- Dr. Tomatis
- Patricia Joudry
- The webmaster
an auditory problem !
“We read with our ears…the ear is the organ of language, the pathway to language assimilation, the key that controls it, the receptor regulating its flow.”
Dr. Alfred Tomatis
(in Education et Dyslexie, 1972)
“He is lazy, loafer!” or “The school / the method / the teacher is bad!”, and some years after, the poor boy (yes generally it strikes boys more than girls), despite of all his efforts, is the last of the class, harassed by the other pupils, the despair of his parents. He cannot write, read and learn, he cannot get a diploma, he has no future. He becomes to be depressive. His dyslexia was not diagnosed.
The meaning of « dyslexia » is « reading difficulty ». That is why it was originally called “word blindness” by German doctors, Dr. Kussmaul and Dr. Berlin, who thought it was a visual problem. The first doctor who wrote about it a little over 100 years ago was Dr. James Hinshelwood, from Glasgow (Scotland), who was an eye surgeon. Since many searchers studied the problem. Many more recent studies in US and UK point to language and auditory problem.
1968: The Research Group on Developmental Dyslexia from the World Federation of Neurology recommends the two definitions of dyslexia in use today.
Specific Developmental Dyslexia is a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and socio-cultural opportunity. It is dependent upon fundamental cognitive disabilities which are frequently of constitutional origin.
Dyslexia is defined as a disorder in children who, despite conventional classroom experience, fail to attain the language skills of reading, writing and spelling commensurate with their intellectual abilities.
DYSLEXIA IS A DISEASE,
AND IT IS POSSIBLE TO CURE IT!
Dr. Tomatis wrote in his book “learning disabilities” published in 1990 (in French): “For more than 40 years now, I treat children with learning disabilities at school. Today, I can cure more than 90% of my young dyslexic patients.”
It can be an auditory problem: Listening is the most basic skill you need to communicate. To read you need a strong language base. You have to make the connection between a sound (phoneme) and a written sign (grapheme). If because of a bad auditory processing your brain cannot make the difference between a “p” and a “b”, you will read once a p, once a b, you have one chance out of two to be right but you don’t know why!
Auditory problem does not mean that the child is deaf. His audiogram can be perfect. It just means that he cannot make the difference between sounds. He hears them but he does not “understand” them. Just some frequencies are missing. For instance if the child cannot make the difference between “K” and “G”, that means that the 600Hz frequency is missing.
It is also a laterality problem: the left hemisphere is the main centre for processing language. In order for speech sound to reach the brain efficiently, the right ear has to be the leading ear in listening because it communicates more directly with the left hemisphere.
Dr Tomatis contends that children with dyslexia have failed to achieve right ear dominance and that is why sometimes the order in which they hear sounds become jumbled. That was confirmed by Dr. Galaburda in 1984. He states about dyslexia that " During foetal development, there is superior development of the right hemisphere".
If they sometimes use the left ear, and sometimes the right one as the directing ear, sounds may reach the brain by different way, short or long, and that is why letters or syllables will be jumbled. The child will read or write “was” instead of “saw”, or “pasghetti” instead of “spaghetti”.
But as you read with your eyes, there is an eye-sound recognition-voice emission synchronicity problem. As if in a movie the sound track was not synchronized with the motion pictures. But we hear what we say. So the dyslexic goes back to say the syllable he missed, then ahead again… he stammers, he is ashamed, has a feeling of inferiority.
v A dyslexic child is not less intelligent that the others.
v He is not lazy, on the contrary.
v Very often he works much harder than the other to achieve a mediocre result.
v He tries to find ways to compensate his disability.
v He has the right to be depressed and to become discouraged.
As the problem comes from the ear and from a misbalance between the two hemispheres of the brain it can do a lot. By restoring the missing frequencies, the child will be able to make the difference between the sounds and to connect the good sound with the good sign (or letter). Music is a highly organised series of sounds that the ear has to analyse. The child will learn how to perceive sounds in an organised manner, in other word, to listen and not just hear.
The Sound Therapy will restore the balance between the right and the left hemisphere. Both hemispheres play role in language processing, but the role they play is different. . The volume of the Sound Therapy listening program is higher in the right ear than in the left in order to restore the predominance of the left hemisphere by having a right directing ear. When the right ear dominance is achieved, in most of the cases the problem of dyslexia disappear.
When each hemisphere has his role quite definite, the co-ordination between the vision and audition happens easily as the left hemisphere deals with audition and the right one with vision. In dyslexia the route to connect sound, vision and voice emission has been damaged. Sound Therapy may help the functioning of this route
Generally the children have a lot of stress because of their dyslexia. Sound Therapy will offer immediate relief because it is a method of treatment that requires no effort from the child. This therapy does not require the child to struggle with his reading-language problem. He feels left off the hook for once and enjoy a treatment that is not a constant reminder of his problem. Once the child is able to receive and interpret the sounds correctly and easily, he becomes a motivated learner instead of a disabled one.
The last researches about dyslexia found a dyslexia gene. That could be also an explication but at the moment genes therapy is not easy to practice!
A child with dyslexia should listen to Sound Therapy every day during 30 to 60 minutes, or more if desired. Listening can be done during sleep, play, homework or travel. If the child wishes to listen at school, parents can ask for the consent of the teacher. Listening at school will often help the child to concentrate and perform better. The reading aloud exercise, while holding an imaginary microphone in the right hand is particularly helpful. Two or three times a week, a “bawling party” would be good. It is recommended by DR; Tomatis. The child “bawls” a lesson, a poem, as loud as possible, to take off all the tensions which are inside him. (do it in the forest, under a train bridge when the train is passing, or tell your neighbours that you are not abusing your child!)
famous laboratory (MDS) decided to set up a centre to treat dyslexic
children on a large-scale. This centre, open in Toronto, was capable
to welcome 850 children and treat them at the same time, by
listening to Tomatis program. The children passed all the tests
before, during and after the experiment to measure the progress
made. The key points were:
+ 75% progressed on the whole points above
+ 90% for concentration
Better grades Mrs Joyce Saben, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:
"Our son has been on the Sound Therapy program for two years and it has helped him to overcome his learning disabilities. He started off listening all day and all night to complete his first 300 hours. He is allowed to listen to the tapes in his classes at school. His letter grade at school has increased from a C to where he is now on the B Plus Honour roll. It happened that he was asked to give a testimony in a court case about the experience of having dyslexia, and he ended up telling the Judge all about his experience with Sound Therapy to the great interest of the Judge!"
Janice, mother of a child with Dyspraxia:
"My son Jamie was diagnosed, at age three, as having "Severe Speech Dyspraxia." This disorder, I was told, would mean years of intensive speech therapy. I started Jamie on Sound Therapy and found after a short time his progress with his speech therapy increased. Jamie used Sound Therapy for three months and continued speech therapy for another year. I firmly believe that without the Sound Therapy his progress would have been much slower."
Pat Engbers, RN - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada:
"My son, Marty, was diagnosed as dyslexic and has had special education since Grade 1. He started using the Sound Therapy tapes during Grade 8. School authorities, counsellors and special education teachers, on evaluating Marty after the first Grade 8 term, were all of the opinion that he would be unable to complete the grade because of his problems (lack of reading comprehension, inattention, short-term memory difficulties). However, we were able to persuade them to keep him in his present school and to give the tapes a chance to work. Marty used the tapes overnight, every night for nine months, and he himself reported improved hearing and concentration after about three weeks. The best news of all came after six weeks when he came home from school very excitedly and said, "you know, those tapes are making me smarter! I was half way through an essay this morning and realised that I had actually heard and understood the teacher. I knew the answers and it was easy to write them down!" From then on, even though Marty never became a scholar, his previously strained expression grew happy and relaxed. His ability to deal with Math and English improved greatly. He left school after Grade 10, and is now working at a full-time job and has no trouble at all with the math and language skills he needs. I should add that our other son, David, also used the tapes, for improved concentration and memory. After a few weeks we noticed that his very bent back had straightened right up - and has stayed that way."