Listening is the ability to use one’s hearing voluntarily and attentively for the purpose of learning and communicating. Listening and auditory processing capabilities can be impaired for many reasons.

The Tomatis® Method was developed by Alfred Tomatis (1920-2001), a French Ear Nose and Throat physician. He devoted a considerable part of his career to studying the relationship between the ear and the voice, and the connection between listening and communication. His discoveries were validated in the physiology laboratory of the Sorbonne and were presented to the Academy of Sciences and Academy of Medicine in Paris in 1957 & 1960. The research is on-going and extensive.

Because the ear is a sensory integration system, it plays an important role
in areas such as:

Children with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyspraxia, Sensory Integration Disorder can benefit from Solisten®.

How does Solisten® (The Tomatis® Method) work?
Listening is an active process that involves interpreting auditory information in order to learn from the environment and communicate with others. Sometimes listening can become disrupted due to the dysfunction of muscles found in the middle ear, which impacts on the transmission of auditory information to the inner ear and brain. This results in a distorted auditory message, which impacts on the interpretation of information and the effective use thereof. The Electronic Ear is a device used with the Tomatis Method® which exercises the middle ear muscles. This facilitates the accurate transmission of sound, and helps to focus the brain’s attention to auditory information. This process progressively trains the brain how to listen as well as having secondary effects on the body and emotional system.

In addition, the Tomatis Method® also affects the balance function of the ear. Balance depends on the vestibule (also known as the vestibular system), that part of the inner ear that informs the brain of the slightest body movement. The ear is therefore involved in controlling posture and maintaining balance. Solisten® encourages the vestibular system to send consistent messages to the brain. As a result, motor responses or movements are more fluid and better organised.

Sound also energises the body. The music used in the Tomatis Method® is rich in high frequency harmonics. This stimulates the vast neural network in the brain, including the reticular formation for regulation, which controls the activity level of the brain. The inner ear provides a rich source of energy to the brain, resulting in improvements in intrinsic motivation, sustaining attention and the ability to perform executive functions (such as memory, decision-making and problem-solving.)

What is the process?
Solisten® is the portable version of the original Tomatis® Method. This means that the programme can be followed in the convenience of your own home.

Following the completion of the online Child Screening Questionnaire, a Parental Consultation is carried out to review the developmental history of the patient in detail.

A typical Solisten® programme consists of two to three phases (or loops) consisting of 13 days of 2 hours of listening per day; with a four week break in between.

For each phase, the listening device is booked for 13 days in which the programme is completed at home. In phase one, on the first day of renting the device, a pre-listening test is conducted in order to establish baseline results for comparison. At home, the individual listens to a two hour music programme for 13 consecutive days.
A break of four weeks is then taken. A midway-listening test is then conducted in order to compare findings, establish improvements made during the programme and to determine the next listening programme required. Thereafter, the second phase is carried out exactly the same as the first. A final post-listening test is carried on completion of the second phase.

In some instances a third phase may be recommended. It is important to ensure that the patient does not have any fluid in the ears or ear infections prior to starting the programme.

Although the programme is quite intense, children DO cope! Many children in fact become quite calm and relaxed during the programme. They can do craft activities during the programme but no TV or PlayStation. Since the device is portable, the child can move around.

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