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Tomatis and The Listening Program

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Apr 03, 2002 at 7:44:08 PM
Subject: Tomatis and The Listening Program

Just got off the phone with my 10 year old son's OT. My son Andrew is at a school for kids with LD. He is ADHD inattentive and has sensory integration issues and multiple learning disabilities. The thread that runs through all his "issues" seems to be auditory processing. He had back to back ear infections as an infant, had chronic fluid in his ears even when they weren't infected, and finally got tubes at 24 months, then hardly ever had an ear infection again. But the damage to his auditory processing was done. He started OT at 5, speech/language (Fast Forward, Earobics, Phonographics) at 6. His CAPD evaluation last fall indicated mild to moderate CAPD. This is a kid who can hear very well when he wants to, but too easily tunes out when the listening gets hard. His decoding is excellent (thanks to Phonographix, what a great program) but his comprehension stinks.

Bottom line is that his OT is recommending Tomatis. We've looked into this before but the cost and time was overwhelming, so we decided to invest in the other therapies I mentioned above. She also recommends The Listening Program as a less expensive alternative. I was actually looking into LMB's visualizing and verbalizing program for the summer but the OT thinks unless the underlying vestibular issues aren't addressed first, the comprehension won't happen.

I'd like to hear from anyone who knows about these programs and any successes or failuress. Thanks very much!
Sally

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 03, 2002 9:34:04 PM

Sally, I certainly understand what you are talking about! When my son was in 2nd grade, we spent 2 hrs on homework that should take 20 mins. His teacher suggested that I set a timer. I did !No help! Then she suggested that I let him work 20 mins. then take the work away. This absolutely sent him into a panic!! It was torturous to see him try to meet this time and he would melt. Teachers are wonderful but sometimes they are soooo! detrimental to children with learning differences. Her husbaand was the principal of a magnet Science and Foreign Language School here in Al. I don't think that most educators have a clue or give a #### about theses kids that are different!!

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 1:14:06 AM

You have done FFW and Earobics for the Auditory processing and now you are talking about language comprehension. VV would be a better choice for teaching him strategies for language comprehension. Considering his ADD and his ability to tune in and out at leisure he needs to be taught how to focus and concentrate. Tomatis, Somonas and the Listening program are all nice products but frankly I like plain old classical music, music lessons, singing, learning rhymes with clapping games featuring rhythm.... I feel this helps just as much with the processing of sounds for a lot less money.

There is a program called Time to Listen that has some great ideas for teaching kids how to focus and concentrate who have CAPD and ADD issues. They overlap so much it isn't even funny. I have been participating in assessments for CAPD lately. It is really interesting to see how different kids perform on the dichotic listening tests, the Continuous performance auditory tests, the SCAN etc...

One can only do so much at one time but since his comprehension is the piece you are concerned with then I would go for the VV program and also doing read naturally you can get a CD with the stories on it for less than $99...this will help his auditory memory. It has well modulated voices reading the stories and he has to read along. I really like the program and you can do VV after he is done reading the short stories for comprehension.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 9:08:37 AM

My now 15 year old son was diagnosed with severe capd and dyslexia issues. Something he says helped him enormously was the books on tape or now, books on cd, that I made him do. He did probably 1-2 per month for a couple years...now it's much less frequent. He LOVED them. Get 'em at the library for free. There is such good juvenile literature they love, like the Gary Paulsen books, the Face on the Milkcarton trio of stories, freak the mighty and so on. Go to Sue Jones' website at www.resourceroom.net and get her reviews for good choices.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 10:38:33 AM

Thanks for the suggestion! I have long wished that the solution was that simple. We have tried books on tape lots of times, the latest time being on a long drive to Nashville last week. We started listening to Bunnicula and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. My husband and I enjoyed the tapes immensely. Andrew listened for a couple of minutes and then as usual, zoned out. I think the only way we could get him to pay attention to the tapes is to blindfold him, and even that might not work!
I have read to him since he was an infant, and could almost always keep his attention with picture books. He loved to listen to books on tape and look at the picture book as the tape was playing, but as soon as we started moving to books without pictures on every page, he could maintain his attention. He relies heavily on visuals to learn information. This is one reason he loves TV, especially cartoons and sight gags..
He is now reluctantly reading books that have black and white illustrations every few pages. This is because most books for his age group no longer have many illustrations. Before he reads any book, he flips through and looks at all the pictures. He has been laboring through the first Harry Potter but only because he has seen the movie twice and has the visual images in his head. Otherwise the book would be way over his head.
Anyone else have this issue?
Sally

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 2:02:50 PM

Because competing noise makes capd people unable to attend , my son listened only in his quiet room where it was the work he needed to do and we expected that he do it. He also was paid $2 a book. Definitely the books have to be tailored to his interest age. I think Harry Potter books are way too difficult to listen to. Same with CS Lewis. Try the Gary Paulsen books...set in the old west, very visually stimulating. In one, the boy gets kidnapped by Indians and is rescued by an old trapper...perfect for boys.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 2:04:20 PM

Just like we used in FFW, earphones may be of help when there is competing noise.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 2:08:08 PM

I wanted to mention that after my son did FFW and Lindamood Bell, the progress he made was slow and steady. He did not do FFW until he was 12. He says it really helped him along with the books on tape, but that he thinks growing older made the biggest difference in his ability to read. At age 12 he was reading late 1st grade level. I'd say he can read about grade level, now.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 3:39:22 PM

Thanks for your very helpful suggestions. You mentioned your son did a Lindamood Bell program. Was it Visualizing and Verbalizing? That is the one that looks the best to me for comprenhension.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 04, 2002 7:00:30 PM

Because that could be a major part of the puzzle. My daughter didn't make any progress on her LD's, until she started meds on for being ADD-Inattentive she has CAPD and a hearing impairment. For years we thought it was just CAPD and the hearing issues but the missing link was ADD. Also something else that impacts the reading and auditory comprehension is the individuals understanding of grammatical structure, and the comprehension of simple and complex sentences. Some children look like they have an AP issue when underlying it is ADD and also a speech and language deficit...including a lack of understanding of inferences, the vocabulary of words and the way the sentences are structured. They will misread because they are trying to make the grammar fit to their own immature knowledge of grammar and sentence structure and they loose comprehension.

In other words how are your son's written expression skills, not just his letter formation but how he structures his sentences?

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 05, 2002 4:38:49 AM

Dea in Colorado, who sometimes posts on these boards, got a lot of gains from Tomatis and TLP for her daughter. Also, Beth in FL who posts here regularly has seen gains for her son with TLP.

You can buy TLP for under $500. That's probably what I would do, and then see if he gets gains from it. If he does, then I'd consider Samonas or Tomatis (or possibly AIT-Berard?) also. TLP can be repeated regularly, so it's a reasonably cost-effective investment.

Are you thinking of doing V/V through a tutor? That can be very expensive also. Quite a few parents have done it themselves at home just using the book. An alternative to V/V is IdeaChain from MindPrime (http://www.mindprime.com). One mother who had used both programs preferred IdeaChain for use at home, because it comes with completely scripted lessons.

Also, have you checked out NeuroNet at http://www.neuroacoustics.com? The website has some great information about auditory processing and vestibular development. Beth in FL has gotten some great gains from this program. She is fortunate to be working with the developer (who is the one who has just added TLP into the mix).

Mary

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 05, 2002 11:27:12 AM

Patti,

Yes, he has been on Ritalin 10-15 mgs per day for 3 years. We have recently tried Concerta, but it didn't seem to work as well as the Ritalin and he also lost almost 10 pounds during the 5 months he was on it. So back to the Ritalin.
Andrew definitely has speech/language deficits. His spoken and written sentence structures can be odd. They used to be quite odd but are improving. I think with his poor auditory processing and inattentiveness he doesn't hear the way others structure their spoken language and therefore creates his own sentence structures. I used to say it was almost like he was speaking English as a second language.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, he recently had an APD evaluation. His hearing is fine. The diagnosis was "mild to moderate Auditory Processing Disorder with increased difficulties in the area of auditory attention, auditory discrimination, and auditory cohesion." The report went on to say that "Andrew demonstrates an auditory associative deficit, which is best descirbe as the inability to apply the rules of language to incoming acoustic information." We were given lots of good recommendations, including "continued speech language therapy to focus on thinking and reasoning skills and to teach compensatory strategies for short-term memory due to the inconsistencies noted on several sub-tests."
Since he is at a school for LD children, we have been sharing this information with his two teachers, tutor, and speech language therapist. I bought the LMB V&V kit and they are all incorporating it into his work.
It is his OT that is suggesting Tomatis or The Listening Program. The S/L therapists don't know much about it. I'm trying to find parents who have done these therapies to see if they have been effective.
I really appreciate your help and feedback.
Sally

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 05, 2002 12:57:40 PM

A child with CAPD does act like they have a hearing impairment and you are absolutely right about the inattentive behaviors that have interferred with him not picking up on langauge. I thought Concerta was Ritalin only in a sustained delivery system. Perhaps he was on too high of a dosage. My daughter was on one 18mg Concerta pill for 18 months and when she started a growth spurt she stated that it just wasn't working as well. The Dr. made an adjustment and she was put on 36mg a day and she is doing much better. Her appetite has been fine, she eats all the time. My son who is on Dexadrine doesn't have an appetite like his sister does and he is on the thin side but he is growing like gangbusters and forces himself to eat even when he doesn't feel like it.

My daughter did Somonas and she hated it and said that Somonas sounded like listening to buzzing bees. However, we have done lots of music therapy in regards to singing with CD's and listening to music accompanied by lyrics over and over again until she can get the words connected with the music. She has a beautiful voice and can sing on key. She prefers music where she can understand the lyrics and what we do is play a variety of music from guitar, classical piano, to rock and roll, and country. She can sing on key and has the rhythm with a very ecletic mix of music from Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Jon Bon Jovi, Train, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, etc... She loves listening to music that she likes..but Somonas...it was torture to her...

We have done Read Naturally with audio tapes and that has helped a lot. I have used the some of the Advanced Brain Technology CD's that feature productivity, motivation, stress reducing etc..during therapy sessions and she has enjoyed those... But I think what has helped more than anything else was my participation with her education program, by paying for my own training in LMB techniques and now I am in the process of becoming an SLP.

Hopefully, the teachers and SLP will get the training in VV through either a LMB workshop or through a video tape to use the VV kit appropriately. It takes a lot of time and dialogue to help children with language impairments achieve comprehension. Writing is definitely something I would have the SLP and teacher stress including the dictation of sentences with increasing complexity of syntax and grammar. Also vocabulary enrichment including illustrations of the vocabulary words and writing at least 3 sentences that he creates with the help of the SLP that use the new vocabulary word correctly.

Sounds like you are in good hands, my best to you and yours..

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 05, 2002 4:57:43 PM

My son's audiologist (who is trained in and provides a number of programs, including FastForward, Neuronet and PACE) claims TLP is better than Tomatis because it does not require periodic "boosters" or "upgrade" sessions afterwards; she feels it has more lasting effects. She also had some technical reasons for preferring it, which I have, unfortunately, forgotten, probably because I did not really grasp them. Most compellingly, TLP certainly is a lot cheaper! The Tomatis people tend to slam CD versions of their sound therapy program, but then they have a vested financial interest in doing so. I surveyed the research on Tomatis for my son and did not see much that was supportive. (For example, a graduate student at Vanderbilt did a survey of research on it; I don't have the url but you could probably find it through Google.) Having said that, I wouldn't rule out Tomatis totally for my CAPD son but will go with the audiologist's recommendation and do TLP or Neuronet with my son first if her re-testing shows it is warranted. Good luck with your decision.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 06, 2002 11:02:23 PM

Sally,

I agree with PattiM's post above. I'd try V/V for the comprehension. Yes, there are a few children with APD who will benefit from sound therapy but not all. I want to quote a reply by an APD expert to a parent considering a sound therapy program:

"Somonas, which is one of the group of programs based on
the Tomatis/Berard concepts using music with sound, is
very limited (if it is appropriate at all) for children
with APD. There is no research that clearly supports
any of these programs including my own research.
However for those professionals, like myself, who
believe these programs may have some benefit, the
CANDIDACY issue is most significant.

That is, NONE of these, including Somonas, is
appropriate for the vast majority of kids with APD.
There is a very, very, very narrow group of children and
adults who have TRUE auditory hypersensitivity who MAY
benefit from these programs, but the benefit would ONLY
be to reduce auditory hypersensitivities. Once the
hypersensitivities are reduced there is nothing that
says the child will be better able to remember, decode,
integration, or comprehend what is heard."

Dr. Jay Lucker, APD specialist and moderator of CAPD list:

http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/capd.html

Janis

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 07, 2002 2:46:46 PM
Subject:Re: Alabama

I am in Alabama, too and in a city that has a Science and Foreign Language Magnet school in the north part of town. There is also a magnet school for Arts and Academics. If this sounds familiar, I would like to hear about your experiences with your child in this city. I have a second grader now, and really think that I need to find a way to get specific modifications for next year. We will talk about doing something and then it doesn't happen. I get very little feedback from the teacher on a regular basis.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 9:20:06 AM

We did TLP earlier this year and very much wish we had done it earlier. I have seen a real difference with my son, despite lots of other therapy (FFW, Neuronet, PACE, and PG). I wish we had done it first. It does seem to have helped with the vestibular system--I used to have my son stand on a balance board when doing auditory processing exercises, which helped, but now he can do them without it. Furthermore, he has been able to do exercises he never could do before (this is from PACE--which has AP exercises in it--we did it for 4 months last year and just beat our head on the wall after a point). In two days, he was able to do the first level of three exercises he never could do last year.

We also have seen nice improvements in fine motor skills. I don't quite understand why but our therapist expected this because of the position of auditory and fine motor parts of the brain. The other thing we've seen is that our son can actually carry a tune for the first time.

It hasn't been a cure all. I don't see any difference in his sensitivity to sounds for example.

I know the research isn't there which is why we didn't do sound therapy earlier. We did it when there weren't any other options for addressing his continuing (although much improved auditory and fine motor) problems. I will just tell you I wish I had done it first rather than last.

We are also talking about doing visualizing and verbalizing this summer. I was told by our Neuronet therapist that we needed to resolve his sensory motor problems to the extent possible before embarking on it for maximum benefit. We are going to do Interactive metronome prior to doing V & V. My son has attentional issues and while we have seen big leaps with TLP and NN, his fine motor skills still are not average.
Your child's problems are probably different than mine but the advice I have received is similar. (My son has CAPD, visual processing, sensory integration, and word retrieval issues). I also will tell you that we did PaCE last summer---which is a cognitive development program. While we saw gains from it, it wasn't worth the effort (and money) we put into it. I don't think it was the program---(lots of other people have had better outcomes)-- it was my son whose sensory motor (more neurologically based) problems prevented him from making adequate progress. I don't want to make the same mistake with V & V.

Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 9:30:13 AM

Two audiologists I have worked with have both told me that there is a maturity of the corpus collusium that occurs about 13 in most kids. One Jewish speech therapist told me she saw this so often in the kids she saw privately she started calling it the Bar Mitzah effect. This accounts for improved auditory skills in many kids. One told me that at 13 you have what you have (he has late high school son with CAPD) while the other thinks that some kids mature later than others (she cited her brothers' experience--barely made it through high school but now is a surgeon).

Anyway, I don't think it is accidental that you saw the changes you did when you did. Now my son is 9---13 seems a long ways off.

Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 1:42:52 PM

Janis,

What I find interesting is that I have not observed any reduced sensitivity to sound for my son who did TLP, although I have observed other positive results.

Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 2:25:30 PM

Beth,

Thanks for your suggestions. I am leaning towards trying the Listening Program. The Tomatis is just too expensive and too time-consuming. My only concern with TLP is getting compliance from Andrew. He is great with his OT and S/L therapists, even with his teacher. But terrible with Mom (me). I just cannot get him to agree to do anything with me!
Andrew has had OT since the age of 5 and I have heard many times from the OT providers that the vestibular issues need to be addressed before moving on to the higher level cognitive/processing type therapies. It's just hard to get everything lined up.
Saly

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 22, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 4:52:00 PM

I don't know either, Beth. It's hard to ever really know what clicks and makes a child improve anyway. I think the fine motor improvements may have just coincidentally improved at that time due to natural maturation or other factors. Just like my child couldn't do Earobics and now can do some of it a year later. There was no specific therapy during that time...just maturation. But I can just about guarantee, if anyone HAD been giving her therapy during that time, they would've claimed the therapy made the difference! :-)

But all our kids are different. That's what makes it so hard to recommend programs...some will help some children and some won't at all.

This is in relation to another post, but I do not think V/V is in the same category as some of these therapies. It is more related to compensating strategies as opposed to something that will change neurological or sensory development. So I don't think you can go wrong as long as the child is actually reading things at a level that makes comprehension difficult.

Janis

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