Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, refers to a range of spectrum associated with behavioral and cognitive disorders.
The Core characteristics and symptoms involve verbal and non‐verbal communication,
impairments in socialisation and restricted patterns of behaviour and interests.
Recently, communication, educational and behavioural strategies were employed as the mainstay of treatment, but taken into consideration the heterogeneity of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the information that there is no single known aetiology, a wide varieties and range of interventions and treatment plans have been developed.
Thus now there are varieties treatments available to overcome auditory sensitivity in various nature and forms and which are commonly encountered in children with autism have been developed and these treatments are integratively called auditory integration therapies, which involves auditory integration training (AIT), the Tomatis method and Samonas sound therapy.
This was first developed by Berard’s in France in 1982, also known as Berard’s Method. He postulated that abnormal insensitivity or sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound waves, irrespective of total hearing ability, was connected with array of behaviours and learning difficulties and that his technique of Auditory Integration Therapy would bring about a change and improvement in the hearing process.
This therapy involves 10 hours of listening to digitally modulated music delivered by headphones during two half‐hour daily sessions for about 10 days. There is a device called Auditory Integration device which uses filtration technology and filter out certain frequencies to dampen peak frequencies to which the individual is “hypersensitive”, and delivers those sounds in a modulated form by randomly dampening of high and low frequencies and intensities.
This sound therapy uses human voice and music which is electronically modified, delivered through a device called an “electronic ear”. This method was developed by Tomatis who believed that “individuals who can hear but are unable to listen properly because their middle ear muscles might not be functioning properly.” He also had an opinion that the ability to listen impacts spoken and written language as with the development of communication.
This method aims at improving language and speech skills, communication and behaviour.
This therapy is also supposed to assist with the balance and coordination problems and
most importantly depression and anxiety.
Some individuals also used it to help themselves in learning a new language. Hearing is not an active but a passive process in which the ear simply perceives sound and thus it can be possible to hear sound without actually taking in the meaning of what one is hearing.
According to Tomatis, listening to modified music can make your muscles in the ear to exercise the muscles which actually stimulates connections between the ear and the brain and augments people’s listening and communication skills.
This sound therapy is about listening to “compact disc recordings of filtered music, voice and sounds of nature” via headphones. This therapy was based on the work of Tomatis and developed by Steinbach.
Samonas is actually a “music stimulation” program that works on Compact Disks. The music consists of a list of about 60 recordings with thirty variations of classical music and natural sounds.
This music is particularly recorded with four levels of intensity and spatial effects which is created in a process known as “spectral activation process”.
The claims ofthis therapy
The high harmonics of the music are activated in order to energize and regulate the brain. is benefitting people with auditory processing problems and which can be very easily employed at home without the supervision of a professional.
It is a forty-day program of daily 30 minutes of rhythmic music listening with exercises. The program is divided into two sessions of 20 days each.