Auditive Perception and Processing Training with Autists according to Basic Principles of Dr. A. Tomatis
“Autism is a multifactorial disease and needs a multilateral treatment… An autism therapy is based on three pillars: biomedical sciences, sensory integration and behavior therapy. It is necessary to modify successful concepts individually.
As complementary behaviour therapy.
For the second pillar of the therapy, I would like to give you an understanding of the sensory integration, to inform you about it and to offer it to you in my practice as the TOMATIS therapy. Autism is a severe developmental disorder which is associated with a disorder of the communication based on a dysfunction of the sensory perception and processing. The processing of stimuli in terms of “filtering” unimportant sensory stimuli and the selective perception are more or less impaired. About 1 billion bits per second are absorbed of the environment by the sense organs in a resting state. However, the processing capacity is only 100 bits per second on average! Today it is known that the brain performs a repressive function in order to filter irrelevant, unimportant sensory stimuli and to shift them to the background via side canals. If this function is disturbed, chaos is dominates the head.
Many of us bring their children to an otorhinolaryngologist in order to exclude hearing problems. The ears are examined. Maybe an audiogram is written, too, in order to check whether the acoustical stimuli reach the brain. Nothing is found and you carry on….!
However, only few scientists thought about whether the stimuli are processed or perceived correctly. Prof. Dr. Tomatis, French otorhinolaryngologist (1920-2001), observed the impact of the auditory perception on the development of speech, language, communication, reading, writing, motor function, etc. and tried to explain the dependencies scientifically.
It is a matter of fact that “a healthy ear is a necessary but not sufficient condition that we can hear properly… the neural impulses have to be further processed in the brain.”
Within the Tomatis therapy for children with developmental, learning, and behavioral disorders we often work in addition to music mainly with the mother voice , particularly in the first phase of the therapy (passive phase). The “learning to hear”, the listening in the womb is repeated.
We know that the brain cells are designed and anatomically completed relatively early in the pregnancy. The development of the working neural synapses and the linking of the nerve cells take place through appropriate sensory stimuli. The ear as sense organ is completely developed in the 20th week of the pregnancy and the selective hearing (listening) of (to) the mother voice plays a crucial role for the brain according to Tomatis, particularly in areas which are responsible for communication, language, relationships and social behavior. We try to catch up on the development and to correct the defective developments by means of a “listening therapy” which is here called “Tomatis”.
In the second phase (active phase) subtleties are corrected, like for example reading, pronunciation, singing, and so on.
In case that this treatment has raised your interest or you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.