Specific learning disorders
According to the definition adopted unanimously by the entire scientific community, dyslexia is a neurobiological language disorder of genetic origin, and it manifests itself through an inability of varying acuteness to learn reading and writing, despite normal intelligence and normal auditory and visual perception, a favourable social environment, as well as an absence of significant psycho-emotional disorders.
It affects 5 to 10 % of the population.
For Tomatis, dyslexia cannot be summarised as a simple reading disorder.
Dyslexia is a syndrome, that is to say a set of clinical signs…
This is a disorder of written language which is part of the dyslexic syndrome.
It is characterised by major spelling mistakes during the production of written language, such as confusions, omissions or inversions of letters and syllables, errors of conjugation, and arbitrary word breaks. These errors are habitual during the learning period of reading and writing in a child. The problem in the dyslexic/dysorthographic child is that of their abnormal persistence.
For Tomatis, access to the correct orthographic form of the word is compromised due to a lack of automation (Tomatis uses the term 'integration'…
Dyspraxia is a pathology of the organisation and automation of learned movement: tying a shoelace, eating with cutlery, cycling, writing correctly...
The dyspraxic child is a slow and clumsy child who knocks over or breaks everything he or she touches, who needs help to get dressed, who has a lot of difficulty writing, cannot eat cleanly, and has a lot of difficulty organising him or herself.
This is therefore a child who is not capable of stocking up routine movements and who will find him or herself in difficulty when faced with everyday, banal gestures. Performing these actions more or less…
Dyscalculia is a difficulty with mathematics which interferes noticeably with school performance although there is neither intellectual nor sensorial deficiency.
This is a specific learning disability, just as dyslexia is, which it can moreover be associated with to varying degrees.
Children suffering from dyspraxia are also affected by dyscalculia.
The Tomatis method provides a means of considerably counteracting this disability through a precise action on fine motor skills, laterality and short term verbal memory, in particular by working on establishing correspondences between numbers…
Dysphasia is a specific disorder of oral language development. It is specific in the sense that it cannot be explained either through a lack of intelligence or a sensorial deficit, through an unfavourable socio economic environment or a significant psycho-emotional disorder, although all of these factors can obviously reinforce the seriousness of the problem.
Dysphasia can take on very diverse forms from one child to the next. It can affect either the expressive side of language primarily, or the receptive and expressive sides of language at the same time.
It must in no case be considered to be…
Music and voice
Improvement of musical listening
For Tomatis, having good musical listening means having an ear that matches as closely as possible the functional criteria of the musical ear such as he defined them very precisely.
Thus, in order for an ear to be qualified as musical, it must:
• favour the analysis of high-pitched frequencies situated between 2000 and 5000 Hz, while continuously and progressively attenuating the frequencies below 2000 Hz and above 5000 Hz. This attenuation must take place both in air conduction and in bone conduction.
• present a maximum opening of auditory selectivity. Auditory selectivity is the ability to differentiate the pitch of sounds…
Improvement of the singing voice and the speaking voice
The improvement of the speaking and singing voice can be considered as the historical field of application of the Tomatis method.
It was when practising in occupational medicine that Doctor Tomatis came to make the discoveries which now bear his name and which concern the links between phonation and hearing. He demonstrated that it was possible to correct either one of these essential functions.
Tomatis's first fundamental discovery, called the 'first Tomatis law' can be stated as follows: the voice only contains what the ear hears, or to put it differently, 'the larynx only emits the harmonics which the ear can hear'.
At the end of the 1940s, during his first experiments on audio-vocal counter-reactions, Tomatis had observed unusual changes in the behavioural dynamic of singers and actors.
According to the sound frequency zone which was imposed on them auditorily, the latter became more dynamic, adopted a more upright posture, began to breathe deeply and to speak or sing with a lot more ease; or on the contrary, slouched and quickly entered into a kind of torpor which they had difficulty pulling out of.
The latter state, characterised by an obvious loss of energy, deprived them of any possibility of producing a quality vocal emission, whether for…
Listening is the ability to consciously use one's ear for the purpose of communication.
Unfortunately, when listening is excessively disturbed, various problems concerning the possibility and desire to communicate efficiently with others will arise.
Indeed, as the saying goes, the worst kind of deafness is that of the person who doesn't want to hear.
Let us recall that having good listening does not necessarily imply having good hearing. Listening is characterised at the same time by a real intention to communicate as well as by the quality of perception and interpretation of the acoustic message received.
In a matter of a few decades, stress has become one of the major afflictions of our civilisation, not only in terms of the individual but also in terms of society as a whole. Almost 600 million working days are lost every year in the European Union due to stress.
Although the use of the term 'stress' has become trivialised, it refers to a very complex notion which is difficult to specify as it lies at a crossroads between biology and psychology.
It can be defined as a set of physiological and psychological reactions resulting from a demand or pressure from the environment which requires an a effort of adaptation.
Since man has existed…
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
Autism is a pervasive development disorder (PDD). PDDs are severe and early developing disorders, characterised by retardations and alterations in the development of social interaction, cognitive and communication abilities.
According to the international classification of illnesses and the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - Revision 4), the symptoms which define autism are as follows:
- Early development of disorders, before the age of 3
- Serious difficulties with social interaction
- Severe anomalies in language development
- Restricted, repetitive and stereotyped behaviour…
Asperger syndrome, like any form of autism, is a pervasive development disorder (PDD).
However, unlike the autistic child, the child suffering from this syndrome does not have a language acquisition anomaly. Furthermore, there is no significant delay of cognitive development in the first three years of life. The child?s intelligence is normal, often with a good memorisation ability.
Nor are there excessive sensorial reactions, whether by excess or by lack.
On the other hand, as in autism, there are difficulties in social interaction accompanied by repetitive and stereotyped behaviour, as well as a reduced field of activities…
Preparation for Birth
Intra uterin life
Since the 1980s, a lot of research has been done to prove the existence of a very intense mental and sensorial life in the foetus. This data has only confirmed Tomatis's positions on intra uterine life, as stated 30 years earlier.
Indeed, since the 50s, Tomatis had asserted that the maternal voice was perceived by the foetus, and that for the latter the maternal voice constituted a kind of primordial emotional-acoustic substance which was capital for its development, both physically and mentally. Furthermore, for Tomatis, hearing this voice enabled the foetus to stock up the basic structures of its native language, that is to say its rhythms…