– Alfred Tomatis
The source of many school failures lies in a lack of communication. A child who does not concentrate, who is intelligent and yet slow to learn math, who makes ‘stupid’ mistakes in spelling, who does not really know how to create order in the chaos on his desk, may in fact just have to ‘tune up’ his ears.
Listening Training is an effective, subtle and non-invasive method to help improve the lives of those children confronted with labels such as ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and the many others in the dys- category. These labels may easily lead to over-simplification, and even to a form of insensitivity towards the unique child behind that label.
Understanding a learning deficit
From shortly after conception the nervous system will pattern itself in direct response to our life experiences. In order to listen (rather than merely hear), we need an inner willingness to concentrate and focus. Sometimes that option is no longer there, due to physical (repeated ear infections, for example) or psychological factors. There is a direct connection between the way we perceive the world and the way we listen.
As we move we learn
The richer our sensory environment, and the greater our freedom to explore, the more intricate our neural pathways will be. Bad posture, clumsiness, and a lack of coordination may also be signs of a listening deficiency, possibly caused by an under-stimulated vestibular system.
Some children mishear frequencies in a drastic manner. This means that for instance sounds that are going up the scale are heard as if they are going down. Or they hear sounds coming from the left, whereas in fact they are coming from the right, and vice versa. This will lead to all sorts of distortions.
And as a consequence there will be confusion, disappointment and most likely also anger. They may start acting out, feeling misunderstood and frustrated. These are the children who, as Tomatis put it: ” need even more love and approval than their siblings, yet they invite less.”
For more on this, see the checklists in the Are you Listening? page.