msg} Bone conduction is sound through the body's skeletal system sent to the bones of the skull, especially around the ear.
Dorinne {public msg} The ear when challenged will then stimulation the brain. He termed it "cortical charge".
Ron {public msg} ?
Dorinne {public msg} The cortex is stimulated and then the sensations trigger more thinking and learning.
Dorinne {public msg} the sensations are then sent back to the rest of the body for utilization.
Dorinne {public msg} The Tomatis Method uses a machine called the Electronic Ear.
Dorinne {public msg} This machine incorporates 3 basic concepts.
Dorinne {public msg} It uses filtered and gated sound.
Dorinne {public msg} This means certain sounds are allowed in, others are filtered out.
Dorinne {public msg} It also means that sound is let in like a gate and only when appropriate. The method also incorporates bone conduction sound. This is very important because too often people respond to sound more quickly and accurately through bone conduction and this is not effective. The method helps to reverse this.
Dorinne {public msg} The third part of the Tomatis Method is the incorporation of the voice. it is called active voice work. The voice in my opinion is key to long term improvement. In my upcoming book, Sound Bodies through Sound Therapy, I address the importance of the voice as being the body stabilizer.
Dorinne {public msg} By this I mean that we can use the sound of the person's voice to maintain change.
Dorinne {public msg} This is actually taught as a part of the method. For the autistic child, a long process has to occur before being able to use the voice appropriately. They often do not have the expressive language or sound skills that support them. We work towards including this portion for stability. These three parts of the method is what makes the Tomatis Method so special.
Dorinne {public msg} There are many copycats out there. For example, one method uses CD's that use filtered and gated music. Another method uses filtered and gated music and the voiceron.
Ron {public msg} Do all audiologists use bone and air conduction technologies when applying Tomatis? Do we know how substantial that is to the effect of tomatis?
Dorinne {public msg} There are a few programs that use a bone oscillator but none with the frequencies that the Tomatis Method does.
Dorinne {public msg} All people trained in the Tomatis Method are not audiologists. I believe I am the only certified practitioner who is an audiologist.
Ron {public msg} Can Tomatis be done at schools
Dorinne {public msg} Audiologists typically use air and bone conduction testing but for hearing testing.
Dorinne {public msg} There is a major difference between hearing and listening which is what is taught with Tomatis. Hearing is simply the act of sound being sent to the cochlea and the cochlea responding.
Dorinne {public msg} Listening is a motivated act. One has to tune into what is said.
Dorinne {public msg} Most audiologists have no idea what I am talking about with the Listening Test administered with this Method.
Dorinne {public msg} Audiologists are trained to test for hearing loss and auditory processing issues typically associated with language.
Dorinne {public msg} What we do with all sound therapy is beyond this.
Dorinne {public msg} It is important for people to understand that sound therapy can impact the entire body.
Ron {public msg} How important is the Listening test? What if it is not done?
Dorinne {public msg} What I have done is to put together a battery of tests to determine if sound therapies can be beneficial. The Listening Test is the key to the Tomatis Method. It is what we set programs with and how we measure change.
Phoenix2 {public msg} There is much positive talk about Therapeutic Listening by Sheila Frick which uses concepts of Tomatis among others, do you also use this program? And do you have any thoughts on this?
Dorinne {public msg} Yes, I am trained in the methods that Sheila Frick uses. They are spin offs of Dr. Tomatis's method. I have developed what I call my Tree of Sound Enhancement Therapy and on this tree the trunk of the tree is Tomatis and The Leaves and Branches are Sheila's methods. by the way, the root system is Auditory Integration Training. All these methods have their place and can make change.
Rebecca {public msg} Very nice Dorinne ;)
Dorinne {public msg} What is important is to identify what they can do for the person. In response to the person who asked about the schools, yes, this method can be used in the schools but only under the supervision of a certified Tomatis Consultant.
Dorinne {public msg} My Office is in the process of setting up such programs in a few schools.
Phoenix2 {public msg} Is there one method that you think is the most "practical" for school based OT's to use in school? Do children ever come with sound based therapies in their IEP's?
Dorinne {public msg} It is often a more generic program but it can be effective.
Dorinne {public msg} OT's are typically trained in Sheila Frick's methods.
Dorinne {public msg} Therefore, they are more comfortable using those methods.
Dorinne {public msg} Some OT's are trained in other methods and if they use them, they need to learn how to test for which one is effective.
Dorinne {public msg} The Tomatis Method is being introduced into the US currently as an education method.
Robbysmom {public msg} Are the children tested in the schools that you are working with?
Dorinne {public msg} Because of this it is not allowed to be sent for insurance reimbursement.
Dorinne {public msg} Therefore, some of the Child Study Teams are considering paying for this.
Dorinne {public msg} Parents have to fight for this as usual but it is possible.
Krkerri {public msg} How many times can you do the Tomatis? I know you must have a 6 wk break in between.
Dorinne {public msg} Children can be tested in the schools but only by a practitioner.
Dorinne {public msg} We actually go to the schools and administer the tests.
Phoenix2 {public msg} Can you explain the testing procedure a bit?
Dorinne {public msg} A person can do Tomatis as many times as they want to. But the Listening Test determines the need.
Dorinne {public msg} In a Tomatis Assessment, the Listening Test is administered. It is done with an audiometer and we test for when does a person first notice a sound is present.
Dorinne {public msg} It includes air conduction and bone conduction and two additional portions that Dr. Tomatis incorporated called laterality and selectivity.
Dorinne {public msg} For me as an audiologist, it helps me identify those children who eventually could have central auditory processing issues.
Dorinne {public msg} Therefore, although CAP testing is not done until age 5 to 7, I can pick out children with issues earlier than that, And begin to make changes. The second part of the Tomatis Assessment is the Laterality Test. This test looks at how the person uses their body.
Dorinne {public msg} It also tests for ear laterality
Robbysmom {public msg} Can any age be helped with tomatis?
Dorinne {public msg} Yes, we work with infants through very senior adults.
Phoenix2 {public msg} Do you feel the sound based therapies are one of the most important therapies for a child with CAPD? it seems sometimes these kids can fall through the cracks.
Dorinne {public msg} Absolutely!! It is one of the reasons why I use them.
Dorinne {public msg} I have two previous books on middle ear infections and I put in those books techniques for teachers and parents to help with learning.
Dorinne {public msg} I got involved with assistive technology in the 1970's and introduced improved listening through those devices then.
Dorinne {public msg} Once I got trained in my first sound therapy in 1992, my life professionally was changed.
Phoenix2 {public msg} do you have thoughts on children who hold the massagers to their ears? and is this safe?
Dorinne {public msg} Some children who hold massagers to their ears want vibrational information.
Krkerri {public msg} Why is there only 2 places that does the Tomatis on the eastern coast? Because where it's so new?
Dorinne {public msg} They are searching for input.
Dorinne {public msg} They are telling you that they like sound or vibration through bone conduction.
Dorinne {public msg} They are also people who typically need Tomatis.
Dorinne {public msg} There are only few certified practitioners in America period. We have more on the east coast than anywhere else in the US.
Dorinne {public msg} If the sound from the massager is loud, it may not be safe for the child.
Dorinne {public msg} Out put of any sound equipment is important to the listener.
Krkerri {public msg} Has anyone in the room done Tomatis.
Dorinne {public msg} One of the major differences between Tomatis and AIT is that AIT works on retraining a muscle in the middle ear that protects us from loud sound.
Robbysmom {public msg} My 2 children are doing it now.
Dorinne {public msg} Tomatis works on the entire response through the ear.
Dorinne {public msg} how do you like the changes Robbysmom?
Robbysmom {public msg} My son is severely autistic.
Joe {public msg} Yes I just put my son through it, he really showed improvement.
Robbysmom {public msg} He made some wonderful changes with language and even his eating habits.
Dorinne {public msg} Joe, how old is your son?
Robbysmom {public msg} I decided to do tomatis with my daughter because of the remarkable changes.
Joe {public msg} He is 6.
Dorinne {public msg} What changes did you see both Robbysmom and Joe?
Robbysmom {public msg} Robby started to understand language better, he became more independent, and for the first time in his life he started to sleep in his own bed.
Dorinne {public msg} Wow, sleep in his own bed. I bet you were happy!
Joe {public msg} He has feeding issues, and is very sensitive to sound, two weeks in he started to eat foods he never tried before.
Robbysmom {public msg} He also started to eat more foods and gained weight.
Dorinne {public msg} Joe, is he still sensitive to sound?
Robbysmom {public msg} Me and my husband are very happy.
Dorinne {public msg} He was eating more food because of the sensations that Tomatis stimulates in his mouth.
Joe {public msg} Yes, but he is handling it better.
Dorinne {public msg} It is amazing how many sensations we can create in the mouth.
Robbysmom {public msg} My son started to notice things outside.
Dorinne {public msg} Joe, was he ever tested for sound sensitivities with an audiogram?
Robbysmom {public msg} He is still getting use to the new sounds that he never new existed.
Krkerri {public msg} Is there anything you can do to get your child ready for the Tomatis like wearing headphones, playing a type of music, ect.?
Dorinne {public msg} Yes, you can get a child ready to adapt to headphones, You can play soft sounds through earphones.
Phoenix2 {public msg} Is samonas similar to tomatis?
Dorinne {public msg} Try introducing the sounds slowly.
Joe {public msg} yes he was.
Dorinne {public msg} Samonas is a spin off of Tomatis and only works on the filtered and gated music.
Dorinne {public msg} Tomatis does so much more which is why it is placed on the trunk of my tree analogy.
Dorinne {public msg} Samonas if done at the wrong time can actually create additional issues.
Phoenix2 {public msg} That’s great to know and understand : )
Robbysmom {public msg} There seems to be many spin offs, It shows how powerful sound is and how important to find someone good like Dorinne.
Dorinne {public msg} Also the person who created Samonas didn't want to have individualized programs so he created generic CD's.
Dorinne {public msg} Thanks Robbysmom.
Dorinne {public msg} Tomatis is a wonderful program to help bring the person into awareness of what the body needs to do to function.
Dorinne {public msg} For example, it is the vestibular center.
Dorinne {public msg} This is our center for balance.
Dorinne {public msg} Without proper body balance and posture, we typically do not thrive.
Robbysmom {public msg} My son started to catch a ball for the first time during tomatis.
Dorinne {public msg} Think about the importance of the ear's development. It is fully functioning 4 1/2 months in utero.
Robbysmom {public msg} And my daughter's posture and gate (walk) got better.
Dorinne {public msg} No other sense is able to do that
Dorinne {public msg} That means positional movement is very important.
Dorinne {public msg} Tomatis helps trigger that.
Krkerri {public msg} My son seeks allot of input thru hearing he loves to put things up to his ear ,the feel of it and make much noise as possible.
Dorinne {public msg} I'm glad your daughter's posture and gate improved. I'm not surprised.
Dorinne {public msg} It is often an important first step.
Dorinne {public msg} Posture often comes before improvement in language skills.
Dorinne {public msg} When a baby is first born, it doesn't start to immediately try to talk.
Dorinne {public msg} But it does try to begin to move.
Phoenix2 {public msg} And stimulating the vestibular links to the improvement in language! It all fits together
Dorinne {public msg} Absolutely!
Dorinne {public msg} For the person who puts the objects to his ear, he is trying to tell you how important sound is to him. He needs to block out all the other sounds he hears.
Krkerri {public msg} Is speech the hardest thing to get back if you lost it after an illness?
Dorinne {public msg} In this way, he can enjoy that sound alone.
Dorinne {public msg} It can be. With stroke survivors, we can help regain speech through Tomatis.
Dorinne {public msg} We also do a therapy called Bio-Acoustics that can help support the stroke survivor and the two therapies combined are great.
Phoenix2 {public msg} Can tomatis help allergies at all?
Dorinne {public msg} Also, it depends upon where the illness affected.
Robbysmom {public msg} Would tomatis help an adult (18 yrs) with frontal lobe damage?
Dorinne {public msg} It is not so much can Tomatis help allergies, but what the body does with allergic responses in the brain.
Dorinne {public msg} It has helped with supporting the body with better wellness which would affect allergies.
Phoenix2 {public msg} That makes sense.
Dorinne {public msg} Frontal lobe damage. I will say possibly. I have helped a child who had botched brain surgery at 18 months and was told that he would not speak.
Dorinne {public msg} He is beginning to speak after 3 sessions of Tomatis and a forceful speech pathologist.
Robbysmom {public msg} The person talks fine, but has problems making decisions.
Joe {public msg} Is there a limit to how many Tomatis session a child should do, if the parent want to keep going because the parents are happy with the improvement that is happening.
Dorinne {public msg} The important thing to remember with any sound therapy is that it only helps the body to reorganize. The other therapists such as speech and OT are important for the further development.
Krkerri {public msg} What kind did the speech pathologist use to teach him what method.
Dorinne {public msg} I have some parents who love the changes so much that they do continue sessions. Some children also need many sessions.
Dorinne {public msg} Each time a person does a program, something changes.
Joe {public msg} At what point would you recommend a break.
Dorinne {public msg} One case in point was a teenager who had done the basic program.
He didn't have many issues but many learning issues. The first two times, not much change was noticed immediately.
Dorinne {public msg} However, after a period of time, change was noticed.
Dorinne {public msg} The child went off to college and came home asking to do the program. His comment was that each time he did another segment, his memory improved.
Dorinne {public msg} I work strictly from the Listening Test. It also retest to determine when I would suggest follow up programs.
Dorinne {public msg} Each person is different. Some people only need the basic program. Others may need additional sessions over a period of year.
Ddurn {public msg} What about those children who are not testable with the Tomatis listening test?
Dorinne {public msg} Well, as an audiologist, I test everyone. I have developed something called Observational Audiometric.
Dorinne {public msg} I watch for neurological responses through the facial and trigeminal nerves and feel that I have gotten fairly accurate results with this method.
Joe {public msg} My son has done about 40 session it was recommend for him to take a break, let his brain process the new information.
Dorinne {public msg} Yes, that is often helpful. It is the integration of the stimulation that is helpful.
Dorinne {public msg} During the break time, one can see how he has held on to the change and how he has advanced.
Krkerri {public msg} What method from a speech therapist have you seen make great success for children who not speaking from an illness.
Dorinne {public msg} It also helps me identify how much more is necessary.
Dorinne {public msg} Well, the child I was speaking about with the brain surgery issue, simply used a strong language based approach.
Dorinne {public msg} I have seen some people do well with combinations of methods such as Prompt, hand vibrational input, Lips, etc.
Dorinne {public msg} Language therapy is important.
Krkerri {public msg} like PEC system?
Dorinne {public msg} More important for some is to follow in an appropriate skill level auditory.
Dorinne {public msg} For example, Norman Erber developed a hierarchy of auditory skill development which is important.
Dorinne {public msg} One should not start teaching discrimination and comprehension of language if the child is not even aware of what sound is for.
Dorinne {public msg} The PEC is a system that many people use. It has been helpful for some. I have also seen PACE used.
Dorinne {public msg} As we wind down, if I don't get to answer your questions tonight, please feel free to look at our website Either myself or my Assistant Director will answer your questions.
Krkerri {public msg} What would be good to try on a 2yr old that has done the PEC for 6 mo and made little progress were at a stand still.
Krkerri {public msg} I am also going to do the Tomatis in a few months and see if that will help him.
Dorinne {public msg} I would say that that child would benefit from sound stimulation. If you want to develop language, you need to develop the voice ear brain connection. Tomatis works great.
Phoenix2 {public msg} Thank you Dorinne, this has been great and you are very knowledgeable.
Dorinne {public msg} I would say Tomatis is the best next step.
Dorinne {public msg} Thank you Phoenix2.
Moderator {public msg} Thank you Dorinne for spending your time with us tonight.
Joe {public msg} Thank You
Dorinne {public msg} As we close, I thank you all for attending. Hope the evening was informative. All the best.
Rebecca {action} Thanks Dorinne for yet another wonderful supportive Chat. :)
Robbysmom {public msg} Thank you Dorinne! You were very helpful!
Dorinne {leaves}

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