AUDITORY INTEGRATION TRAINING (AIT)
If you think of how dependent we as humans are on verbal communication, it is easy to comprehend the importance of being able to not only hear properly but to accurately interpret what is heard. The ability to listen effectively and act on the message delivered has a significant impact on all our lives. This ability is particularly important in young children who are still developing their language comprehension, communication, reading and writing skills. Not being able to accurately interpret what a teacher is saying can have a major influence on a child’s ability to learn, communicate and behave. It impacts on the development of social skills, concentration and learning abilities.
Auditory Integration Training can help children and adults on the autistic spectrum and the following difficulties:
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder )
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder )
- PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder)
- CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder )
- LEARNING DISABILITIES
- SPEECH AND COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTIES
- BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS
- POOR EYE CONTACT
- DOWN’S SYNDROME
When a child has particularly sensitive hearing they are easily distracted by background noises and often do not pay attention to verbal instructions resulting in some being diagnosed as being deaf. Some are so disturbed by the noises they hear, they cover their ears, retreat into those own world and stop communicating with others. In extreme cases children run away from noises that are too loud or become very distressed and cry. One child who visited our Centre came into the waiting room and immediately covered his eyes. The room was quiet and we wondered what was bothering him. When asked, what noise was disturbing him, he pointed to the central heating radiator, and said “water.” We realized that the water circulating in the radiator, which was completely silent to us, sounded to him like a noisy waterfall.
Dr. Guy Berard (1916 – 2014), an internationally renowned ear, nose and throat specialist recognised that understanding and in particular behaviour, is largely dependent on hearing. He wrote a book about this called, “Hearing Equals Behaviour” as he believed many of the symptoms seen in children with autism or with learning disability and who had difficult behaviour patterns was a direct result of the way they heard. He believed that this was the core reason for autistic children retreating into their own world and directly caused temper tantrums, hyperactivity and anti social behaviour. He developed a computerised system called the Audiokinetron which standardised and regulated the way they children heard and called the two week course of treatment he used, Auditory Integration Training.