At age three my daughter was diagnosed with severe verbal apraxia. When I begin researching what else I could do to help my daughter I came across the work of Dr. Alfred Tomatis, a French ear, nose and throat specialist. In the 1950's, he discovered that listening problems are the root cause of many learning problems. Just because your child passed a routine hearing screening doesn't mean they are listening correctly. Our daughter was seen by an audiologist who said her hearing was normal. Listening is entirely different from hearing. There is also a large spectrum of sound frequencies some of which your child may not be able to hear. A screening exam in a doctor's office does not provide advanced measurements of all the frequencies of sound.

When our ears cannot hear certain frequencies, our voice does not contain them either. One could restore someone's hearing and thus their speech, by retraining the ear muscles through the use of sound therapy.

Sound therapy refers to a range of therapies in which sound is used to treat physical and mental conditions. It focuses on balancing energy to treat a condition. Research shows that sound therapy is effective in treating conditions such as apraxia, dyslexia, stress, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, autism, memory function, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

We chose to use the Listen Fitness Training (LIFT) for our then five year old daughter. She enjoyed it very much. It is practical, easy to use and an effective way to train and develop ear muscles. It involved using a special machine that filtered CDs of classical music to her ears in special stereo headphones. She listened one hour a day for two weeks and then had two weeks off. The next two week session she spoke as much as she could into a microphone and her voice was filtered through the machine to retrain her ears. That is when we noticed a big difference in her speech. She went from saying about 30 word approximations to speaking 3 - 4 word sentences in a matter of 2 months. It made such a difference in our lives. Her frustration level went way down. We were able to understand her and our hope had been renewed that our daughter would lead a normal life. The LIFT program was developed by Paul Maudale based on the work of Dr. Tomatis. We were able to rent the equipment and use it in our home under the advice of a trained professional.

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