Rintel research study explores the link between children’s hearing, reading and spelling abilities

Elizabeth Rintel and Derek Rintel conducted a study in Brisbane in 1995 using the Joudry Sound Therapy system on children in a remedial learning program. An experimental and a control group were used, each consisting of seven children. The experimental group (E group) received the Joudry Sound Therapy listening program and the control group (C group) listened to the same music without the Sound Therapy recording method. Due to time limitations the children received only 32 hours of treatment, which is less than the recommended minimum of 100 hours. This study can therefore be said to only partially demonstrate the effectiveness of the program.

Five normed tests were administered to the children. These were:
1) Test of Auditory discrimination (TAD); Goldman-Fristoe-Woodcock. (AGS 1970) revised 1976 using a standard audio cassette.
2) Neale Analysis of Reading Revised (Neale 1987)
3) Neale Analysis of Reading Revised (Neale Comprehension.)
4) Westwoood Spelling (1979)
5) Schonell Spelling Test

Parent and teacher observations were recorded on: Distractability, Overactive behavior, Reading improvement, Left/right confusion and Misinterpretation of questions.

The general trend on most of the indices of standard tests and parent-teacher observations was that the experimental group advanced faster than the control group.

Sound Therapy for Children

When your children have a learning or developmental difficulty, nothing is more important than getting the help your child needs. Each day or week in school is an opportunity to learn and get ahead. If your child has trouble processing information, meaning he/she doesn’t hear, see and sense things the same way we do, learning becomes very difficult.

It is vitally important to get help for your child as soon as you can so that he or she doesn’t slip behind in school. Sometimes there may be a diagnosis such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism or learning difficulties. Behaviour problems and difficulty with concentration are often the result. What all of these situations have in common is that the child’s brain is not working as easily as it could.

Sound Therapy is an ideal treatment for all children and can be easily used at home or in the classroom. Simply by listening through ear phones to specially filtered music and stories, the child’s auditory processing system enhanced. The program is valuable for a child’s development, just as physical movement, spinning, swinging and co-ordination skills are important. Sound Therapy is like exercise for the ear and the auditory processing and sensory integration centres in the brain.

Whether your child is developing and performing normally, is exceptionally gifted, or is experiencing some kind of learning or developmental difficulties, Sound Therapy can be a valuable support.

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  • Accelerate Potential
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Dyslexia
  • Auditory Processing
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Autism
  • Speech – Problems
  • Downs – Syndrome
  • Sensory – Integration
  • Special – Needs
  • Gifted Children
  • Parents

Parents

Most parents who learn about Sound Therapy also choose to use it for themselves. Parents can use Sound Therapy to improve sleep and energy, reduce stress and deal with the daily demands of parenting. Listening along with your child can be fun and rewarding.

Prenatal Listening and Sound Therapy

In prenatal life, s ound is the first sense to develop fully. The foetus’ ear is ready to perceive sound at four and a half months. The baby listens to its mother’s heartbeat, respiration and digestive sounds. Dr Tomatis believes that the baby can also hear the mother’s voice and becomes familiar with this sound before birth. Tomatis discovered that the first sounds heard in utero are high frequency sounds (above 8,000 Hz) due to the development of the embryonic ear. Birth is often a traumatic event in which the child is pushed from the familiar and protected environment of the womb into a totally unknown world, to begin the process of learning to communicate with others.

The Effect of Sound Therapy

Dr Tomatis says the sound of the mother’s voice with its familiar tone and rhythm is what provides continuity between the pre-natal and post-natal worlds. The infant is particularly accustomed to the high frequency sounds of the voice as heard in the womb, and therefore has an immediate response of feeling reassured when presented with high frequency sounds filtered to a similar level. When the mother listens to Sound Therapy during her pregnancy, the benefits which she receives are passed on to the infant.

The effects of listening for the mother are soothing of her whole system and a stimulation to the cortex of the brain from the high frequency sound. Because of its connection with the vital pneumogastric (Vagus) nerve, the ear plays a part in nearly everything we feel including heartbeat and breathing or sensations like a tickle in the throat or butterflies in the stomach. The effects of the Sound Therapy are therefore passed through the mother’s whole body and have an influence on the development of the foetus.

How to listen

It is recommended that the mother listens regularly to Sound Therapy throughout her pregnancy. To obtain the full benefits of improved sleep, reduced stress and increased energy, the recommended listening time for an adult is three hours a day. This can be done during other activities however, so does not require the time to be set aside for listening alone.

Effects for the infant

When a child has been born to a mother who has been listening regularly to Sound Therapy, and the headphones are placed on the baby’s ears straight after birth, it will immediately stop crying, feeling relieved of the sudden isolation and separateness. Babies who’s mothers listened to Sound Therapy during pregnancy show a distinct lack of tension and anxiety as they grow. They have an inner peacefulness about them and are less reactive, making them easy to manage. They feel secure in their relationship with their mother and will go easily to other people. They have a natural appreciation for classical music and can continue to benefit from its healing properties. Studies have shown that children exposed to classical music before birth are more intelligent. It can also be beneficial for these children to listen to Sound Therapy as they grow and this may facilitate their development of communication and languages skills.

The Mother’s Voice Technique

Sound Therapy International now offers a miniature Electronic Ear which can be purchased for use in the home. The “Sound Therapy Converter” can be connected to speakers or headphones and will convert any music or voice tapes into Sound Therapy. Now the child can listen to a tape of its own mother’s voice as Sound Therapy through the Converter. This technique offers profound healing and is an important part of the Tomatis program, especially for children with serious problems. A Voice Attachment is also available which allows the child to hear its own voice through the Converter as it is speaking.

The Converter is usually introduced after an initial period of using the tapes. See our Product Catalogue for more details on the Sound Therapy Converter.

To learn more, request a Free Report on the research behind Sound Therapy.

Gifted Children

Giftedness is traditionally defined as having an IQ higher than 130.  This is manifested as an intellectual capacity beyond that expected for the age of the child.  It also points to having the potential to achieve highly in both childhood and adulthood.

Giftedness may also include a different type of sensory responsiveness. For example, heightened sensitivity to touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste.

The gifted person experiences life events differently to others, and will put their own unique interpretations on life events.  They will have different perceptions of reality and different emotional responses and consequently, are likely to do things differently as well.

This presents challenges in some situations for children in the school system.

Gifted Children and Sound Therapy

Gifted children, and in fact all children, can benefit from Sound Therapy, which is simply a way of providing added stimulus to develop and increase the resilience of the auditory system. It can be used to improve concentration, creative thinking, language skills, sleep, moods, energy levels, and to reduce stress.

Just as children need the stimulation of physical exercise, somersaults, roundabouts, swings and other coordination challenges, they benefit from the stimulation of the vestibular and auditory systems that Sound Therapy provides.

Gifted children and learning difficulties

Some gifted children learn more easily through other senses other than the auditory sense. Because such children may not learn well in a traditional classroom, they can sometimes perform considerably below their mental age. Therefore these children may be classed as learning disabled, may fall behind in their studies and become disruptive in group situations.

However, such problems may be hard to identify. Gifted children usually develop self taught strategies for circumventing their deficit, so do not always demonstrate the typical characteristics of a learning or sensory integration problem.

In the classroom gifted children who have a sensory processing problem will often use visual clues to determine what is required of them. Such children often understand much of the subject matter taught in class, having already studied it using computers or reference books at home. Therefore teachers may not notice that the child is unable to follow their verbal teaching. Children may become clever at guessing what the teacher wants from their prior learning or other observations. Alternatively they may just withdraw from participation into their own world, or exhibit disruptive behaviour.

Sound Therapy has been found to enhance learning and life adjustment for gifted children in the following ways.

• Processing of auditory information improved
• Processing speed improved
• Accurate sound detection – able to discern just noticeable differences in sounds
• Clarity of speech perception and articulation enhanced
• Discrimination of relevant sound form background noise
• Improved memory for complex sound patterns
• Better attention to sound
• Improved coordination and sensory integration

When Sound Therapy brings about change in the basic auditory pathways, the effect has a flow on effect to the higher neural levels, eventually reaching and improving academic abilities.

Sound Therapy has been found to improve not only auditory processing but also motor coordination, visual perception, visual/motor skills and time order processing.

To learn more about how Sound Therapy can assist children with their learning, refer to Rafaele Joudry’s book, Why Aren’t I Learning?
To read more now, request one of our Free Reports on Sound Therapy and learning.

Special needs and Sound Therapy

Speech development

Research has shown the majority of special needs children have difficulty with speech, hearing, literacy, or a combination of all three.

The problem

Unless there is a deformity in the vocal apparatus, most speech difficulties are caused by some interference or distortion in auditory reception. Although the hearing may test as normal, the relaying of verbal information to the brain may be impaired. Hearing our own voice is a source of constant feedback while we are speaking and if there is any confusion in the sequence of received sounds, it will cause confusion in the output of speech. The results can be substitutions of one sound for another, stumbling over words or a flat and toneless voice.

Most people use the left hemisphere of the brain as the primary integrating centre for language. Some studies have shown that stutterers process language primarily in the right hemisphere or a mixture of the two. The right hemisphere is less efficient for processing auditory information, so this results in problems in the timing of speech output.

Speech difficulties frequently lead to problems in other areas where language is used, such as reading and writing. The element which is the basis for all these skills is the ability to hear and process sound accurately.

How Sound Therapy may help

Dr Tomatis made an important discovery about the relatedness of the ear to the voice. He established that the larynx emits only those harmonics that the ear hears. A lack of tone in the voice indicates a lack of tone in the hearing. Sound Therapy may fine tune the hearing and restore the ability to hear missing frequencies, by exercising the ear muscles and stimulating the receptor cells in the inner ear. It may also correct reversed or mixed laterality, so that the left hemisphere becomes the processing centre for language. Sound Therapy continually plays more sound into the right ear. The right ear connects to the left hemisphere of the brain, so when the right ear becomes dominant, the language function naturally switches to the left hemisphere.

How to use it

Children 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 children 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 children 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.

Anticipated Results

Dr Tomatis worked with a group of 74 stutterers and discovered that all of them had difficulty hearing from the right ear. When he educated them to use the right ear alone, all of them began to speak correctly. Children with other types of speech difficulties have responded similarly to the treatment. Not only does their speech improve but their behaviour changes. They become more confident, more dynamic and more eager to talk and communicate. Parents also report improvements in reading and the use of written language.

Research and Media

Testimonials

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help children with special needs, request one of our Free Reports.

Sensory Integration

The senses

Our senses are normally thought to include hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste. Sensory integration specialists include three more, being vestibular (balance) proprioception (position and movement of the joints) and interoception (the sense of the internal organs.)

Our senses bring us information about our world. They are the way we orient ourselves, understand movement, space and events, and are able to learn, develop and interact.

The sensory pathways can also be used to stimulate the brain and improve our perception and knowledge.

Sensory integration

When information enters the brain there are many billions of stimuli each second, way too much for us to interpret. Our brain learns to inhibit some signals and pay attention to others sot eh world makes sense. We also learn to integrate and combine signals from our various senses to interpret what is happening in our world.

Sensory integration dysfunction

When a child has difficulty processing information fast enough and knowing which stimuli to attend to and how they combine together, the world can be confusing and frightening. Such children will have trouble interpreting sights, sounds, sensation of touch and movement in the normal way. This can result in coordination problems, over sensitivity to touch or sound or light, and resulting learning and adjustment problems.

Sound Therapy and sensory integration

Sound Therapy is a very effective and important treatment for improving sensory integration. The stimulation received by the special algorithms in the Sound Therapy music helps the various sensory pathways to develop normally. Not only does it assist the senses of hearing and balance, but it helps to build the brain pathways which link to other sensory systems.

Early intervention is important to assist the child’s developmental building blocks without delay. Educators find that when Sound Therapy is used, it helps all the other interventions or therapies work better.

For a complete discussion of Sound Therapy and sensory integration refer to Rafaele Joudry’s book Why Aren’t I Learning? Chapter 6 “We move with our ears.”

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could assist learning and sensory integration, request one of our Free Reports.

Down’s Syndrome

The problem

Seventy five percent of children with Down’s syndrome have a hearing impairment. This is most often due to recurrent middle ear infections and wax impaction. Repeated chronic middle ear infections result in fibrous adhesions which limit the movement of the ossicles resulting in progressive hearing loss. Children with Down’s Syndrome are significantly affected by sensory deprivation and they need supportive measures if they are to reach their full cognitive potential. A delay in the comprehension of language results in a delay in speaking

The impairment of language abilities delays learning in all areas and makes the task of education and socialisation more difficult. This results in behaviour problems which could be avoided if the language abilities were improved.

How Sound Therapy may help

It is very important for children with Down’s Syndrome to have their hearing treated in the early years to assist with language development. These children respond well to education in the area of social and emotional adjustment, motor skills and visual comprehension. The greatest area of difficulty in learning is in auditory vocal processing. They often have difficulty learning to manipulate the speech system, coordinating the tongue, lips, jaw and palate. Because they face much greater obstacles in producing speech sounds they need assistance with their hearing more than ever. Dr Tomatis discovered that the voice can only produce what the ear hears. Sound Therapy may stimulate the hearing capacity by exercising the ear, training it in particular to receive high frequency sounds that are lost when hearing is damaged. The sounds of consonants, such as b, d, p, g and t are high frequency sounds and are of course essential for clear comprehension of speech. Before they can begin learning to produce these sounds, children must first be able to hear them.

As Sound Therapy may restore hearing in the full range of frequencies, a greater range of tonality is available to the voice and this is very important for producing intelligible speech.

How to use it

Parents should ensure that their children’s ears are checked regularly and that they receive treatment for ear infections or wax impaction. In some cases the recurrence of these problems will decrease with the use of Sound Therapy. The movement and exercise produced in the ear by Sound Therapy often results in a spontaneous expulsion of fluid from the ear and blockages may not recur. It has been helpful for some children with Down’s syndrome to listen regularly to Sound Therapy on a long term or permanent basis to protect the ear against its tendency to become easily blocked and to stimulate the full range of hearing. For the first few months of listening, children should listen to Sound Therapy every day for a period of 30 to 60 minutes or longer if desired. If the child wishes to listen for several hours at a time it will do no harm. The auditory stimulation provided by Sound Therapy has a re-charging effect on the brain and children with Down’s Syndrome generally respond with enthusiasm.

It is important to continue language education through the life of a person with Down’s syndrome. This ongoing learning process may be greatly enhanced for people of any age by listening to Sound Therapy.

Anticipated Results

The protection and enhancement of hearing that may be achieved through Sound Therapy could have significant results for all areas of development of children with Down’s syndrome. Improved hearing leads to a greater interest in the environment and what is happening, more liveliness and more willingness to learn. Language comprehension and speech improve significantly, and because the links between learning language and learning about the world are direct, the child’s education and performance in all areas will be enhanced.

Research and Media

Testimonials

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help the hearing problems associated with Down’s Syndrome, request one of our Free Reports.

Speech Problems

Speech development

The problem

Unless there is a deformity in the vocal apparatus, most speech difficulties are caused by some interference or distortion in auditory reception. Although the hearing may test as normal, the relaying of verbal information to the brain may be impaired. Hearing our own voice is a source of constant feedback while we are speaking and if there is any confusion in the sequence of received sounds, it will cause confusion in the output of speech. The results can be substitutions of one sound for another, stumbling over words or a flat and toneless voice.

Most people use the left hemisphere of the brain as the primary integrating centre for language. Some studies have shown that stutterers process language primarily in the right hemisphere or a mixture of the two. The right hemisphere is less efficient for processing auditory information, so this results in problems in the timing of speech output.

Speech difficulties frequently lead to problems in other areas where language is used, such as reading and writing. The element which is the basis for all these skills is the ability to hear and process sound accurately.

How Sound Therapy may help

Dr Tomatis made an important discovery about the relatedness of the ear to the voice. He established that the larynx emits only those harmonics that the ear hears. A lack of tone in the voice indicates a lack of tone in the hearing. Sound Therapy may fine tune the hearing and restore the ability to hear missing frequencies, by exercising the ear muscles and stimulating the receptor cells in the inner ear. It may also correct reversed or mixed laterality, so that the left hemisphere becomes the processing centre for language. Sound Therapy continually plays more sound into the right ear. The right ear connects to the left hemisphere of the brain, so when the right ear becomes dominant, the language function naturally switches to the left hemisphere.

How to use it

Children 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 children 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 children 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.

Anticipated Results

Dr Tomatis worked with a group of 74 stutterers and discovered that all of them had difficulty hearing from the right ear. When he educated them to use the right ear alone, all of them began to speak correctly. Children with other types of speech difficulties have responded similarly to the treatment. Not only does their speech improve but their behaviour changes. They become more confident, more dynamic and more eager to talk and communicate. Parents also report improvements in reading and the use of written language.

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help to improve speech problems, request one of our Free Reports.

Autism

The problem

Autism is a mystifying condition which causes children to become emotionally isolated from the world around them. Aspergers syndrome 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 syndrome is not known, but a contributing factor is believed to be distortion in the reception of sensory information. Many children with autism exhibit extreme sensitivity to noise. Some frequencies are actually painful for them to hear. 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 analysed. Tomatis believes that the reluctance to communicate in children with autism 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.

How Sound Therapy may help

Sound Therapy offers a child with autism the opportunity to re-open the listening capacity. The fluctuating sounds produced by the Electronic Ear may gradually exercise and tone the ear muscles, teaching the ear to respond to and recognise the full range of frequencies. As this happens, communication takes on new meanings, and the child may begin to respond in areas where before he or she was unreachable. Tomatis discovered that because of the way the foetal 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 may enable emotional contact to be made with the mother first and then towards others. Various forms of sensory stimulation, and in particular Sound Therapy, have been found to improve sensory integration. As sound is one of the most vital systems for brain integration, the use of Sound Therapy may bring about significant change in the child’s ability to process and integrate sensory information.

How to use it

The child should be encouraged to listen to the tapes every day for a period of 30 to 60 minutes or more if desired. Both the music and the story tapes are suitable for children with autism or Aspergers. For children who can speak, the Let’s Recite tape in the Family Kit has been a useful addition to the listening program, as it gives the child the opportunity to repeat what is said, encouraging participation, and vocal expression of the new range of frequencies being heard. In a clinical setting the Sound Therapy treatment of children with autism includes playing the mother’s voice filtered through the Electronic Ear. This can now be achieved in the home with the Sound Therapy Converter.

What it achieves

Children with autism have responded to Sound Therapy by showing a greater interest in making contact and communicating with the people around them. Interactions with their family members have become more affectionate and appropriate. There is often increased eye contact and the children have a longer attention span. They may initiate contact rather than waiting to be approached. For children without language, vocalisation has increased, initially as screams and then as babbling. Children who can speak may develop a more appropriate use of language, for instance beginning to use more personal pronouns ‘I’, ‘you’ or first names, and using words to express their feelings. They may begin to laugh and cry at appropriate times. Once children 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.

To learn more about Sound Therapy for autism refer to Rafaele Joudry’s book Why Aren’t I Learning?

You can also request a Free Report on how Sound Therapy can assit with learning and auditory processing for children with autism.

Learning Difficulties

Learning difficulties and auditory processing problems

Learning difficulties is a general term meaning that a child (or adult) has difficulty learning in a typical manner because the brain has trouble processing information. A learning difficulty is not an indication of intelligence level, but it means the child will have trouble learning in the same way others do and may have trouble performing certain types of tasks.

Global learning difficulties

If a child has “global learning problems” then s/he will find all aspects of learning and understanding difficult regardless of what method of teaching is used.  These children used to be called “slow learners”. Such a child will typically get a low score on IQ tests or other types of learning assessments.

Specific learning difficulties

Others may have “specific learning difficulties” meaning that only certain aspects of processing are problematic. These pupils are often quite bright, but are sometimes misunderstood and mistaken for being lazy or careless, when in fact they are compensating for some type of sensory processing problem. They may need a different type of instruction that suits their processing style. Specific therapeutic intervention may alleviate the difficulty considerably and enable these pupils to excel.

Can it be fixed?

While a learning difficulty cannot normally be fixed completely, the right stimulation and inputs to the nervous system can significantly improve a child’s processing ability, and this can go a long way towards reducing the effects of the learning difficulty.

Remedial instruction, tutoring, speech therapy etc can be very helpful. However this type of individual remedial help will have a greater chance of working if the processing problem is addressed first. Sound Therapy is an easy, affordable and effective way to improve sensory processing to address the cause of the problem.

Terminology

Some of the terms for different types of learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyspraxia, apraxia, sensory integration disorder, auditory processing disorder or central auditory processing disorder.

Auditory processing

Common to most learning difficulties is auditory processing disorder. Even if the primary functional problem is a visual or motor problem, this processing is highly interactive and involved with the auditory system. This is because the brain is a highly integrated structure where each sensory system interacts with others to help us make sense of our world.

The auditory sense is, in many ways, the sense with the most profound impact on our learning ability. Language is how we communicate about all topics, and hearing is more highly integrated into our nervous system than any other sense.

For this reason, any child with a learning difficulty is likely to benefit from Sound Therapy. Sound Therapy definitely assists auditory processing, but it has also been found to improve other types of sensory processing (visual, motor skills, balance) as well as integration between the senses.

To learn more about how Sound Therapy could help learning difficulties request one of our Free Reports.

Or order Rafaele Joudry’s book, Why Aren’t I Learning?