Special educational needs children are those who have learning difficulties or disabilities or are under regular school age, which makes it harder for them to learn or access mainstream education. However, it also refers to gifted children requiring special individual learning program to develop their skills and talents. The responsibility for such children is shifting from special schools to mainstream schools and from special teachers to mainstream teachers. This trend is strongly promoted by UNESCO worldwide.
Special Educational Needs Children and Personalized Learning Environment
Personalized learning environment trends have created the basis for today’s knowledge acquisition process especially for students with special education needs. Teachers and therapists struggle with focusing on each student individually. Mainstream teachers particularly require additional training and tools to work with children with special educational needs as well as to maximize learning outcomes for all pupils. Personalized learning trends imply the need for education diagnostic tools as well as new teaching methods and materials designed on the assumption that every child is unique.
The challenges of inclusive education for children with special education needs can be met by the highly acclaimed custom learning solution – The Tomatis Method. It is an innovative system for training auditory attention and improving learning skills. Auditory attention is the ability to focus on specific sounds and process them to extract their meaning. It is closely linked with attention span, language skills, learning difficulties, psychomotor skills, communication skills, and even emotional development. Auditory attention is used in the therapy of cognitive and perceptual-motor functions for children with various learning difficulties and disabilities along the likes of hearing impairments, speech and language disorders, speech fluency disorders, intellectual delays, dyslexia. The Tomatis custom learning solution is also proven to accelerate the learning of foreign languages.
Panworld Education’s aim is to ensure equitable educational opportunities to all students. No child should get left behind when it comes to learning and understanding which is why we offer highly effective modules that enable mastery of core concepts and skills. This outstanding content spans from Kindergarten through High School and includes the Tomatis custom learning solution to help students with learning disabilities.
What Is The Tomatis Method?
As mentioned earlier, the Tomatis method is an innovative custom learning solution for auditory attention training. This proven and effective technique was developed by Professor Alfred Tomatis. Tomatis was a French Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) specialist who devoted a considerable part of his career to studying the relationship between the ear and the voice, and by extension between listening and communication.
During his work, he defined three Tomatis laws:
- The voice contains only what the ear can hear.
- If you modify the hearing, the voice is immediately and unconsciously modified.
- It is possible to transform phonation permanently by sustaining auditory stimulation for a specific amount of given time.
The Tomatis custom learning solution uses the electronic ear, a device originally developed by Alfred Tomatis. This device provides filtered, gated and timed sound stimulation via headphones and the subject’s cranial bone conductors. This custom learning solution includes advanced digital technology that uses the latest hardware solutions such as 4-bit music tracks and special ready-made programs for schools/kindergartens. Further, it has a user-friendly software interface. The Tomatis method is a great custom learning solution because it allows diagnosis and therapy on one device, has ready-made training programs prepared by experts, boasts of advanced digital technology, and allows therapy to be continued at home on an apple device.
The trainers for this custom learning solution include Jozef Vervoort, the head of the training company Mozart-Brain-Lab. Vervoort was personally assigned by Professor Tomatis himself to teach and supervise the Audio-Psycho-Phonology. Magdalena Raciniewska is another trainer for the Tomatis custom learning solution. She has been a Product Manager in Special Education Need Department for 5 years and has been conducting Auditory Attention product trainings in Poland for 3 years.
Impact of the Tomatis Method
Dr. John Gerritsen prepared a review of 35 studies that were published on the impact of the Tomatis Method of auditory stimulation in 2010. This review deduced that a variety of learning disabilities are effectively treated by the Tomatis Method. Several small-scale research projects on autism were reported, showing that about 60% of the autistic children benefit from the Tomatis intervention. One of these shows that the Tomatis intervention reduces the time to obtain correct pronunciations by 50 percent. Other studies show positive effects on stuttering, retardation and on a range of psychological disorders. The review includes other interesting findings as well.
One of the characteristics of Tomatis auditory stimulation is that it opens the ear, especially to high-frequency sounds. Such sounds have an energizing effect, giving people the motivation they need to deal with the learning difficulties and disabilities they face. With the help of this custom learning solution, more and more special educational needs children are being integrated into the mainstream classrooms. A positive impact can be seen in the educational and soft skills of children who’ve used this method, compared with children who have not.