Communication is also greatly improved. Children begin to imitate more readily, both gestures and sounds. A child who was non-verbal begins to babble and make new vocalizations that rapidly become recognizable words. Parents notice that their child responds more readily to his/her own name. A child who is already verbal begins to verbalize more, using increasingly more complex phrases. He or she will repeat words more readily, plus start to use words spontaneously. Children also demonstrate an increase in understanding by following directions more readily. Communication becomes more purposeful as well as more interactive. For many families, communicating becomes a "two-way street" for the first time. One of the most significant changes that we see repeatedly is the emergence of symbolic skills. Children start to play for the first time. They no longer line up the cars or spin the wheels but rather now they pretend to make the car go to the super market or the car wash. They have imaginary scenarios that they can act out.
P arents describe their children's responses to Spectrum Center's Tomatis Method programs as an "opening up to the world." Not only do the children's ears open, but also their eyes and the rest of their senses. As expressive and receptive language improves, other behavioral changes are observed. Children's behavior becomes increasingly purposeful. One of the most significant changes that we see repeatedly is the emergence of symbolic skills. A child who never played with a toy before is able to "pretend" or play symbolically-making the toy car drive to the store. They have imaginary scenarios that they can act out. You can't teach a child to play, it is part of an underlying cognitive architecture that develops around 18 months of age and is based on our capacity to be symbolic. This is the glass ceiling that so many children with Autism seem unable to reach above. Something about the Tomatis method enables them to cross this hurdle. And it is our capacity to be symbolic that allows us to use novel language verses learned phrases. As children respond to the program, they seem better able to understand how things relate to each other, and begin to learn more readily by imitation and verbal direction. Often there is a change in emotional affect. A child who was "in his or her own world" is more willing to join our world. Children start to develop words that give them more control over their environment, which helps to ease their tremendous sense of frustration. In understanding more of what is being said to them, the children can be reasoned with, and tend to become more flexible and better able to handle transitions. As a child starts to develop a sense of mastery over his or her body, he or she starts to feel more confident and self-esteem improves. With more internal control, children develop a greater sense of autonomy and independence. Overall, they are happier.
...changes include an increase in focus and sense of purpose. Improved eye contact is an almost universal plus. On a social level, many parents report that their children become more affectionate, seeking out their parents more often, and joining in more family activities.
As the children undergo the listening
training, they tend to show
an increase in their awareness of themselves, those around them, and
their environment. They begin to study themselves in the mirror (many
for the first time). They show an increased interest in their parents'
faces, studying their mother or father's mouth as if to figure out how
it works. They notice things that they seemed oblivious to before such
as the movement of the elevator or the trees outside the window. Some
of their sensory sensitivities that were especially extreme begin to
.Valerie Dejean, Tuxedo Park, New York
|The Spectrum Center's programs are
designed to improve sensory and auditory processing. The
vestibular/cochlear system (inner ear) is stimulated in order to help
it develop optimal levels of functioning. Although responses vary
om child to child, most clients exhibit behaviors that demonstrate
overall improvement in the interaction of his/her senses. For
example, children who have been under-reactive to stimuli tend to
become more alert, while children who have been over-reactive become
Alfred A. Tomatis with Valerie Dejean at his villa in Spain, 1997 Valerie Dejean, Tuxedo Park, New York 1-877-4AUTKID