Stories from people like you
Below you will find a series of
true stories of some of our clients.
Lost in His Own World, An 8-Year Old Boy with ADD "Wakes Up"
An Adultís ADD Story: How Jeffís Distraction Diminished
Lost in His Own World, An 8-Year Old
Boy with ADD "Wakes Up"
When Tom came to one of
the Tomatis Centers, he had all the signs of a child with ADD. He was fidgeting in
his chair. He interrupted the discussion with his parents by asking
irrelevant questions. He was unable to focus on what he was asked to do.
His parents felt as if "he had never
awakened." He seemed to be lost in his own world. He reached out
only when he wanted something. At school, he was behind his peers in
reading and writing. He was not an unpleasant person but he felt very
frustrated. That frustration was turning him into a bully. He seemed to
be short-fused and emotionally immature.
His parents worried about him. It was
hard to keep him on track at school. Heíd forget to do his homework.
Or, if he did it, heíd forget to turn it in. By the end of the day, he
would not even remember what he had done at school. Tom was now eight
and his parents were at their witís end. They decided to give the
Tomatis Listening Program a try.
Look for longer "windows of
We explained to Tomís parents that they
shouldnít expect an overnight miracle and that it would take some time
before we could see the first results. First, they should look for
longer "windows of attention" and perhaps some changes in his
Tom started to come to the Center, two
hours per day. He got a special set of headphones, which was connected,
to the Electronic Ear. He was encouraged to play either alone or
with other children, whichever he chose, as he listened to the filtered
music on the headphones. By the end of the first 15 days, the parents
reported that there had been some moments when they felt Tom had been
able to pay more attention. He had also focused on a book throughout the
weekend and had turned in an assignment on time. At home, he also seemed
to follow the rules of the house somewhat better.
After the first break, more progress
After the first phase of the listening
program, there was a scheduled break of nearly three weeks. Both parents
reported that Tomís attention was better. They had been surprised that
Tom had done some work on his own at school. He remembered the rules
more consistently. He was experimenting with cursive, a first for him.
His father noted that he was more able to express his feelings. They
began having some surprising discussions.
As they started the second phase of the
program, his mother said he was listening more often. "He is
computing what I am saying," she said. She was feeling understood
and heard by Tom for the first time. He was also doing better in
baseball, a sign that sensory integration was improving. Finally, at the
dinner table, he would tell in lengthy detail about his day at school.
Another breakthrough between phase two
A few weeks later, Tomís mother
reported another change. She found Tom doing his homework on his own at
7 oíclock in the morning. Since Tom was on a break in the program, she
made a special trip to the Center to report the news that, " My son
has finally awoke."
During the third phase, his image
After a six weeks interval before he
started his third phase of the listening program, Tom continued to
progress. He developed a better image of himself and was more confident.
He not only showed a great deal of improvement in baseball but also at
school. His teacher said, "Tom, you have matured so much. You
arenít silly anymore!" This further awakening also delighted his
parents. They noted, "heís with us now!"
An extra booster session helped
Tom wanted to catch up at school even
more. Summer was coming and we advised them that he could use some of
the time to study with a private tutor because he was ready now. He
could focus his attention. He was able to perceive sounds and reproduce
them. His progress in reading, writing and math were becoming faster. To
give him some added help, he also came for what we call a booster
session, which is a mini-version of the Tomatis Listening Program that
helps step-up the amount of progress gained after the first three
phases. When school started again in the fall, Tom was ready.
Tomís parentsí dreams are realized
A few weeks later, the whole family
stopped by the Center. They were quite happy. Academically, Tom
was a different child. His teacher felt that he had almost caught up and
that he was now operating at a level much closer to his age range. For
his parents, their dream to have a normal child had been
realized. Was Tom still an ADD child? The question was moot. It had no
meaning for them anymore. Tom was awake and doing well.
The Tomatis Listening
Program works well with adults too as you can read in the following
As many recent studies show, ADD can
affect adults, too. At 35 years old, Jeff is a good example. Although he
was never formally diagnosed with ADD, Jeff presented many of the signs
He lacked the ability to focus.
He often forgot about ordinary
He had a hard time organizing the
tasks he had to do.
He could not easily learn new things
He got easily lost when
A hearing test showed that Jeff had
"an entirely normal hearing sensitivity". Along with
that, though, he had a "central auditory processing deficit
characterized by difficulty in focusing his listening when there is a
competing signal or background noise."
This accounted for Jeffís difficulties
in learning and remembering. Jeff tried using memory lists but lost them
or forgot that they were in his pocket. He also often used a calculator
for doing simple math. Plus, he relied on his memory watch for day, dates
and phone numbers. He reported that he was easily distracted by cars
passing by and by feelings within himself as well. Distraction
was the keyword to sum up Jeffís behavior.
At the beginning of the second phase,
things began changing
When Jeff came back for his second phase
of the Tomatis Listening Program, he enthusiastically and spontaneously
reported that things were getting better. He didnít need to look at
his watch to know what day it was. He didnít need to make a list to go
grocery shopping. He didnít feel distracted by the sounds around him
He reported, " I donít have to pay
attention to the sounds. Itís like a filter. I can hear. I can see,
but I donít get easily distracted." It was obvious from his smile
and confidence, he felt better about himself.
He felt much calmer, which he believed
helped him, to pay better attention. Jeff now had hope that his life
would be less dysfunctional. The listening program was making a
difference in his life.
By the end of the program, Jeff had
Jeff continued to make steady progress.
Towards the end of his treatment, he lost his job.
He handled it very calmly, which impressed his parents. They thought he
would be crushed by the news.
Jeff found a new job fairly quickly. He
felt very pleased with himself. For him, the most important thing now
was that as he put it, "When I wake up, I know where I am. I know
what day it is. I can speak my mind. And I donít get easily
distracted." Jeff could now focus and thatís what he wanted.
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