Attention Deficit Disorder and Sound Therapy

A boy shouting

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are caused by a deficiency in the transmission system which relays messages between cells in various parts of the brain. Gently stimulating the frontal lobe with Sound Therapy can correct the auditory processing problems, helping children to curb their impulsiveness and to focus.

The majority of children with ADD or ADHD have . Although they can hear, they have difficulty making sense of what they hear - they cannot tune out unwanted input and focus on selected sounds. This indiscriminate reception of auditory input leads to the inability to focus attention on a selected topic for any length of time.

Poor functioning of the frontal lobe means the child cannot think quickly enough to put the brakes on and control the impulse to act. This impulsiveness and hyperactivity also leads to behavioural problems and poor social skills.

Photo courtesy of fotologic

More information about ADD and ADHD is available in the book "Why Aren't I Learning?" by Rafaele Joudry.

It is a great handbook for parents and teachers alike with drug-free treatments you can use at home or in the classroom to overcome learning difficulties such as attention deficit disorders.


How Sound Therapy helps children with ADD / ADHD

Auditory reception problems are caused, in part, by the shutting down of the ear to certain frequencies of sound. The ear muscles become lazy and unresponsive and must be stimulated in order to regain the capacity to tune into the desired sound.

Sound stimulus is also registered by the brain stem, the cerebellum and the mid brain or limbic system. This means that it has an effect on our sensory integration and our emotional state. Many neurological disorders such as ADD are due to poor integration between different parts of the brain.

Sound Therapy is a home based program used during daily activities on a portable player. Children listen through earphones to specially filtered classical music, stories and poems which have been selected for their educational value. The filtering process, using a specialist device designed by Dr Tomatis (called the "Electronic Ear"), adds tonal changes and extra high frequency sounds to stimulate the entire auditory system.

Sound Therapy has been shown to provide this rehabilitation for the ear as well as helping to re-organise the auditory transmission in the brain. It speeds up processing and enhances judgment by integrating the pre-frontal cortex of the brain with other centres.

By stimulating the frontal lobe, Sound Therapy can:

This process reduces stress and tension in the whole nervous system as the child becomes able to attend to a chosen stimulus instead of being constantly distracted by every sound in the environment.

Sound Therapy also trains the right ear to become dominant. Research shows that people with right speech-hearing preference are less prone to anxiety, tension, frustration and aggression.

Learn more about the research about Sound Therapy and appropriate emotional response.

Very dramatic results may be achieved with Sound Therapy for children with ADD or ADHD:

  1. The first change you would observe is a marked decrease in activity (for overactive children), while under active children may become more energized.
  2. As listening discrimination is re-trained, memory and concentration improve so that learning can be achieved with a great deal less effort.
  3. Sleep and appetite problems are resolved as the whole system becomes calmer and less erratic.
  4. The behavioural difficulties, such as impulsiveness and aggression are then brought down to a manageable level.
  5. The child may now be able to pay attention in class, understand and follow instructions and be motivated to communicate and learn.

Learn more about what Sound Therapy is and .

Sound Therapy Family Program

Which Sound Therapy International Program should I use?

Any Children's Sound Therapy program is suitable for addressing ADD / ADHD, however the Family Program offers the most variety with music they will never outgrow plus stories from birth to age 12.

Children can listen to Sound Therapy at home, at school, or even while sleeping.

Get started with Sound Therapy now!

How to use Sound Therapy for children with ADD / ADHD

Regular listening to Sound Therapy is essential to receive successful results. If possible, your child should listen to Sound Therapy for at least 30 - 60 minutes each day.

There is nothing wrong with offering incentives to encourage a child to listen. The promise of a reward once the child has done, say, 100 hours of listening may prove effective.

Day-time Listening

The Sound Therapy programs are preloaded on a small Mini MX2 player (it is not an MP3 player), which enables your child to continue moving around while listening. It comes with a lanyard that enables the player to be used hands free, without interfering with their daytime activities, including playing outdoors.

Listening to Sound Therapy through an iPillow

Night-time Listening

Some parents have found they have more success in getting children with ADD / ADHD to listen while sleeping. The music albums are most suitable for this, though many children enjoy choosing a story album to listen to as they drift off to sleep.

If your child is a restless sleeper, the earphones can be taped into the ear with micropore (surgical tape). Another option is to use an ipillow, which has stereo speakers inside the pillow. If using an ipillow, listen to determine which side of the pillow is louder - this will tell you where the right speaker is, and the pillow should be laid out so that the right speaker is on the right side of the head.

Learn more about .

Listener's Stories

The first week back at school, Elizabeth my 5 year old daughter has got nothing but praise, and they don't know that she is in the classroom.
The comments from the teachers have been positive, I knew that sound therapy would work, but after only listening to 35 hours, the results speak for themselves, and no effort needed, just a goal to achieve the 100 hours and she gets to choose a toy.
She is much calmer, polite and we don't have to repeat ourselves. She is getting an honour certificate on Tuesday, for good behaviour. The teachers were so convinced that she had ADD, I knew she didn't, just needed to start the sound therapy.
Without sound therapy, I would be still pulling my hair and trying to stop the teachers from saying negative things. I am going to let her teachers read the book on sound therapy. Sound therapy is proven to work and Dr Tomatis is a genius.
Jodie Morton
Lesmurdie, Western Australia
18 October 2009
My pain is not as sharp and my sleep is less. The colours are beautiful. They stand out heaps and are richer and brighter. Reading - there are more gaps in between the letters. They stand out more now. This has helped a lot for me. Life is so much easier now. But of course I feel like a new person. The world has changed a lot.
Larissa Amy
Sydney, Australia
13 year old girl with ADD and higher functioning autism
My son Jason, has benefited greatly from the use of the Sound Therapy tapes and the nutritional supplements for his ADHD. Jason listens to the tapes mainly at night and has never complained or not wanted to listen to them. He settles a lot easier and quicker within 10mins. Then there is the 'miracle' of the supplements for the ear and brain. I say miracle because Jason's behaviour was of great concern and stress for our family. If I had not seen the differences in my child, I would have thought that this was a gimmick. However, it's not. My son is less aggressive, calmer, less fidgety, able to concentrate better and more centred.
His behaviour in the school classroom has improved immensely and his schoolwork is steadily improving along with his self-esteem and confidence.
It is evident through the positive changes my son has experienced that even after a short period of using the tapes and natural ADHD remedy (2months) it is beneficial.
My husband and I send you a heartfelt thankyou for all your help and time. Words cannot express the relief and gratitude we feel with finally finding a natural solution for our son.
Liz Rayner
Sydney, Australia
My five year old son, Quannah, has always been very hyperactive with an energy that just bounces off the walls. He also showed a lot of anger. I obtained the Sound Therapy story tapes and let him listen to these for an hour or so each day, letting him feel that it was a privilege and in no way forcing it on him. In about two weeks there was a noticeable change in his behaviour. He became very quiet and calm, and somehow mellow. He also seemed much happier.
Brandy Graham
Saskatchewan, Canada
My son Aaron, aged 10, was diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder, formally Hyperkinetic Syndrome. In December I read about Sound Therapy and the possibilities of this helping hyperactive children. We purchased the tapes at Easter, and Aaron started therapy. A week and a half later, at a teacher interview, his teacher remarked that he was so much more calm and pleasant. She said "I had my first decent religion class because Aaron didn't butt in and interrupt. Is he on medication or what?" I confessed that Aaron had started Sound Therapy but I didn't think it necessary to tell the teachers. "Whatever it is," she said, "keep it up, because whatever it's doing is helping him." Two weeks later I asked the teacher if Aaron could listen to the tapes during school. Now he takes his Walkman to school and does his three hours in the a.m. All around, Aaron is much more relaxed with himself and with others. Because of his attitude I have been able to introduce new foods into his diet to determine which food groups he is really sensitive to. With Aaron's new positive approach, his life can only get better.
Mary Ann Scherr
Yorkton, Sakatchewan, Canada
I am married with two children, Sarah age 11 and Cayden age 7. When Sarah was 6 yrs old, she was diagnosed with ADHD. At this time, I had no knowledge of any other children with ADHD and felt very alone in our journey. My husband and I began to work with teachers, search for HELP regarding diet info, natural products and counselling. We have had a bumpy 4 years together, and at times almost not together (If you know what I mean). One and a half years later after trying several herbal products including omega 3 oils, we decided to trial Ritalin. While Ritalin has helped Sarah to have the ability to concentrate, learn in the school environment, and achieve above average reading, readable writing and above average maths, I have never been at ease with it. The guilt of having your beautiful, fun loving, creative daughter on psychiatric drugs daily has been heavy on our hearts and minds. I am not against Ritalin; I'm not saying that it's wrong; I'm saying that it's hard. I have been longing for the right solution, for us. I must say that we have also tried dietary changes and are now focusing mainly on synthetic sugars, colour, dairy and preservatives. A naturopath helped us the most with this. I know this sounds impossible however I find small steps best, so we do our best to keep all of these things at an absolute minimum. I now know that Sarah is an Indigo child and her vibrant personality and creativity are some of her unique strengths and she will achieve her own goals.
Sarah is 11 now and about two months ago Lesley told me about Sound Therapy. Like everything we have tried, I spoke to Sarah about it and we decided together that she would try it. WOW!!!!! Sarah listens to her tapes at bedtime and falls asleep listening to them. We noticed within weeks that her hyper times had become less and she was a much more pleasant person to be around in the mornings and evenings (outside Ritalin hours). Now that Sarah had listened for at least 100 hours, we took her off her Ritalin. Before sound therapy, 5 days without Ritalin would make for an explosive, stressful and upsetting household for all. Sarah would become excessively emotional and at times uncontrollable. Well, it's been 10 days and Sarah is 90% better. She has very "normal" moments of conflict and upset. She is eating more and I am enjoying her bubbly personality more frequently. I say to you, if you are looking for information, guidance and help with any of your family or yourself, I'm here to tell you first hand that this has worked for us.
Annette Imms
New Zealand

Want more information?

Sound Therapy book

Want to learn more before trying Sound Therapy for your child?

The book Sound Therapy: Music to Recharge Your Brain details the history of Sound Therapy and how sound can be used to enhance auditory pathways and improve brain function.

Updated in late 2009, it includes the most recent updates on related research including neuroplasticity.

Or contact us with your specific enquiry.