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Tuesday, June 18th at 7 p.m. (Eastern), Note portions of the text have been edited for
spelling and grammatical errors, while other text with errors was left in tact
in the context of the
Rebecca says, "Does anyone have a
question for dorinne? Just type a "?" in the message line"
Davis says, "Yes, that would be great. I will know a little bit
more as to how I can direct information to them."
announces,Join us Welcoming Specialty Guest Host,Dorinne S. Davis, M.A, CCC-A,
FAAA.President and Founder of The Davis Center for Hearing, Speech, &
Learning, Inc. featured here in our talkAutism room starting
Rebecca says, "Its good to see you again Dorinne, Any
new developments in the area you specialize in?"
Davis says, "The ear is the major sensory integrator of the body.
Not only your hearing sense but also vestibular, taste, touch, sight have
connections with the ear and the body's integration of those senses. When
audition is processed, more than just particular sounds and language are being
sent to the brain. Also, subtleties of sound impact us overall such as the
pitch of someone's voice, the inflection of their voice and
Dorinne S. Davis says, "So, a child with autism often
has over reactive sensory information or under reactive sensory information
being processed. I look at auditory processing as more than just the
audition of sound. Sound impacts our entire body."
Davis says, "What is important to understand is that in order to
process information, the neurological system must be sending processed
information first to the brain and secondly back to the rest of the body.
If the vibrational impact of this information is deficient, then the entire
processed information is also off."
"For the autistic population, it is
important to determine which sensory information is imbalanced and help improve
it. If sound can stimulate the necessary sensory input, sound is an
important starting place for each autistic person. The ear is fully
developed by 4 and 1/2 months in utero so it is an important starting place when
working with children in particular."
Ron Oberleit says,
Hope4Jerod says, "?"
Davis says, "If your muscles in your arm are weak and it is difficult
for you to pick up something with your arm, you don't work on your legs.
For the person with developmental issues that include sensory stimulation, if
the therapist wants to develop speech and language, it is important to begin at
the beginning of auditory developmental skills. Trying to get the child to
say words may not always be the most appropriate beginning spot."
Oberleit says, "What development issues seen with autism can be
Dorinne S. Davis says, "For example, if a child is
unaware that sound is important, trying to get them to say a word for something
is only a drop in the bucket if we want to develop overall language
skills. Getting the child aware of the importance of sound comes
first. Depending upon the skill level determined by evaluation, some
children simply need to be stimulated that sound is present. Noticing
speech sounds comes after that."
Dorinne S. Davis says, "As for the developmental issues
that can help the autistic population with sound therapies, there are
many. I will list some of them but as we go along we will probably talk
about more. First because of the semicircular canals in the ear,
vestibular, movement, proprioceptive connectedness to others, social
relationships, emotional relatedness to others, understanding of self, oral
motor stimulation, understanding what the articulators are, i.e that the
tongue is supposed to move to the top of the mouth for some sounds and against
the teeth for others, as ex."
"Also, that through the cochlea, specific
sounds are important to try to imitate for speech, words, and sentences and that
these speech sounds have meaning. That what a person says is not just from
the words that are said but also the rhythm, inflection, and pitch of their
voice that information is received."
Ron Oberleit says, "do
dev. therapists note dramatic changes after your sound therapy? How do you
gauge the changes developmentally?"
Dorinne S. Davis says,
"For example, if as parents, you say 'no' to your child, that 'no' may mean 'be
careful', or 'definitely stop what you are doing'" "The developmental therapists
that I work with have definitely noticed change after sound therapy.
However, it is very important to understand that there is an order that is
necessary for the change to occur. Everything in my office is done through
Ron Oberleit says, "Do you do the
Dorinne S. Davis says, "For example, I
have developed my "Tree of Sound Enhancement Therapy". This tree takes a
look at one's sense of hearing, auditory processing issues, specific auditory
processing skills, and how well the body can maintain changes."
evaluations are based upon these four areas. If we talk about the'sense of
hearing', then audiometric information must be tested. How well does the
person hear. Typically audiologists are training to look for hearing
loss. I tend to look additionally for better than normal hearing."
the auditory processing of information, the skills of the client are
important. For ex. if the person has speech and language and is over
5, I may suggest a Central Auditory Processing Evaluation. However, if the
person is non verbal or we know that some form of therapy is needed, I may do
what is called a Listening Test or another specific auditory processing skill
"When I am looking only at that auditory processing skill level, I
will test with specific tests to evaluation the specific skills such as auditory
discrimination, memory, sequencing , etc. In some cases, some of the
clients I see are not ready for the standardized tests so I have put together my
own test battery.""When looking at how well the body can maintain any changes
that the body needs I work towards two ways of accomplishing this: both
through the voice. Many young autistic children do not have good control
of their voice and I may not be able to get them that far right away. We
work towards that end. I either work on using the voice to stabilize
themselves or use the voice to determine issues to set up sounds from the
outside by listening."
Moderator says, " Momm001 you have a
Momm001 says, "does AIT help with auditory
processing issues and if not does it help
with sound clarification??"
Dorinne S. Davis says,
"As for the answer to AIT helping with auditory processing issues. Yes,
and no, so let me explain.""First, in my research, yet unpublished, I have found
that AIT really works on retraining a muscle in the middle ear that helps
control loudness input to the ear. So if AIT retrains how sound enters the
ear and then to the brain, it makes sense that it may work on auditory
processing. If sound is clearer, it may be easier to process.
However, many autistic people need more developing of auditory processing skills
so in some cases additional therapies may be needed.""Auditory processing is
very complex. Sometimes, auditory processing involves the integration of
overall sensory stimulation and AIT only begins to work on this. The
Tomatis Method works more consistently on auditory processing skills
Momm001 says, "So Dorinne, if we continue with
speech therapy and use ait that would be best?"
Davis says, "That depends. Speech therapy can take a long time if
the oral motor apparatus (the mouth and its articulators) is not stimulated
sufficiently and if the brain is not triggered sufficiently for language to
develop. Dr. Tomatis discovered that the voice produces what the ear hears
and his method is very heavily involved with the voice. The voice is the
stabilizer. AIT in my opinion only works on setting up the ear to hear
correctly. Tomatis works on making the voice, ear, and brain connections
Moderator says, "Hope4Jerod you have a
Hope4Jerod says, "My child age 3 rec'd AIT a year
ago, with no obvious improvements. No auditory testing was performed
before AIT to check for certain frequency sensitivities, because he could not
cooperate for the tests. I am wondering if you feel that AIT can be
effective when done "generally" without using specific frequency adjustments
according to audiogram results? I'd like to try AIT again, and thank
you. By the way he has super sensitive hearing and ABR's have confirmed no
Dorinne S. Davis says, "Also, Whether AIT and
Speech is sufficient, depends upon your child's needs. You only need AIT
if sound sensitivities are an issue or is you want to stimulate the brain
further as an enhancement."
Momm001 says, "oh, so if they
have no speech or lateen speech then we need to work on the words to get the
whole picture connected?"
Dorinne S. Davis says, "When I
hear that a child had no noticeable improvement with AIT, I always look at what
your goals were. In my office, we typically look at AIT as working on
change with an audiogram. "Generic AIT" as you mentioned, certainly may
not have hurt your child but simply prepared him for further development with
auditory processing. Another round of AIT may be helpful or you may want
to consider Tomatis. I find this method brings more change for speech and
language. Only testing will determine what is
Monika says, "?"
Davis says, "Getting the child to recognize their voice is an important
part of their growth. Some have difficulty with this because they process
speech too quickly or slowly, or process speech more quickly with bone
conduction vibration versus the typical way that we hear sound which is down the
Hope4Jerod says, "Could you do a quick
comparison of AIT to Tomatis as far as how they differ?
Monik says, "We did the Berard form of AIT and saw
phenomenal results. It has only been 2 months. We got prepositions
and pronouns and quieter, calmer behavior. Now, we want to go further, do
you recommend earobics, fast forWord what?"
Dorinne S. Davis
says, "Certainly. From my research, I have determined that AIT works on
your 'sense of hearing', i.e.. the physical input of sound via the ear and
cochlea. The Tomatis Method works on overall auditory processing of
information because it has three components that are essential for this:
filtered and gated music, bone conduction stimulation, and active voice
Dorinne S. Davis says, "I'm pleased that you got good
results with AIT. Your child's ear pathway opened. Next, I suggest
Tomatis because it gives the foundation for so much sensory information, but
mostly auditory. To find someone in your area, go to www.tomatis.com for someone near
Dorinne S. Davis says, "I have found that Fast ForWord
works on specific auditory processing skills, i.e.. temporal sequencing.
This skill is very important for clarity of speech comprehension. For some
children this is the next step. However, a foundation is often needed to
make the skills be useful."
Dorinne S. Davis says, "Earobics
is a great program that works on many auditory processing skills. It's
simple and easy to follow and is a great program for home and school
"Another computer program that is simpler and more basic than
Earobics is 'Away We Go' by Scientific Learning. You can go to their
website and find out about that program.""Each autistic child is unique and
although they may have a similar umbrella classification, I find that each one's
issues must be determined through an evaluation. The four areas I
mentioned, hearing, general auditory processing, specific auditory processing,
and over all support of changes is important in testing."
Moderator says, "Momm001 please go
Momm001 says, "Explain the Tree of Enhancement
Dorinne S. Davis says, "The Tree of Sound
Enhancement Therapies if based upon the root system, the trunk of the tree, the
leaves and branches of the tree, and overall tree support. In other words,
the 'hearing aspect' is the root system, the general auditory processing is the
trunk, and specific auditory processing skills are the leaves and branches, and
overall body support is what can be done to make sure the changes received
through other therapies will be maintained. I will go on.""The Root System
relates therapy wise to AIT because it is the only therapy that I have found
that retrains one's 'sense of hearing' by retraining the acoustic reflex muscle
in the middle ear. Once hearing is okay, then the trunk therapy is the
Tomatis Method because of all the sensory integration that it stimulates.
This information is necessary for overall development. I can discuss more
about Tomatis in a minute. The leaves and branches are specific therapies
such as Fast ForWord and Earobics. However, upper trunk and lower leaves
and branches may be therapies such as Interactive Metronome and LiFT or
"The overall body support is accomplished through the voice--either
from learning to use the voice effectively or by using the science of
BioAcoustics to identify issues in imbalance in the body, presenting a
complement or supplement sound so that the body can stabilize itself.""Which of
these would you like more clarity on?"
Momm001 says, "I
guess the tomatis and Earobics (since we are considering
Dorinne S. Davis says, "By the way, this Tree of
Sound Enhancement Therapy is the basis for my upcoming book called "Sound
Bodies through Sound Therapy" which should be available in Jan
Ron Oberleit says, "I'd like to know how bioacoustics
is used, and how specifically it works"
Dorinne S. Davis
says, "First let me mention Samonas. Ingo Steinbach developed Samonas
based upon Dr. Tomatis' research. Instead of making it specific for each
individual, which he did do originally, he chose to make generic CD's for
listening. Most of them have high frequency information and for some
autistic children the high frequency information is difficult for them to
process initially. I find Samonas helpful once I have stabilized how the
person uses bone conduction stimulation. This therapy is very different
from Tomatis because Tomatis incorporates specifics instead of generics.
Earobics looks at something totally different in that it helps develop specific
skills, not stimulate the body overall."
"Thank you for that clarification."
Dorinne S. Davis says,
"BioAcoustics is the counterpart of the Tomatis Method in that if the voice
produces what the ear hears, and there is a voice-ear-brain connection that was
recognized in 1957 by the Academy of Science, then newer research has also
demonstrated that there is a further connection."
Oberleit says, "how does one apply bioacoustics?"
Davis says, "Not only does the ear hear sound but the ear gives off or
emits a sound. It is called an otoacoustic emission. This is
something we all have but don't often recognize. If the ear gives off a
sound and there is a sound emitted with the voice, we again have a voice ear
brain connection. So we capture the voice's frequencies in a voice print,
do a voice spectral analysis, and determine issues that are imbalanced in the
body. Then provide a sound complement or supplement for the person and
they listen to the necessary sound to support their own body system."
says, "does all this work with tubes in their ears??Since the membrane has been
"opened" with a tube?"
Dorinne S. Davis says, "For example,
with our autistic population, we are identify certain similarities of
biochemical issues that appear to be either not utilized in one's body chemistry
or something that may need to be detoxed. It is a complicated science but
an exciting one for the future of autism. We need to get grants to help
work on the specifics but the Davis Centers research is looking at many
different autistic children and what their issues are."
Davis says, "Can it work with tubes.Well, tubes are placed in the
eardrum because the middle ear needs ventilation to remain healthy. These
tubes are placed in a place that cause the least damage to vibration of sound
information., The only therapy where tubes may be an issue is with AIT
because it is working on the 'sense of hearing'. When I test for AIT I
always mention tubes and let the person know that if tubes are present, then AIT
may need to be redone at a later time. One of my specialties are with
middle ear infections (two books published) so for me tubes are an important
consideration when planning a person's therapy plan."
Moderator says, "go ahead
Momm001 says, "since sound has been associated with
behavior and sensory issues can you explain how this all
Dorinne S. Davis says, "When one takes in the
environment appropriately, one feels good about themselves. When the world
is distorted, then the 'self' can feel distorted. This distortion can be
seen as behavioral or with sensory issues. For a child who behaviorally is
all over the place, they are typically simply searching for a way to connect
with the outside world. For example, in my office yesterday, I saw a young
man that was chewing on a long piece of fabric that he carries with him.
When not chewing on it, he was flinging it around hitting everything in
site. Or he would bang the wall, hit the windows, pull on the window
shades, or jump around searching for input for a connection with the world
around him. When I played specific sounds, he responded very well.
He always knew when he was being talked about and when I confronted him, he
stopped, came literally up to my face and smiled. He wanted to be
recognized for what her could do. Emotionally we process sound by going
through the limbic syst"
"Sensory stimulation is an issue because of weak
responses through the semi circular canals of the ear. This part of the
ear has hair cells similar to the cochlea which is your 'sound picker-upper' and
so will the semi circular canals will pick up sensory information and send it to
the brain. If this center is receiving distorted or underactive or over
active stimulation, the person will have many sensory issues such as needing or
craving sensory stimulation through swinging, jumping, movement, or through
sensory stimulation with oral motor stimulation--drooling, chewing, grinding
"In order to allow proper balance between sensory stimulation
overall and auditory information, both parts of the ear must be
stimulated. The Tomatis Method does this the best."
Davis says, "Did this help?"
Momm001 says, "yes,
Question 2: My son had ninety percent fluid in both ears from 15m to 38 m before
tubes - his language greatly delayed. I ask does he now need to relearn
what he hears. Most of his language has begun since tubes but he has to watch my
face for the correct way to say the word. How do I help
Dorinne S. Davis says, "This is a lot of
infections. Thanks for the ages because that is important. Yes, your
son must relearn how he hears sound. It has been said that a person with
an actual hearing loss is better able to learn language than a child with an ear
infection because the person with the hearing loss has a continuous sound input
for the brain to recognize and learn words. However, the child with
fluctuating middle ear infections hears sound one way one day and another way
the next day, thereby creating mixed messages in the brain. So typically I
do what I call a Diagnostic Evaluation for Therapy Protocol that determines is
hearing is still an issue (over responses from the middle ear muscles) or if
processing is an issue. By the way, if a child has 5 or more ear
infections before age 2, they are prone for learning disabilities or if they
have 5 or more before age 5. The learning issues are just
Dorinne S. Davis says, "I suggest either AIT or
Tomatis. You would be best served by having his hearing tested, especially
his middle ear muscles."
Dorinne S. Davis says, "Next
Momm001 says, "They said they can;'t test anything
because of the tubes what do I ask for in testing?"
Davis says, "How old is he now?"
Momm001 says, "3
Dorinne S. Davis says, "You need to find someone who
can do behavioral or pediatric audiometry and just get a good hearing
test. If no issues are present, then try to have a Tomatis
assessment. Again, you can find someone through www.tomatis.com"
Momm001 says, "I have one more if no one
Monika says, "?"
says, "Dorinne, the other night on TV I saw a special about a young man who had
autism and had a wonderful ability to paint .."
says, " Monika please ask"
Monika says, "What are the costs
for the Tomatis method and how long does it take?"
Davis says, "Of course, the cost depends upon where you are in the
US. The north east will be more costly than the Midwest. Each center
is an independent center and so will charge what they need to cover their
costs. As for how long the method takes. The basic Tomatis Method
consists of two sets of 15 days of listening separated by 1 month. It is
also possible to do 15 days, 8 days, and 7 days as a set. This is
determined by the initial assessment. For the autistic population, I
always say that the child will most likely need a third set of 15 days if we
need to develop speech and language. In some cases, continuation programs
of 8,7, or 5 days are needed spaced out over a period of months, or years.
Again the assessments determine the length of the programs."
S. Davis says, "Was this helpful? Anything further
Momm001 says, "As an expert in the middle ear I have a
question - A lot of autistic children experience dizziness from
their vestibular systems for no apparent reason - many without fluid do you know
why this might be? is it just an oversensativity or a ear/brain connection or
some other thought?"
Dorinne S. Davis says, "The vestibular
portion of the ear works with the same fluid that is in the cochlea separated by
a membrane. This fluid triggers responses in the brain. The
dizziness comes from the cells being over or under stimulated with little chance
to calm down. Some children crave swinging and others loathe it. I
know I am making change when the parents report that these cravings
"This portion of the ear is important to overall development of
speech and language, believe it or not, because Dr. Tomatis felt that speech and
language will only come when the rudimentary vestibular sensations are
Dorinne S. Davis says, "Any other
Momm001 says, "ok I have one
Moderator says, "sure
Momm001 says, "in tomas you prefer this version
but could you break down the components again for us so that we understand Tomas
better And will the tomatis web site give more info?"
Dorinne S. Davis says,
"It's not that I prefer Tomatis, by the way, I only use it when it is necessary
as demonstrated with testing. Some people can easily start with some of
the 'leaves and branches' therapies. As for the Tomatis--it is comprised
of a number of very important things. 1) all specially chosen music
is played through the Electronic Ear machine that Dr. Tomatis designed, 2)
each person has an individually designed program of listening, 3) the
important parts of the program have to do with air conduction vibration of
sound, bone conduction vibration of sound, filtered and gated music, a delay of
sound between air and bone conduction of sound, emphasis of developing a 'right
ear' lead for listening, incorporating active voice work for the full effect of
Dorinne S. Davis says, "The Tomatis website
does provide some good information about the method. Do you need more
Hope4Jerod says, "Question: you said "Speech and
language will only come when the rudimentary vestibular sensations are
stabilized"....And the best way to achieve this achieve this, do you believe is
Tomatis? I just looked it up and there is no Tomatis person in my area.
Just AIT. I am the one whose 3 yr old had no major change from
AIT. He tries so very, very hard to say things, but his "jargon" is no
better, and in fact worse, than before his regression. As a baby his words
were much clearer. Any further suggestions ?"
says, "That helped thank you."
Dorinne S. Davis says,
"Certainly having an OT that works on sensory integration will be helpful with a
combination of AIT. You can also look for information about LiFT or
Listening Fitness Trainers in your area. Try searching for LiFT on a
search engine. Or look for Developmental Listening System (DLS).
These are spin offs of Tomatis that are helpful. Also, if traveling
for Tomatis is not too far from your home, it may be worth the trip for
Dorinne S. Davis says, "If there are no more
questions, perhaps we can wind down. I appreciate everyone's questions and
thank you for allowing me to assist."
"Thank you for your help!"
Moderator says, "Thank you for
sharing this time with us we look forward to doing it again soon"
Momm001 says, "Thank
you Dorinne.. Moderator tell us
again how we can get a copy of this for our files and
Moderator says, "it will be on the boards
after it is transcribed"
Dorinne S. Davis says, "I am always
available for email questions if needed. My assistant gets those at firstname.lastname@example.org"
S. Davis says, "Thanks and everyone have a good
Moderator says, "thank you again
Rebecca says, "Links will be in the TA
Rebecca says, "and in the Live Chat
Rebecca says, "Thank you for returning Dorinne, it was
a pleasure having you back"
Dorinne S. Davis says,
"Thanks. Keep in touch. All the best"
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