Stories - ADD
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Stories from people like you

Below you will find a series of true stories of some of our clients. 

Ľ Lost in His Own World, An 8-Year Old Boy with ADD "Wakes Up"

Ľ An Adultís ADD Story: How Jeffís Distraction Diminished

Lost in His Own World, An 8-Year Old Boy with ADD "Wakes Up"

When Tom came to one of the Tomatis Centers, he had all the signs of a child with ADD. He was fidgeting in his chair. He interrupted the discussion with his parents by asking irrelevant questions. He was unable to focus on what he was asked to do.

His parents felt as if "he had never awakened." He seemed to be lost in his own world. He reached out only when he wanted something. At school, he was behind his peers in reading and writing. He was not an unpleasant person but he felt very frustrated. That frustration was turning him into a bully. He seemed to be short-fused and emotionally immature.

His parents worried about him. It was hard to keep him on track at school. Heíd forget to do his homework. Or, if he did it, heíd forget to turn it in. By the end of the day, he would not even remember what he had done at school. Tom was now eight and his parents were at their witís end. They decided to give the Tomatis Listening Program a try.

Look for longer "windows of attention"

We explained to Tomís parents that they shouldnít expect an overnight miracle and that it would take some time before we could see the first results. First, they should look for longer "windows of attention" and perhaps some changes in his behavior.

Tom started to come to the Center, two hours per day. He got a special set of headphones, which was connected, to the Electronic Ear. He was encouraged to play either alone or with other children, whichever he chose, as he listened to the filtered music on the headphones. By the end of the first 15 days, the parents reported that there had been some moments when they felt Tom had been able to pay more attention. He had also focused on a book throughout the weekend and had turned in an assignment on time. At home, he also seemed to follow the rules of the house somewhat better.

After the first break, more progress

After the first phase of the listening program, there was a scheduled break of nearly three weeks. Both parents reported that Tomís attention was better. They had been surprised that Tom had done some work on his own at school. He remembered the rules more consistently. He was experimenting with cursive, a first for him. His father noted that he was more able to express his feelings. They began having some surprising discussions.

As they started the second phase of the program, his mother said he was listening more often. "He is computing what I am saying," she said. She was feeling understood and heard by Tom for the first time. He was also doing better in baseball, a sign that sensory integration was improving. Finally, at the dinner table, he would tell in lengthy detail about his day at school.

Another breakthrough between phase two and three

A few weeks later, Tomís mother reported another change. She found Tom doing his homework on his own at 7 oíclock in the morning. Since Tom was on a break in the program, she made a special trip to the Center to report the news that, " My son has finally awoke."

During the third phase, his image improved

After a six weeks interval before he started his third phase of the listening program, Tom continued to progress. He developed a better image of himself and was more confident. He not only showed a great deal of improvement in baseball but also at school. His teacher said, "Tom, you have matured so much. You arenít silly anymore!" This further awakening also delighted his parents. They noted, "heís with us now!"

An extra booster session helped even more

Tom wanted to catch up at school even more. Summer was coming and we advised them that he could use some of the time to study with a private tutor because he was ready now. He could focus his attention. He was able to perceive sounds and reproduce them. His progress in reading, writing and math were becoming faster. To give him some added help, he also came for what we call a booster session, which is a mini-version of the Tomatis Listening Program that helps step-up the amount of progress gained after the first three phases. When school started again in the fall, Tom was ready.

Tomís parentsí dreams are realized

A few weeks later, the whole family stopped by the Center. They were quite happy. Academically, Tom was a different child. His teacher felt that he had almost caught up and that he was now operating at a level much closer to his age range. For his parents, their dream to have a normal child had been realized. Was Tom still an ADD child? The question was moot. It had no meaning for them anymore. Tom was awake and doing well.


The Tomatis Listening Program works well with adults too as you can read in the following story.

An Adultís ADD Story: How Jeffís Distraction Diminished

As many recent studies show, ADD can affect adults, too. At 35 years old, Jeff is a good example. Although he was never formally diagnosed with ADD, Jeff presented many of the signs of ADD:

Ľ He lacked the ability to focus.

Ľ He often forgot about ordinary things.

Ľ He had a hard time organizing the tasks he had to do.

Ľ He could not easily learn new things at work.

Ľ He got easily lost when driving.

A hearing test showed that Jeff had "an entirely normal hearing sensitivity". Along with that, though, he had a "central auditory processing deficit characterized by difficulty in focusing his listening when there is a competing signal or background noise."

This accounted for Jeffís difficulties in learning and remembering. Jeff tried using memory lists but lost them or forgot that they were in his pocket. He also often used a calculator for doing simple math. Plus, he relied on his memory watch for day, dates and phone numbers. He reported that he was easily distracted by cars passing by and by feelings within himself as well. Distraction was the keyword to sum up Jeffís behavior.

At the beginning of the second phase, things began changing

When Jeff came back for his second phase of the Tomatis Listening Program, he enthusiastically and spontaneously reported that things were getting better. He didnít need to look at his watch to know what day it was. He didnít need to make a list to go grocery shopping. He didnít feel distracted by the sounds around him anymore either.

He reported, " I donít have to pay attention to the sounds. Itís like a filter. I can hear. I can see, but I donít get easily distracted." It was obvious from his smile and confidence, he felt better about himself.

He felt much calmer, which he believed helped him, to pay better attention. Jeff now had hope that his life would be less dysfunctional. The listening program was making a difference in his life.

By the end of the program, Jeff had new-found confidence

Jeff continued to make steady progress. Towards the end of his treatment, he lost his job. He handled it very calmly, which impressed his parents. They thought he would be crushed by the news.

Jeff found a new job fairly quickly. He felt very pleased with himself. For him, the most important thing now was that as he put it, "When I wake up, I know where I am. I know what day it is. I can speak my mind. And I donít get easily distracted." Jeff could now focus and thatís what he wanted.

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