Singapore Brain Development Centre (SBDC) is proud to be a licensed provider of The Tomatis® Method – the gold medal award winner for scientific research in Europe, as a natural approach to auditory stimulation.
Our ears play a critical role as it is the main gateway to the brain. They pick up sounds, convert them into electrical stimuli, and send to the brain for analysis. This is how you identify sounds and also determine if it is too loud or too soft. The ears also help in coordination, finding balance, and finding a rhythm. Any weakness in the communication between the ears and the brain negatively affects learning, communication, and information processing.
A fetus starts developing sensitivity to sounds from 18 weeks into the pregnancy. The sounds include the mother’s heartbeat, gurgles of her digestive system, and even her voice. After birth, the sounds become louder and clearer. Unfortunately, some children are born with hearing difficulties, which affect communication between the ears and the brain.
Hearing tests at birth, known as universal newborn hearing screening, are mandatory in Singapore. About 0.01% of newborns have so far been found to have severe hearing loss, while about 0.05% have lesser degrees of hearing loss.
The Difference Between Listening and Hearing
It is vital to differentiate listening and hearing. Some children can hear but have trouble listening. A child who listens is one that hears the voice, filters out background noise, breaks down the sentences and understands the meaning.
Listening is a critical skill that children acquire over time. It is one of the building blocks for language and communication. As children get older, they become more attentive and can listen for a lot longer than they once did. Therefore, time allocated for learning increases as a child’s listening skills improve.
Learning is 80% verbal in the early years of a child’s education. Children with poor learning skills may require therapy. Listening therapy targets the auditory system, stimulates the brain and helps the child to process information.
How to Identify Listening Challenges in a Child
Many parents will easily know if their child has trouble hearing, while most will not know when a child is facing challenges when it comes to listening. This is because a child who doesn’t listen is assumed to be inattentive or stubborn. Parents need to look at the signs, not as a character flaw, but as an underlying problem. Some of the visible symptoms in a child with listening deficiencies include:
- Trouble following spoken directions, primarily those with multiple steps
- Struggles to remember what he just heard or read
- Easy distraction, mainly from background noise, or sudden loud sounds
- Trouble reading and spelling. The child may also have trouble understanding sounds
- Trouble working on math problems
- Struggles to follow conversations
- Has a difficult time learning nursery rhymes or songs in general
- Asks you to repeat what you have said multiple times
Our listening program targets the auditory system to stimulate the brain and energises the body – improving your child’s fundamental ability to process information and learn. We use The Tomatis® Method, which is a sound therapy, in our listening therapy program. This method has been designed to enhance listening and communication skills. It has also been successful in helping people who have coordination and balance difficulties.
The Tomatis® Method has been validated by more than 80 research papers, as well as by clinical and scientific studies. It is a versatile method that has seen many areas of applications. Integrating the Tomatis® Method in our listening therapy has helped with:
- Attention Deficits
If you have a short attention span, our listening program will help you to maintain focus. This therapy helps the brain to identify irrelevant side events and reject them automatically. The result is a longer attention span. Children who struggle when learning because they are easily distracted can also benefit.
- Learning Difficulties
Our therapy helps children who struggle to absorb new information, which ultimately improves academic skills. Some children are considered slow learners because they take longer to process information. Sometimes the problem is the absorption of the information, and not the processing. Listening therapy will help to determine where the challenge lies, and how to help a child improve.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
Children in the autism spectrum experience delays in cognitive development, as well as communication and social integration challenges. Our listening program helps these children to develop communication skills through listening, processing the information, and giving back the best feedback possible. It can help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and behaviors sometimes associated with it: Asperger’s syndrome, sensory processing disorder (SPD), or Down syndrome.
- Weak Motor Skills and Coordination
Listening therapy is helpful to children and adults with weak motor skills. People who have a weak vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance and movement, use this therapy to improve coordination, balance, and motor responses.
- Difficulties in Language and Communication
Listening therapy helps patients to develop vital auditory feedback loop that is essential in communication and language acquisition.
- Emotional Regulation Problems
The Tomatis® Method has been successful in people battling anxiety and depression. It stimulates the emotional system for better memory retention, emotional control, and learning.
Integrated Music Therapy
Our Integrated Music Therapy is a highly effective technique that complements and accelerates most pedagogical and/or therapeutic support. Our Integrated Music Therapy can be used at any age, be it a toddler or an adult and it also aids in battling other psychological difficulties and disorders. Read more about the ways parents can support a Therapeutic Listening Program here.