When I was treating my own deafness, more than 40 years ago with the Tomatis device under the direction of Tomatis himself, there were absolutely no rules, neither for me nor for the other patients. Each session could last 1, 2, or 3 hours, and this could be everyday, every 2 days, every week, 2 or 3 times a day, for a total of 50, 100, 150, 300 sessions.
After I built my first auditory integration training (AIT) device, and because of the lack of uniformity with Tomatis's method, I decided to determine the best way to obtain the optimal results, in the minimum amount of time, while considering the various aspects of the problem. Yet, I was always concerned with the efficiency.
I had to consider: the minimum amount of time that my patients or their parents would have to stay in a hotel; the minimum amount of time they would spend in my office; the minimum amount of tiredness and stress from the treatment itself; the minimum amount of money that they would have to spend for my treatment, lodging, etc. But, of course, my true aim was to obtain the best results for my patients.
My procedure was determined through systematic analysis of the changes in my patients' audiograms. I can say that I tried nearly every possibility, according to their age and diagnosis and the fact that some patients lived close to my office in Annecy whereas others lived 30 kilometers or more from Annecy.
What should be done? One session, two sessions, three sessions in a day? Separated from each other, 1, 2, 3, 4 hours? Sessions of 1/2 an hour or 1 hour? Sessions everyday, or every 2 days, or every 3 days? I first began by giving my patients a total of 50, then 30, then 25, then 20 sessions, in order to decrease the cost of the treatment itself and other expenses.
After 5 years of testing, I had ascertained that the best results were: two sessions a day, with each session being a half-hour in length, separated by a minimum of 3 hours, and for 10 consecutive working days; the maximum interruption being the 2-day weekend.
Even when applying to these rules strictly, special circumstances (e.g., patients traveling from out of town, family problems) sometimes required that I change my procedure in order to accommodate these individuals. I can say that in doing so, it has always led to a worsening of their condition. The problems:
-- shorter treatments resulted in a relapse afterwards
-- increasing the frequency, the number, the space of time of sessions often resulted in a worsening of their audiograms; that is, their auditory system appeared to be saturated.
I have been informed, by either my trainees themselves or by some of their patients who wrote me for advice, that some users of my method have changed my procedure by increasing or decreasing the number of listening sessions, the length of the sessions, by including monthly or bimonthly "booster sessions," or other modifications.
Please be aware, I have absolutely no personal gain in writing this article. My method is based on thousands of patients and determined by the analysis of thousands of audiograms. Thus, I could, myself, assume the problems above were brought about by some modifications. I state this because of the importance of my clients to me, and of my reputation.
In contrast, users of AIT who try to modify these rules, certainly with an honest willingness to obtain better results or to accommodate their patients, will damage their reputation as well as their "own" method.
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