HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

Aspergers & Sound Therapy

Hi, I was wondering if anybody has tried sound therapy with their children, like Tomatis or AIT and what the results were?? My son was recently diagnosed with possibly Aspergers at 3 years of age, he is now 4-- he really does not act or behave in ways that are typical for Aspergers- by that I mean he does not need to stick to a rigid routine or have difficulty with new transitions--he does have different play behaviors- forms bottles, crayons and utensils and makes them into different shapes or numbers and is fascinated with both letters, numbers and music but has other areas of interest as well but not as strong of an interest. He definitely has some sensory issues going on and I was wondering if sound therapy could help this??

Please help??

Thanks—Christina

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Autism is a mystifying condition, which causes kids to become emotionally isolated from the world around them.

Aspergers is higher functioning autism, meaning the symptoms are milder and the child functions well or above average in many areas of life while still having certain abnormalities in their way of relating to others.

A definite cause of autism or Aspergers is not known, but a contributing factor is believed to be distortion in the reception of sensory information.

Many kids with autism exhibit extreme sensitivity to noise. Some frequencies are actually painful for them to hear. Sound Therapy pioneer Dr Tomatis suggests that, in order to shut out painful sounds or other unwanted stimuli, the child closes down the hearing mechanism so that certain sounds cannot penetrate the consciousness.

On a physiological level, this closing off of the ear is achieved by a relaxation of the muscles of the middle ear. Over time, these muscles lose their tonicity. Sounds are then imprecisely perceived and, as a result, incorrectly analyzed.

Tomatis believes that the reluctance of autistic kids to communicate results from the closing off of their being to auditory input. Although they may understand what is said to them, they have tuned out many of the frequencies in the sound and have thus tuned out the emotional content of the message.

Sound Therapy offers a child with autism the opportunity to re-open the listening capacity. The fluctuating sounds produced by the Electronic Ear gradually exercise and tone the ear muscles, teaching the ear to respond to and recognize the full range of frequencies. As this happens, communication takes on new meanings, and the child begins to respond where before he or she was unreachable.

Tomatis discovered that because of the way the fetal ear develops, the first sounds heard in utero are high frequency sounds. The child hears not only the mother's heartbeat and visceral noises but also her voice. Re-awakening the child's ability to hear high frequencies re-creates this earliest auditory experience and enables emotional contact to be made with the mother first and then with others.

Kids with speech difficulties should listen to Sound Therapy every day for 30 to 60 minutes per day or more if desired. Regular daily listening is essential for the right ear dominance to be achieved. The Let's Recite tape in the Family Kit is good to use for kids with speech difficulties as it gives them the opportunity to repeat what is said and integrate their speaking with their new experience of listening. Another good exercise for kids with any form of speech difficulty is speaking into a microphone while monitoring their voice through the right ear. This can be done using a personal cassette player with a microphone and wearing only the right headphone. The child can speak, sing, read or make any vocal sounds.

A similar effect can be achieved without the equipment by simply closing off the right ear with fingers or an ear plug. This increases the volume of the child's own voice in the right ear. This exercise can be done for some time each day in conjunction with the listening.

What Sound Therapy has achieved with Autistic kids—

· Kids who can speak may develop a more appropriate use of language, e.g. beginning to use more personal pronouns ("I", "you") or first names, and using words to express their feelings.

· For kids without language, vocalization has increased, initially as screams and then as babbling.

· Increased eye contact and the kids have a longer attention span.

· Initiate contact rather than waiting to be approached.

· Interactions with their family members have become more affectionate and appropriate.

· Once kids have begun to emerge from their emotional isolation they have shown increasing responsiveness to what they are being taught and to the people who care for them.

· They may begin to laugh and cry at appropriate times.

· They show a greater interest in making contact and communicating with the people around them.

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