By Kirsten Lopez
He was 4 years old with autism and no intelligible language. Tantrums and meltdowns, poor coordination and rocking filled his days. Each school morning he was pulled from his mother crying and screaming. In group settings like the park, he clung to her. After seeing an ad in ParentsGuide magazine this past winter, his mom, Vicki, contacted us at Brain Solutions Inc.
At Brain Solutions we worked with Ezekiel using the Tomatis Method, an auditory re-training program developed more than 55 years ago. The auditory system is truly our most robust sensory system. It is actively working before we are born. It manages our hearing and listening, as well as other important functions like balance, cortical energy and motor function. While many of us may “hear” well, we may not be able to “listen” well. Listening, according to Dr. Alfred Tomatis, is the ability to analyze sound within an emotional framework. More simply put, I could “hear” you speak to me in a foreign language, but I may not be able to assign meaning, or “listen” to what you are saying to me.
The Tomatis program exercises this whole system through modulated music and a bone conductor in the headphones. This all matters because of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is defined by Dr. Norman Doidge as the ability of neurons to be “changeable, malleable, modifiable” (The Brain that Changes Itself, 2007). We now know that with time and structured repetition, we can make neuropathways more robust in a way that endures over time.
This retraining is the heart of what we do at Brain Solutions. We provide you or your child lasting improvements with no medications. We also offer Social Thinking classes, Irlen testing and educational consulting.
After working with us, students with Asperger’s and PDD display more independence in their school work, better eye contact, less anxiety and reduced fatigue. Those with autism also see a reduction in anxiety, improved communication and motor skills and reduced sensory issues.
And Ezekiel… in less than 2 months he could speak in complete sentences. This allowed him to make his needs known which markedly reduced his tantrums. Now that his coordination has improved he plays with others on the playgrounds and his rocking behavior is nearly extinguished. When his mom drops him at school Ezekiel happily waves good bye to his mom and runs off to join his classmates.
Vicki says, “Ezekiel is now more resilient. He can tell me what is going on with him. It is like the program organized his brain to where it is not so overloaded and he is not trapped in his mind now. He definitely benefitted from going to Brain Solutions and still asks to visit there.”
Kirsten Lopez, MA is the founder and director of Brain Solutions Inc. She is a special education coordinator and educational consultant, as well as having been a program director in a neuropsychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. Learn more at BrainSolutionsNV.com or call 702‑340‑2248 .