Effectiveness of Tomatis Sound Therapy Method on Reading Skill and Motor Skills in Dyslexic Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Saveh Branch, Saveh, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Saveh Branch, Saveh, Iran


Aim:The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of sound therapy by Tomatis method on reading skill and motor skills in dyslexic students. Method:  For this purpose, first, from among students who had been diagnosed with dyslexia referring to counseling and rehabilitation clinics in Tehran, 14 were chosen using convenient sampling method and were randomly and equally assigned into control and experiment group. In the next stage, pre-test was done and the experiment group received 30 sessions (3 times a week, about 2 hours) sound therapy by the Tomatis method, while control group did not. At the end of intervention post-test was done and then groups were followed up after 1.5 month. The data were evaluated using MANCOVA.Results:The results showed that sound therapy had an impact on improving reading skills and fine motor skills in dyslexic students but they did not affect their gross motor skills. Conclusion:According to the findings, considering the usefulness of sound therapy on improving the performance of dyslexic students and bearing in mind the short duration of these interventions and their attractiveness for children, it seems that applying this method can be beneficial to learning disabilities and other disorders that are caused by imperfections in executive functions such as ADHD and autism.


American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th Ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Anna-Lind P., Kristen M. M., Jennifer J. M., Tracy B., Viveca B., Julie Koch-McD., Roxana R., & Haley S. (2009). Brief experimental analysis of early reading interventions. Journal of School Psychology; 47, 215–243.
Ansdell, G. (2016). How music helps in music therapy and everyday life. Routledge.
Baranek, G. T. (2002). Efficacy of sensory and motor interventions for children with autism. J Autism Dev Disord, 32(5), 397-422.
Bonthuys, A., Botha, K., & Stols, A. (2017). Prospective conceptual model of Tomatis® method effects on students’ self-regulation. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 27(5), 427-432.
Bonthuys, A., Botha, K., & Stols, A. (2017). Prospective conceptual model of Tomatis® method effects on students’ self-regulation. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 27(5), 427-432.
Broadhead, G. D., & Bruininks, R. H. (1982). Childhood Motor Performance Traits on the Short Form Bruininks-Oseretsky Test. Physical Educator; 39(3), 149-55.
Ceccato, E., Caneva, P., & Lamonaca, D. (2006). Music Therapy and Cognitive Rehabilitation in Schizophrenic Patients: A Controlled Study. Journal of music Therapy; 15(2), 110-20.
Chiu, E. C., & Li, C. P. (2017). A Sound-based Intervention for Children with Sensory Processing Disorders in Taiwan. Neuropsychiatry, 7(5), 759-765.
Davis, D. (2005). A review of various abilities improved after the basic Tomatis method program for autistic, Williams syndrome and AD/HD clients. Presented at the 2005 educational audiology association summer conference. 
Dejean, V. (2006). Tomatis, autism, and sensory integration. New York: Spectrum Center.
Eden, G. F., Olulade, O. A., Evans, T. M., Krafnick, A. J., & Alkire, D. R. (2015). Developmental dyslexia. Neurobiology of Language, 815-826.
Eren, B. (2017). Music and Dyslexia: The Therapeutic Use of Instrument (Piano) Training with a Child with Dyslexia (A Case Study). Online Submission, 8(23), 97-108.
Finn, E. S., Shen, X., Holahan, J. M., Scheinost, D., Lacadie, C., Papademetris, X., Shaywitz, S.E., Shaywitz, B.A., Constable, R.T. (2014). Disruption of functional networks in dyslexia: a whole-brain, data-driven analysis of connectivity. Biological Psychiatry, 76, 397–404.
Fletcher, J. M., Lyon, G. R., Fuchs, L. S., Barnes, M. A. (2007). Learning disabilities: From identification to intervention. New York: Guilford Press.
Foorman B. R., & Torgesen, J. (2001). Critical Elements of Classroom and Small‐Group Instruction Promote Reading Success
 in All Children. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16(4), 203-212.
Fusco, N., Germano, G. D., & Capellini, S. A. (2015). Efficacy of a perceptual and visual motor skill intervention program for students with dyslexia. Codas. 27(2), 128-34. Fusco, N., Germano, G. D., Capellini, S. A. (2015). Efficacy of a perceptual and visual motor skill intervention program for students with dyslexia. Codas, 27(2), 128-34.
Gilmor, T. (1999). The Efficacy of the Tomatis Method for Children with Learning and Communication Disorders: A Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Listening, 13(1), 12-23.
Goswami, U. (2015). Sensory theories of developmental dyslexia: three challenges for research. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(1), 43.
Griffiths, Y. M., & Snowling, M. J. (2002). Predictors of exception word and nonword reading in dyslexic children: The severity hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(1), 34-43.
Hallahan, D. P., Lloyd, J.W., Kauffman, J. M., Weiss, M. P., & Martinez, E. A. (2005). Learning Disabilities: Foundations, Characteristics, and Effective Teaching. 3rd Edition, Pearson Press.
Hutzler, F., Kronbichler, M., Jacobs, A. M.  Wimmer, H. (2006). Perhaps correlational but not causal: No effect of dyslexic reader’s magnocellular system on their eye movements during reading. Neuropsychologia, 44(10), 637-648.
Kirmizi, F. S. (2010). Relationship between reading comprehension strategy use and daily free reading time. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(12), 4752–4756.
Laes, T., & Westerlund, H. (2017). Performing disability in music teacher education: Moving beyond inclusion through expanded professionalism. International Journal of Music Education, 5,1-13.
Lerner, J. W., Johns, B. (2014). Learning Disabilities and Related Disabilities: Strategies for Success. Cengage Learning Press.
McGaugh, J. L. (2000). Memory- a century of consolidation. Science, 287, 248-251.
Mey, S. C. (2014). Use of Music and Movement Therapy to help person with Autism. International Journal of Child Development and Mental Health, 2(2), 7-24.
Mojs, E., Sudol, A., & Samborski, W. (2017). The possibilities of the improvement language competencies in children with dyslexia. The evaluation of the Tomatis therapy in children aged 6–10 years of age. European Psychiatry, 41, S790.
Moll, K., Göbel, S.M., Gooch, D., Landerl, K., Snowling, M.J. (2016). Cognitive Risk Factors for Specific Learning Disorder: Processing Speed, Temporal Processing, and Working Memory. J Learn Disabil; 49(3): 272-81.
Northern, J.L., Downs, M.P. (2014). Hearing in children. San Diego: Plural Publishing Inc.
Pemberton, R. A. (2016). Auditory Training for Children with Deficits in Auditory Processing: An Exploratory Study.
Ramachandra, V., Hewitt, L.E., Brackenbury, T. (2011). The relationship between phonological memory, phonological sensitivity, and incidental word learning. Journal of psycholinguistic research; 40(2): 93-109.
Reid, G. (2016). Dyslexia: A Practitioner's Handbook. Wiley-Blackwell Press.
Rickson, D., Warren, P. (2017). Music for All: Including young people with intellectual disability in a university environment, Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 1(4): 46-52.
Sacarin, L. (2013). Early Effects of the Tomatis Listening Method in Children with Attention Deficit. doctorate dissertation, Antioch University, Seattle.
Sinha, Y., Silove, N., Hayen, A., & Williams, K. (2011). Auditory integration training and other sound therapies for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (12).
Skeja, E. (2014). The Impact of Cognitive Intervention Program and Music Therapy in Learning Disabilities. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 159: 605-609.
Spaggiari, G., Luppi, L.G., Spaggiari, P. (1995). Validity of the Tomatis method on over 400 clinical cases of patients with psychological and psychiatric problems. [Validità del metodo Tomatis su oltre 400 casi clinici di pazienti con problemi psicologici e psichiatrici]. presented at the October 1995 International Tomatis Congress in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Tomatis, A.A. (2005). The ear and the voice. The Scarecrow Press.
Tomblin JB, Barker BA, Spencer LJ, Zhang X, Gantz BJ. (2005). The effect of age at cochlear implant initial stimulation on expressive language growth in infants and toddlers. J Speech Lang Hear Res; 48(4): 853-67.
Vaillancourt, G. (2016). When the Client is a Music Therapist! Experiencing Five Approaches to Music Psychotherapy. Canadian Journal of Music Therapy/Revue canadienne de musicothérapie, 22(1), 109-126.
Williams, K.J., Walker, M.A., Vaughn, S., Wanzek, J. (2017). A Synthesis of Reading and Spelling Interventions and Their Effects on Spelling Outcomes for Students with Learning Disabilities. J Learn Disabil, 50(3): 286-297.
Wuang YP, Su CY. (2009). Reliability and responsiveness of the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-in children with intellectual disability. Research in Developmental Disabilities; 30(5): 847-855.
Zachry, A. H., Lancaster, S., & Robertson, E. M. (2018). Effect of a Sound-Based Intervention on a 7-Year-Old Child Diagnosed With Auditory Processing Disorder. Annals of International Occupational Therapy.
Zarezadeh, M., Farokhi, A., Kazem-nezhad, A. (2010). Determining reliability and validity of test of gross motor development (Ulrich, 2000) in 3-11 aged children of Tehran city. Olympic, 18(4), 85-98.
Zhou, Y., Chang, C., Law, A., Li, T., Cheung, A., Wong, A., Shu, H. (2014). Development of reading related skills in Chinese and English among Hong Kong Chinese children with and without dyslexia. Journal of experimental child psychology,122, 75-91.