用戶登入
用戶名稱:
密      碼:
搜索
教育王國 討論區 自閉寶寶 Tomatis and Autism - part 2
發新帖
查看: 850|回覆: 0
go

Tomatis and Autism - part 2

Rank: 3Rank: 3


114
發表於 09-2-24 17:26 |顯示全部帖子

  
  
  
  
   
   
    Better eye contact
   
  
  
  
  
  
   
   
    They may start looking you in the eyes and comprehend    what you are saying more readily. "She looks people in the face    now", one parent said.
   
   
   
    They may start paying more attention to what they see.    As one mother said: "When we're driving, he now looks out of the    window. he never did that before."
   
  
  
When autistic people are hypersensitive to sounds, we try totreat this first. When this stumbling block is taken away, we can help them tostart listening better. It also opens the way to improve sensory integration. These two elements, improved listening skills and better sensory integration,are the building blocks to develop their communication skills.
Reducing hypersensitivity to sounds
People with autism often suffer unbearable pain because ofthey have multiple sensitivities. Many are hypersensitive to sounds. Theintensity of their pain can be excruciating. Some indicators of thathypersensitivity are:
  
   
   
    covering their ears with their hands
   
  
  
  
  
  
   
   
    to protect themselves from the incoming sounds
   
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
   
   
    bursting into huge temper tantrums
   
  
  
  
  
  
   
   
    due to the frustration of having to deal with the    constantly incoming sounds
   
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
   
   
    repeating the same words, phrases or sentences
   
  
  
  
  
  
   
   
    perhaps as a way to soothe or stabilize    themselves in the face of the barrage of intense and confusing sounds
   
  
  
So, why are they hypersensitive to sounds? The reason laysin the way we listen. We all listen both with our ears and with our bodies. Ourskin and our bones are excellent sound conductors. Our whole body responds tosounds. However, unlike most people, many autistic children (and adults) listenpredominantly with their bodies. Sounds picked up by the body go directly tothe brain, without being filtered. That means that the irrelevant backgroundnoise is not filtered out.  So, many autistic people are continuouslyassaulted with sounds. When people listen predominantly with their ears, thesounds are filtered to reduce its intensity. Also, they are able to filter outall the background noises, so that they can tune in to what is reallyimportant. Many autistic people do not have the ability to filter out backgroundnoise and tune in to what really matters.
So, when we work with autistic people that arehypersensitive to sounds, our first goal is to desensitize the bone conductionresponse, and make their ears to become the main entrance to sounds.  Thatway, the sounds can be processed in the correct way. We'll do it by havingthem listen to gated music through a special headphone that is equipped with avibrator. Through the vibrator they'll listen with their bodies, at the sametime as they listen with their ears. The "music" is coming first tothe vibrator, and several milliseconds later to the ears. Over time, ourclients will adjust to listening primarily with their ears. Desensitizing thebone conduction reduces the hypersensitivity to sounds. It may appear paradoxicalto use sounds to desensitize someone who is sensitive to sounds, but it is anefficient, gentle and non-intrusive way to begin to alleviate some of theproblems that come with autism.
As all our senses are interrelated, reducinghypersensitivity to sounds often results in reducing other sensitivities, suchas tactile defensiveness and aversions of foods that have different textures.
Improving communication
Tomatis discovered that we can only produce a sound, if wehear that sound well. Hence, self-listening is the basis of speaking. So,paradoxically,  it is the ear that controls speech and checks all itsparameters: intensity, flow, articulation, etc… Self-listening is thus thebasis of communicating with others.
When we talk, we unconsciously monitor our speech throughself-listening. That means that we have to have the ability to zero in on thesound coming from outside (mom talking to me) and/or on the sounds that arecoming from within (my own sounds when I talk). As we have seen above, manyautistic children tune-out what comes from the outside,  to protectthemselves from the bombardment of stimuli that threaten them. They alsotune-out what is coming from within, possibly for the same reasons.  Theyseem as disconnected from the world around them as they are disconnected fromthemselves.  Communication thus is very difficult.
The Tomatis Program tries to help autistic children todevelop self-listening to foster communication.  In that context, thevocal exercises  are key in trying to achieve that goal.  Thechildren are asked to talk into a microphone.  Through a feedback loop,they immediately perceive their voice coming back to their right ear, which isthe ear that allows for a faster and more precise processing of language. The voice not only comes back to the ears but also to the bones,  thanksto a vibrator situated on the skull.  If a child is severely autistic andhas no language, we still open the microphone to try to capture his babbling orany vocalization that he or she may produce.
The vocal exercises are often difficult for autisticchildren, especially at the beginning.  Often, they are afraid of theirown voice and immediately become silent. It takes gentle prodding to help themovercome gradually their anxiety.  Their reaction is easilyunderstandable: first, this is new, and everything new brings fear. Second, itis the first time that they “listen” to their own voice.  Up till now,they probably didn’t connect themselves  with their voice, because thatrequires having a sense of self, and a perception of one's body, both of whichare weak in most autistic children.
The bone vibration is key to developing a better perceptionof the body, the basis for the self to develop.  We have often observedautistic children who try to swallow the microphone during the vocalexercises.  It provides them with an intense vibration that reverberatesthroughout their body.  It gives them an opportunity to “feel” theirbody.  Some enjoys the experience tremendously, but a normal adult couldnot stand the intensity of the bone vibration that it generates.  Thisphenomenon in itself is very normal: the simple fact of speaking createsvibrations throughout our body, but we are most of the time unaware andundisturbed by it.  In his book on opera-singing, (L’Oreille et la Voix, notpublished in English), Tomatis explains in details how singers must be able tocontrol their bodies all the way down to the smallest proprioceptive sensation,to produce a sound of perfect quality  Singer, he insists, need to learnto play of their body as if it were an instrument. Likewise,  autisticchild have to learn to use their body as an instrument to initiatelanguage.  The vocal exercises we do, make it possible for them to “feel”their body, to build their ability to produce sounds, and this may lead tolanguage.  By giving them the ability to produce sounds in a controlledway, we open the way for them to develop their sense of self.  As we knowit well, “finding one's voice” is finding oneself.
» expanded articulation of words