AITforyou Auditory Integration Training

During Berard Auditory Integration Training, clients listen to electronically modulated music through headphones. The modulation is random in filtering low frequencies and high frequencies, conditioning the ear to process a broader range of sound and, according to research, changing the neurochemistry of the brain. The training also develops right-ear/left brain dominance, the part of the brain that processes language.

The changes in music are totally unpredictable. This can reduce the tendency for people with auditory processing problems to shut out irritating sounds and can "train" the brain to pay attention to all sounds equally. When distortion is reduced, hearing perception becomes more balanced.

Therapists and therapy assistants working with T. Silverman, Training and Consultation follow the Berard Protocol. The actual training consists of 20 half-hour training sessions in ten to twelve days. There must be at least three-hours between sessions each day. Music from the BGC Audio Tone Enhancer/Trainer or the Berard Audiokinetron or the Earducator is played at increasingly loud levels as determined by threshold and middle ear function testing.

Tell me more about Terrie Silverman and Associates


Follow this link to an interview of Terrie Silverman by FAIR Autism Media at the Autism One conference in 2007

AIT Research

There are now 29 reported Auditory Integration Training studies in the literature. The Autism Research Institute, 4182 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116 will provide a summary of the research upon request (619-281-7165). Visit www.autism.com/ari (then go to treatments, then Auditory Integration Training).

The Society for Auditory Intervention Techniques (SAIT) was formed in 1993 to promote professional and ethical standards for AIT , provide information regarding AIT procedures, promote networking and sharing of information about AIT , and evaluate research on the efficacy of AIT (Visit http://www.berardaitwebsite.com.)

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Additional Information Regarding the AIT Process

Ongoing training and research suggest that the following information should be noted and understood before your son/daughter begins the AIT program:

  • Some researchers have found that many children with ADHD may also have a central auditory processing disorder. AIT seems to help improve attention span deficits, to correct poor auditory discrimination skills, and to improve the ability to follow directions, all of which are common problems in individuals with ADHD.
  • Dyslexia is usually thought of as a visual disorder. However, recent findings indicate that the auditory processing system may be a major contributor to dyslexia. Brain studies of dyslexic people show a decrease in neurons on the left side of the medial geniculate nucleus, one of the central components of the auditory system. Interestingly, it is this part of the brain that processes fast-changing sounds. Since AIT focuses on training the individual to improve his discrimination of this type of sound, AIT may be an appropriate intervention for individuals diagnosed with dyslexia.
  • The vestibular processing system and the auditory processing system are fundamentally related. In most cases, AIT improves vestibular dysfunction. Researcher has found that the presence of vestibular dysfunction is a reliable indicator that an individual is a good candidate for AIT.
  • Studies have found that basic auditory perceptual skills involved in reading may be improved through AIT. A child who has an auditory perceptual problem may not be able to read because he is not able to hear specific sounds properly. In order to read, individuals must know that letter combinations represent spoken sounds. He/she must be able to grasp the sounds that a combination of letters represents in order to read an unfamiliar word. For example, he must understand the �ick� sound in order to read �lick' or �sick' correctly. AIT often enhances listening skills and the ability to perceive sounds more accurately. This may enable the individual to hear the spoken sounds more clearly, and therefore reading skills may significantly improve after AIT.
  • For many individuals with learning and auditory processing challenges, speech comprehension is seen clearly in school as a major stumbling block. If the individual cannot understand the teacher's words or has problems with hearing a message and then actively, correctly, and quickly, interpreting the meaning, learning is severely hindered. The first step of speech comprehension depends upon the ability to receive the sounds. AIT may be a way of correcting this problem.
  • Behavioral problems are often a result of a misunderstanding. Frequently children misbehave because they didn't understand what they heard. If the child has an auditory processing deficit he may not understand instructions. Adults frequently view this child as a behavior problem . The child thinks he was doing what he was asked, but finds he was wrong. He may eventually give up, withdraw or act inappropriately for the situation. Since AIT may help with understand the spoken word, a better chance of understanding is possible, and with understand comes cooperation.
  • As with most treatments, an individual may experience side effects during or after BERARD AIT. While this may be temporarily inconvenient, the presence of side effects is an indication that a change is taking place. During the 10-day program, some individuals exhibit agitation, hyperactivity, and rapid mood swings. We see this type of reaction with other forms of sensory integration training, also.
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Aftercare (Post AIT) � Each individual who completes the BERARD AIT receives extensive aftercare information, parent consultations, and program follow up.

  • Use of headphones for the listening of leisure music should stop completely after receiving AIT. Listening for the purpose of educational instruction, such as language labs or following verbal directions by tape, is permitted in moderation.
  • If an ear infection is present in one or both ears, AIT will need to stop until the infection is determined by the physician to be no longer present.
  • It is highly recommended that no medication schedule be altered or eliminated during the AIT process. Continue your son/daughter's normal medication therapy program during the AIT process.
  • Many families choose to keep their child out of school during the AIT session, some do not. Some children appear to be tired and/or irritable between sessions. Many times it is better to take a "wait and see" attitude since the initial days of training may be more stressful than the final days.
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Repeating AIT

More and more families are choosing to repeat AIT for second and third sessions, and the results continue to be astounding. The improvement continues, and sometimes, it's surprising - a child may have had only subtle changes after the first AIT, and after the second AIT session, significant changes have occurred. Please contact us regarding some interesting endorsements sent by parents and professionals regarding repeating AIT. We hope your child's remarkable anecdote will appear in the endorsement next year!!! Once an individual completes his/her 10-day AIT session, and then begins biological treatments, it is best to plan for a second AIT session after the biological treatments have been completed in order to "fine tune" and stabilize the system. AIT is usually more consistently maintained when the biological dysfunctions have been corrected.


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From an interesting article that appeared on the Schafer Autism Report July 30, 2002

Dr. Shafiq Qaadri is a Toronto family physician with a special interest in medical education. The number of children diagnosed with the disorder is rising at an alarming rate, Shafiq Qaadri reports. "Autism is the result of an abnormality in the structure and function of the brain," says Dr. Bryna Siegel, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging, for example, shows some autistic children have abnormal frontal lobes, the areas of the brain responsible for planning and control. Abnormalities have also been found in the limbic system, the center of emotional control and tantrum regulation. Measurements of brain electrical activity, known as EEGs (electroencephalograms), show that autistic children have excessive brain waves, too much background noise, leading to sensory overload. Even crunchy foods such as chips and nuts can sound "like a raging forest fire," as one autistic adult comments. Remarkably, if an autistic child feels frightened, he may begin head-banging or biting himself, not to injure himself, but to block his fear by focusing his attention on a known stimulus.

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