Jason (name changed for anonymity) was born at 28 weeks gestation at 2 lbs, 4 oz, with no early intervention. He was slightly delayed in many of his milestones, but was physically stronger and bigger than his peers, good in sports, but struggling in other areas including school and social interactions with peers. In second grade, Jason began to fall behind his peers in the areas of expressive language, reading comprehension, social interaction, critical thinking and handwriting. He seemed overly active (would run around all day and never tire). In May of second grade, I had him tested at his school for a learning disability. The results of the test declared him as “Communication Impaired”. His was issued an IEP for third grade and was recommended participation in the school’s language resource room on a daily basis, speech therapy 2x per week, and OT 1x per week once in the following school year (3rd grade). I think it’s worth mentioning that he often made strange noises, had sensory seeking behavior and was obsessed with certain sounds that he would listen to repeatedly. These actions seemed to comfort him. He was not invited on play dates and only wanted to play with children who were physically rough and active. He did not participate in appropriate back and forth conversation and would often just talk about whatever was on his mind, even if it was not relevant to the conversation. He rarely cried but displayed avoidance behavior and became defiant when he was asked to do something he did not want to do (i.e homework). His behavior and defiance during these times often disrupted our entire household and we thought there would be no end in sight.
During the summer before third grade (August), Jason participated in the first loop of an ILS Program, which I mistakenly thought was Tomatis. During the 15 days of his participation, Jason was completely lethargic, agitated, or overactive. I did begin to see positive strides in Jason becoming more aware of his surroundings, expressing himself better, becoming more emotional, and the noises he used to make completely stopped. Now he would play video games to reach the next level, instead of repeating an action purely to listen to the sound effects. However, after the 15 days were completed, he could not settle himself, was not eating, was afraid to be away from his parents, and felt physically sick. He cried every day, complained of constant nausea and was filled with so much anxiety, it was debilitating for him. When third grade began (3 weeks post ILS), Jason was still not eating, and was terrified to enter school. At my wits end, a friend referred a Tomatis practitioner to me who came immediately to my house. We started the Tomatis Program the next day (4 weeks post ILS). After the first day, I immediately saw a difference and the next day he was a bit calmer and not as nauseous. By day 10, Jason was doing his homework with no trouble, eating, making new friends, being asked for play dates, acting “appropriately” in social situations, asking questions about everything, less crashing, expressing himself as being tired after a long day, becoming more independent (showering, brushing teeth, hair, getting dressed all without guidance).
It’s been 5 days post Tomatis (part I) and everyday I can not wait to talk to my son to see what new things he is discovering about himself, his family and the world around him. It seems he was oblivious to many things over the past 9 years and I am so grateful for the Tomatis Program who settled him and “fine tuned” him. He seems to be opening up to the world around him and is asking more questions. The practitioner challenged him, played with him, practiced the art of compromise, and those things have made an incredible difference in his daily interaction. He is acting more “appropriately”, making no noises, is sometimes seeking sensory behavior, but only for small parts of the day which seems completely normal, as opposed to sensory seeking all day. He looks forward to reading and often comes home from school with detailed stories and excitement. I feel as if Tomatis saved my son. I optimistically look forward to the next 2 parts of the program.