I’ve read about Tomatis years ago during my early foray with the web and I’ve learned from a student about Tomatis Philippines branch. Ok, this is circa late 90s. Among the so many articles I printed about special education, the one about Tomatis method was read again and again. It interested me so.

Fast forward to three years ago, I had a student who underwent a Tomatis Listening Program in Alabang. The parents were so happy with the results. They said that their child, my student, has greatly improved after she underwent a Tomatis Listening Program.

What is Tomatis Method?

The Tomatis Method was developed by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis, a French Ear-Nose-Throat or ENT specialist. The study of auditory processing and language development was pioneered by him which led to a new multi-disciplinary science called Audio Psycho Phonology or APP.

It was the Tomatis Method which led to the discovery of ear and voice interrelationship: the voice can only reproduce what the ear hears. One of the causes of learning problems is the inability to listen.

The Tomatis Method allows children and adults alike to improve their listening skills for better and improved learning skills in a non-invasive and drug-free way. This can be coupled with occupation and/or speech-language therapy and/or special education services.

Listening and communication are the targeted learning modes wherein the auditory stimulation between the ear and the voice are given focused to stimulate the ear’s ability to listen and the brain’s ability to understand what is being heard.

The Tomatis Method makes use of the Music of Mozart because of these three elements: rhythm for human balance, harmony for reaching emotions and melody for the intellect.

The Tomatis Method also uses Gregorian Chant (which by the way, our nun teachers had us learn to sing via Latin songs) because of its proportional beat that is close to the respiratory rhythm. This beat has a succession of sequences of unequal length said to be found in ocean waves that come one after the other but not identical.

The Tomatis Method re-trains the listening system through:

  • use of electronically modified music and language to improve auditory information processing
  • enhances the ability to know the difference between frequencies which are all necessary for language development and auditory information processing
  • use of Electronic Ear

Why is Listening an important factor in Learning? continue reading this entry »

With so many special education schools/centers mushrooming in the metro offering the “best special education programs“, parents have difficulty choosing the one that best suits the required helpful programs for their special needs child(ren).

For those with teen-aged children, however, their choices are few regarding the right placement because only a handful offer college courses and these usually are two-year associate courses.

Others choose to go the practical educational programs by way of technical and skills-based courses like those with computer and culinary skills among others. These alternative career options are nothing to be ashamed of, if some parents feel their children are “degraded” without a four-year degree course.

Children diagnosed with special needs can show their best by developing skills through social enterprise. They not only learn practical social skills, they also learn to be independent.

In this article, children with autism learn social skills in a coffee shop while they earn money, it is heartening to read about children being independent learning money, people and social skills.

Isn’t this what parents want? After all, parents can’t be there at all times for their children.

One of the more fun ways to teach reading is through REBUS.

What is rebus? According to Wikipedia, rebus is “the use of a pictogram to represent a syllabic sound.” In teaching reading, words are substituted with pictures to break the monotony of seeing just text or words.

Here is an example of a rebus story:

Rebus Story

Source of The Zoo Rebus Story here.

I started this blog Teacher Julie, Filipina Special Education teacher to write about special education issues and my experiences as a special education teacher and I’ve a Teacher Julie Facebook page I’ve recently had the courage to make.

Then I wrote posts about my family and about being a parent under the parenting posts.

Through it all, it gives me immense joy when people I don’t know send emails, comments and thank-yous for helping them while they read about my experiences as a special education teacher.

I know I still have a lot to learn. I know I have my own shortcomings and that my students have adapted to my quirks 😀 I know too that I fall short of the expectations I set for myself.

And there were times when I ranted online when I shouldn’t have.

But in the end, when I see where my students are right now, I feel pride and joy that all the things we went through together are worth every second: teenage issues, challenges, expectations, bittersweet moments, future plans, discussed controversial topics where I have been privy to their journey through the turbulent teenage years.

The sleepless nights, the crossroads, the questions, the doubts now look like just little stumbling blocks that made their parents and I hope that we have shaped the path for a better future for them.

continue reading this entry »

With university admissions tests in full swing, my students are in the thick of preparing themselves to take these tests and pass them. College admission tests preparation, like gmat prep, are scheduled way before the test dates are given.

I’m sure candidates for high school graduation like them and their parents (and their teachers too) are likewise experiencing these things: the anxiety, excitement, and asking the “what-if” questions. This is definitely the stage where they are given time to ponder the choices they have to make, not that they won’t be able to change these choices along the way.

Expectations are high but realistic goals should also be set. Plans A, B, C, D and even E should be well thought of. Should dreaming big take precedence over dreaming small or vice versa?

Should one say “Do your best but expect the worst?” How would the students with learning issues cope IF they get letters from the schools of their choice that bear bad news?

That I have to see and help deal with once the results are in. For now, all I want to do is encourage them to give their best shot.

Children with learning-related problems who do not have formal lessons given to them regarding reading and other skills needed for academic-related tasks, often forget what they have learned.

I used to have a student who goes “on leave” from our sessions during summer. He and his family usually go abroad during the third week of April and come back after a month. What follows that month-long respite from individualized instructions are some more out of town trips with their company’s employees.

And when he comes back, he tends to misspell his own name. Worse, we have to re-learn what we have already accomplished especially in our Practical Reading drills.

Reading drills don’t have to be as toxic as a get-a-book-sit-down-and-read kind of thing. There are so much to read, just look around and you will see what I mean.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Road signs, township signs, and maps during road trips
  • Food Menu in restaurants
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Newspaper clips
  • Food labels
  • Written instructions for games to be played
  • For online interactive games, turn off the audio and read the instructions aloud instead
  • Keep a diary to keep tab of all the exciting summer fun activities and write about these happenings

The possibilities are endless.

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