Dr Alfred Tomatis developed a technique using modified music to stimulate connections between the ear and the nervous system in order to affect aspects of human development and behavior.

His research suggested that the hearing of many people with autism is severely sensitized to the point that even normal classroom noises are painful and disorienting.

But, is it worth the effort?

First, the details.

  • Researchers from the University of California at Davis studied the effects of the Tomatis Method on language skills in children with autism.
  • The children were randomly assigned to Tomatis and placebo in different order.
  • Neither the children nor the researchers knew the treatment given (double-blind).

And, the results.

  • The change when placebo was used first, then Tomatis, was 25% for placebo and 17% for Tomatis.
  • When Tomatis was used first, then placebo, the change was -4% for Tomatis and 14% for placebo.
  • There were no significant differences.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “The results reflect a lack of improvement in language using the Tomatis Method for children with autism.”

No fewer than a dozen offshoot and related systems of training exist. Each bases its “right to exist and advertise” on the claimed relationship to the Tomatis Method.

I was not able to find supporting studies for the Tomatis Method.

7/5/08 18:19 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.