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Research Studies

Auditory Training for Children with Deficits in Auditory Processing: An Exploratory Study

Summary of Findings

Auditory sound-based training interventions have become popular to remediate children’s deficits in auditory processing, which is not surprising given the link in the research between auditory processing and learning. However, these commercially available training programs are expensive and time-consuming. Furthermore, there is a paucity of research examining their effectiveness. The aim of this study was to explore the effectiveness of a currently commercially available auditory training program in Melbourne. In the current study, Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was used to assess the extent to which a music-based auditory training program, Auditory Training ProgramTM (ATP), directly improves auditory processing abilities and auditory short-term memory in children with deficits in auditory processing. The Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) taxonomy of intelligence was used to classify auditory processing abilities (Ga) and short-term memory (Gsm). Data from sixty children (37 males and 23 females) who had previously undertaken auditory training was used for the present study. The results show that the auditory processing abilities of phonetic coding (PC), resistance to auditory stimulus distortion (UR), sound localization (UL), as well as short-term memory (Gsm) abilities were improved following the ATP intervention. A CHC taxonomy to classify specific auditory processing abilities can be used help better understand which specific cognitive abilities auditory training improves, and compare research findings. Implications for future researchers and providers of auditory training programs are discussed.

- By: Rachel Anne Pemberton MA, Melbourne University

Early Effects of the Tomatis Listening Method in Children with ADD By: Liliana Sacarin, PsyD, CC, LMHCA

By: Liliana Sacarin, PsyD, CC, LMHCA  

This is a summary of the research study investigating early effects of the Tomatis Method in children diagnosed with ADD. Improvements in processing speed, phonological awareness, reading efficiency, attention, behavior and brain physiology were hypothesized by the end of Phase 1 of the Tomatis Method intervention. The doctoral dissertation study documents the effects of Phase I of the Tomatis Listening Method of sound stimulation on children with ADD ages 7-13. Of the 25 participants, recruited from schools in the Greater Seattle area, 15 (8 boys and 7 girls) received the Tomatis treatment solely while 10 (9 boys and 1 girl) served as controls (non-Tomatis group) and were stabilized on ADD medication three months prior to and throughout the study. Therefore, the research compared Tomatis intervention versus the non-Tomatis (control) in children with ADD. Although the children in the control group were medicated for ADD, this research did not compare ADD medication treatment with Tomatis intervention. The Tomatis sound stimulation group received 15 consecutive Tomatis sound stimulation sessions of 2 hours each; participants received no additional vestibular or visual-motor exercises, such as swinging or balancing on a balance board, during the listening sessions or other therapies throughout the research. The measures used to capture changes have been standardized for this age range. Results revealed statistically significant improvements for the Tomatis when compared to the control group: children in the experimental group showed statistically significant improvement in processing speed, phonological awareness, phonemic decoding efficiency when reading, behavior, and auditory attention. Information detailing the Tomatis Method, testing instruments and study results is included below.

The Effects of Auditory Stimulation on Auditory Processing Disorder: A Summary of the Findings

By Deborah Ross-Swain. - The International Journal of Listening Vol 21, No. 2, 2007  


The study's purpose is to determine the efficacy of the Tomatis Method of auditory stimulation as a therapeutic intervention for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Forty-one subjects (18 females, 23 males; 4.3–19.8 years old) were evaluated for APD. Performance on standardized tests indicated weaknesses with auditory processing skills. Each subject participated in a 90-hour Tomatis Method protocol and, once completed, each subject was re-evaluated to measure improvement. All subjects demonstrated improvement with skills of immediate auditory memory, auditory sequencing, interpretation of directions, auditory discrimination, and auditory cohesion. Pre- and post-treatment comparison indicated statistically significant differences in the aforementioned skills. These findings suggest that the Tomatis Method of auditory stimulation can be effective as an intervention strategy for APD.

To access the full journal visit: Taylor & Francis website:

The Tomatis Method with severely autistics boys: Individual case studies of behavioral changes

By Joan M. Neysmith-Roy  Department of Psychology, University of Regina


Six severely autistic males ranging in age from 4 years to 11 years received the Tomatis Method to assist in alleviating the severity of behaviours contributing to the diagnosis of autism. Ten minute video samples were taken of each boy, under two conditions of play, every time he completed one section of the treatment programme. As measured by the Children's Autism Rating Scale (CARS) all of the boys were severely autistic at the beginning of treatment. Three (50%) of the boys demonstrated positive behavioural changes by the end of the treatment. One boy was no longer considered to be autistic, two boys showed mild symptoms of autism and three boys remained within the severely autistic range. Of particular interest were the changes that occurred in pre-linguistic areas for five of the six boys. These included Adaptation to Change, Listening Response, Non Verbal Communication, Emotional Response and Activity Level. These behaviours are considered prerequisites for successful verbal communication. The children who demonstrated behavioural change were 6 years of age or younger at the beginning of treatment. The author suggests that the Tomatis Method may be helpful in making prelinguistic behaviours manageable and thus help prepare the child to learn basic skills necessary for the development of language and learning.

To access the full article visit:  Sage Journals: South African Journal of Psychology S.Afr.J.Psyschol 2001, 31 (1)

The Efficacy of the Tomatis Method for Children with Learning and Communication Disorders: A Meta-Analysis

By Tim Gilmor - International Journal of Listening, Vol.13, 1999 12.23


The Tomatis Method is a program of auditory stimulation and counseling primarily used to assist children, adolescents, and adults with learning and communication disorders. This treatment method was evaluated in several research investigations in the 1980s involving 231 children. The present study is a meta-analysis of data from five research studies evaluating the efficacy of this method in assisting children with learning and communication disorders. Positive effect sizes were found for each of the five behavioral domains analyzed: linguistic (d=0.41); pyschomotor (d=0.32); personal and social adjustment (d=0.31); cognitive (d=0.30); and auditory (d=0.04). These results, although positive, are limited by several factors including small sample sizes and limited use of random assignment. Still, the results suggest that effect sizes favoring children who had participated in the program were consistent with clinicians' reports of beneficial effects.

To access the full journal visit: Taylor & Francis website:

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