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Tomatis Sound Training

Studying pre-and post-test results

Tomatis Sound Training is the original training invented by Dr. Alfred Tomatis in the 1960’s. It continues to be the only sound training today that contains all of the original format, and even improved in the digital era we find ourselves in.  Most centers in the US use sound training in conjunction with their primary frame of reference, such as occupational therapy. Specific to occupational therapy, we are finding the combination of auditory stimulation with vestibular work strongly enhances the effect on the Vestibular-Cochlear Nerve (CN8), therefore enhancing the rate and speed of progress. No specific program is a cure for any condition, and more research is needed to make specific claims, though sound training has certainly stood the test of time and continues to assist in the therapy process case by case. Tomatis Sound Training is a center-based program that requires the purchase of sophisticated equipment and three levels of training in order to become a Tomatis Consultant. This enables the practitioner to highly individualize each program with different parameters each minute of the program. The training is extensive (11 days and mentoring) and has returned to the US in 2009. Solisten is the home based version of Tomatis Sound Training with pre-programs that would still be individualized, though only requires level 1 of training (3 days). More can be read about the Tomatis program, specifically in children, in the book “The Listening Journey for Children” (Francoise Nicoloff and Maude Le Roux).

At A Total Approach we have steadily been gathering data to encourage researchers to look more closely at the work being done. A recent pre-experimental exploration examined the change in test scores on three widely used standardized assessments after clients completed at least 62 hours of occupational therapy with Tomatis sound therapy and promising results were found. Data was gathered from clients who had completed a pre and post-test evaluation yielding scores in one or more of the following assessments: DeGangi-Berk Test of Sensory Integration (TSI), Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition (BOT-2), and/or Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS-2). The data was then analyzed using a t-test: paired two sample for means and descriptive statistics to ascertain if the change in scores are statistically significant. All three subtests and the total composite on the TSI demonstrated statistically significant change in scores post intervention. The BOT-2 scores exhibited statistically significant change in many subtests and composite sections: fine motor integration, fine motor control, manual dexterity, upper limb coordination, manual coordination, bilateral coordination, balance, and body coordination. The other subtests (fine motor precision, running speed, strength) yielded positive change but were not found to be statistically significant. This is believed to be attributed to the foundational nature of the intervention in the case of fine motor precision and the small sample size, specific to this subtest, (n=4) in running speed and strength.  The changes in PDMS-2 scores were statistically significant in the subtests of visual motor integration and fine motor. The other subtests (grasping, locomotion, object manipulation and gross motor) did not demonstrate statistically significant changes, which may be again be attributable to small sample size, specific to these subtests (n=4). Currently, efforts are being made to develop a stricter protocol to ensure that we could use more of our sample base to extrapolate more data as many of the subject’s data could not be used due to not adhering to all the parameters needed.

 

Maude Le Roux, OTR/L

Clinical Director of A Total Approach (www.atotalapproach.com)

Co-author of “The Listening Journey in Children”

Jessica Rich, OT research student. – July 2012

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