Listening Therapy Research Studies: Notable Research Studies Using Integrated Listening Systems Programme

Below are some of the notable research studies using an Integrated Listening Systems Programme (iLs) to treat auditory processing disorders. It is important to note that the “Tomatis Method”, as mentioned in some of the studies below, refers to a method of auditory stimulation developed by Dr. Alfred Tomatis. iLs professional training and clinical studies continue in the same vein as Tomatis. iLs is a further refinement of the DLS programme mentioned below in that it includes motor stimulation.

Some of the studies below refer to strictly auditory stimulation (e.g. Tomatis Method and Dynamic Listening Systems) and other studies measure a combination of auditory, visual, and motor stimulation (e.g. the Longitudinal Study from U. of New Mexico).

The Developmental Learning Centre is currently undertaking controlled studies in New Zealand schools and you can read about our exciting Listening Therapy research results by clicking here.

The Effects of The Tomatis Method of Auditory Stimulation on Auditory Processing Disorder: A Summary of Findings

Deborah Ross-Swain Ed.D., CCC Speech-Language Pathologist
The study’s purpose is to determine the efficacy of the Tomatis Method of auditory stimulation as a therapeutic intervention for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). 41 subjects (18 females, 23 males; 4.3 to 19.8 years old) were evaluated for A.P.D. All subjects demonstrated improvement with skills of immediate auditory memory, auditory sequencing, interpretation of directions, auditory discrimination and auditory cohesion. Results are significant, e.g. an average improvement in overall auditory processing skills of 49.93%. Click here to view the study.

Early Intervention: A Longitudinal Study of Reading and Reading Related Achievement of Students in Kindergarten Through Second Grade Enrolled in the Alpha Program

Prepared by J. Anne Calhoun, Ph. D. Educational Psychology Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies College of Education, University of New Mexico 2006
Dr. Anne Calhoun, Professor of Language, Literacy, and Socio-cultural Studies, UNM/Albuquerque, obtained data based on the results of the pre- and post-PPVT-III and Qualitative Reading Inventory Assessments administered to 32 students participating in ALPHA during 2006, compared to a control group of 32 similarly developing peers in grades K-2. The ALPHA Program combines iLs with musical, visual, verbal, spatial/kinesthetic and logical modes of learning.

After the 3-month program, statistically significant gains in vocabulary and cognitive skills were made:

  • The test group gained on the average two grade levels in reading fluency and comprehension.
  • Reading comprehension: The test group were able to respond correctly, on average, to 90% of the reading comprehension questions, as opposed to 25% among their control group peers.
  • Reading accuracy. The test group made one-third the number of miscues in decoding in comparison to their control group peers.
  • Reading fluency.Test group students read at twice the rate of their control group peers.
  • Receptive vocabulary and cognitive skills: Statistically significant gains in receptive vocabulary and cognitive skills, according to a standardized measure, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III
  • Retelling ability: The test group could recall seven times more specific story-related information than their control group peers.

“Taken as a whole, this analysis indicates that the students in the experimental group have improved in all categories associated with reading. This improved achievement is significantly greater (more meaningful) than the improvements of the control group peers. Overall the picture presented of the students in ALPHA is one that shows immense growth in cognitive, academic, and psychological areas.” Professor Anne Calhoun, Associate Professor of Literacy, University of New Mexico/Albuquerque. Click here to read a summary of the study

Hillside Health Center Ongoing Study, 2006

Data collected by Harry Armytage (Center Director Maxwell Fravall, D.O.)
This data summary covers 4 aspects of auditory performance affected by DLS programs: visual/auditory processing speed, selectivity, auditory digit span, and right-ear dominance. The sample size ranges from 30-46 subjects; results are significant, e.g. average improvement of 78% in auditory processing, and average improvement of 81% in selectivity (phonetic differentiation) after programs lasting 3-5 months. Click here to view the data summary.

Hope Charter School Case Studies, 2006

Data collected by Bobbi Van Houten, RN, at Hope Charter School, Florida
These 6 case studies from a Florida charter school show pre- and post-DLS program data measuring changes in reading ability. After completing the 4-month DLS program, in combination with a vestibular/visual stimulation program called Learning Breakthrough, the average gain in reading ability was 2.2 years (comparing beginning Lexile Level with Ending Lexile Level).

The students’ reading improvement is also compared to normative growth per grade level using assessments from NWEA MAP (NW Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Performance). The average gain was 36 percentile points, e.g. a student ranking in the 40%ile jumped to the 76%ile after the 4-month program. Click here to view the data and summary.

The Efficacy of the Tomatis Method for Children with learning and communication disorders: a meta-analysis.

Gilmore, Tim (1999). Published in the International Listening Journal, 1999.
A meta-analysis is a specific type of research, which examines previously completed research studies. This meta-analysis looks at 5 studies* of Tomatis-based auditory stimulation remediation. The analysis, involving a total of 231 children, concluded that the remediation significantly improves linguistic skills, psychomotor skills, personal and social adjustment skills, auditory skills, and cognitive skills. Click here to view the study