truth shall set you free..."
with Consulting Anthropologist, William J. Kennick
(husband of Valerie M Dejean)
Q: How much does what Valerie does cost? A: Seven thousand
dollars. Q: Do you have insurance codes? A: No.
Q: What does your treatment consist of?
A: 60 hours of treatment at her facility over a period of
three months. The Spectrum Center Method incorporates the
Tomatis Method with Vestibular Re-integration.
Q: Is this the same as the "Tomatis" CDs that sell for $500?
A: Well, actually, No.
Q: Does it really cure autism?
A: It certainly reverses autism in 90 percent of her
Q: What really helps autistic children?
A: There's Floortime, Sensory Integration, Sensory Diet and
Spectrum Center Method. These are all methods of
reintegrating a scrambled nervous system.
Q: What's the best?
A: Hers, of course. What you want to do is minister to the
body and the brain at the same time. You work on the middle
ear but you also work on the skin. Your child has the 100
percent attention of a listening therapist at all times. You
swing and bounce and listen all at the same time. You play
with yucky materials and have your skin brushed in the
manner of Patricia Wilbarger's Sensory Diet. Etc. An then,
of course there is the real Tomatis Method practiced
at the Spectrum Center.
Therapy? The Tomatis company has tried to protect its
trademark but many "Tomatis Based" therapies have appeared.
Read Valerie Dejean's article "All
listening is not the Same" to get an in depth analysis
of why each of these knock-offs has failed in some respect
or another to replicate the Tomatis Electronic Ear.
There is even one knock-off called Samonas which rhymes with
One follower of Tomatis who got it right is Don
Campbell, who wrote The
Mozart Effect which revolutionized the industry
and has, in my opinion been the greatest positive influence
on the field of therapeutic listening. Q. What about these
other "Spectrum Centers" which are popping up in Long
Island, and are offering some type of "Tomatis"?
A. Copy Cats. It may be even Legal for them to use our name
but certainly it is intentionally misleading. Just remember,
if it ain't from Paris, it's not the real Tomatis.
Q. What about Valerie's new book, Vestibular Re Integration of the Autistic Child,
A developmental Model for Autism?
A. When Valerie was chosen by the Tomatis Company to train
practitioners in the United States, she developed portions
of this book to tell the story of Tomatis. Then she added
further insights based on her 17 years of clinical work with
autistic children. Then she developed a whole new paradigm
which will be the subject of another book.
Q. Which is the best?
A. Let's just say that if I wanted to learn basketball, I
would go to a coach or teacher who had 17 years experience.
In the hands of a less experienced coach, I might make
progress for three days only to have it undone the
next three days if the inexperienced coach did not realize
was teaching my nervous system bad habits.
This is a very fast, very powerful therapy, sort of like
reinstalling an operating system on your computer. You want
someone with experience, knowledge and training reformatting
It is not really the machine that does the work here. The
Tomatis machine, or even some of the imitation Tomatis
knock-offs are not just machines like the radio that you can
turn on and let it play itself. That's not what makes your
kid better. The real Tomatis machine is like an instrument
to be played like a violin by a skilled practitioner.
Valerie might be driving down the road on a Saturday or
Sunday and she a gets a call from the office saying that
this kid is is acting such and such a way during his
therapy and is that all right? Valerie might make a change
in the program, and back at the office they change the
settings on the machine right there and then based on that
Somebody who really knows his trade can do that, based on
having worked on two thousand kids who had similar
situations. Personally, I would take my kid to that
practitioner, who had the experience if I could identify who
that practitioner was.
It's like finding the right baby doctor. You don't want them
practicing on your kid while they are still learning. If you
go to somebody that got three days training before some
"Tomatis Based" salesman sent him home with a thirty
thousand dollar machine, you can bet that they are still
learning. Remember, it' not the machine, its the
practitioner. It's not the violin, its Horowitz. Its not
the piano, it's Rubenstein. It's not the bat, it's Babe
Ruth. It's not the machine, it's Valerie (my wife).
But speaking of other machines I personally had a very
good experience with Paul Madaulle's LIFT (the little
machine). While we figured out that it delivers only about
one- seventh of the Tomatis effect, he is nevertheless, not
doing anything actually wrong with his little
machine. My eighty six year old mother had had a stroke and
I heard the doctor say that she was dyspraxic. I had heard
my wife talk about Dyspraxia all the time, so I asked my
wife what I could for my mother who was confined to a
hospital bed. My wife gave me Paul Madaulle's little machine
to try on my mother.
In two weeks my mother was such a success story at the
Seventh Day Adventist hospital that they admitted her into
the Seventh Day Adventist Nursing home across the street.
Meaning. I suppose that she was improving so fast that she
helped their statistics. So if you are stuck on a desert
island or in a hospital bed, get the little machine. But
have Valerie program it for you. And make sure to replace
the batteries every two days. And make sure not to switch
the right and the left earphones. You get the idea?
You have one chance to get your mother out of the
hospital and into the best nursing home, so don't blow it.
Get the best person you can identify. If they were trained
by Tomatis himself, or Valerie, that's a good start. If the
machine came from Paris (or Luxumbourg) that's good. It's
probably the real Tomatis.
(Bill Kennick is a former city councilman in Alliance, Ohio
and was his party's nominee for the United States House of
Representatives in 1986.)
picture to see Valerie Dejean and Sharon Ruben on Today
Early Signs of Autism
by Valerie Dejean
majority of the children seen at the Spectrum
Center are under the age of five, with many of
these under the age of three. A typical history
is a failure to develop, or a regression
in the development of language. The majority of
families report normal development during the
first year. In retrospect they may recall
certain sensitivities to touch, movement, light,
and sound, which became more severe later. They
may also recall some delay in gestural
communication, such as "waving bye-bye", or
playing peek-a-boo, however these symptoms were
not sufficient to cause alarm for most families.
Some parents feel, however that they always had
an uneasy feeling, yet were reassured by
doctor's and other family members. In some
history's there are reports of severe colic,
severe sensitivities, and poor eye contact since
are absent or minimal in the first year,
families report significant changes in
behavior during the second year. Language that
was developing, suddenly or gradually stops.
Parents report they will hear a word, never to
hear it again. Words and phrases that were
well established fade away. There is often a
change in eye contact and level of engagement.
Play becomes aimless or repetitive in nature.
Often sensory sensitivities emerge or become
more severe. Behavior often becomes more rigid
or inflexible. The children may become very
upset if there is a change in routine. Temper
tantrums often become more frequent and severe
in nature as the child has no language to
communicate their needs. There is often a
change in eating habits as the children become
increasingly picky and limited in what they
history is of frequent ear infections...
William J. Kennick, AB, MA. JD, Consulting Anthropologist
Phone 1-877-4AUTKID .