AUDITORY INTEGRATION MOVES ON – AIT PLUS
Based on this belief and armed with the research of his predecessor and mentor, Dr Alfred Tomatis, also an ENT specialist, Dr. Berard developed Auditory Integration Training (AIT) over 35 years ago. To this end, Berard also devised a computerised system – the Audiokinetron – to deliver the actual sounds used in AIT. The aim of AIT is to reduce distorted hearing and auditory sensitivity. Berard’s objective was to use AIT to retrain the auditory system so than an individual can more accurately and appropriately process and respond to auditory stimuli.
After a short course of retraining, he found that many autistic children could be de-sensitised to disturbing sounds and that they became less anxious and fearful. They also began to relax, and to speak and interact with others and their behaviour became more manageable and adaptable. This was a major breakthrough and AIT began to be used to help more children with autism. In time, AIT was extended to helping children with learning disabilities, speech and communication problems, behaviour difficulties and ADD/ADHD.
For the first few years after the National Light & Sound Therapy opened in 1992, it followed Dr. Berard’s AIT method exactly, but with his documented statistics showing that only 25% of children made a ‘major improvement’ the Centre experimented by introducing a Sound Modulation system, based on Dr. Tomatis’s theories and subsequently included Light Therapy. The results were seen immediately with the success rates going up to almost 50% of children reporting, “Major improvements.” The Centre called this combination treatment AIT PLUS and has maintained these impressive results since that time. AIT PLUS is particularly helpful in improving speech, behaviour, dyslexia, sound sensitivity and concentration.
AIT PLUS is classified as an educational intervention as opposed to a medical treatment. It is non-invasive and does not cause any harmful side effects although some temporary side-effects may be experienced as the auditory system adjusts during the two week course of training. AIT has been the subject of at least 30 documented clinical trials and is recommended for qualifying children aged three years and older.
AIT traditionally consists of 20 half-hour sessions delivered over 10 days, i.e. two half-hour sessions daily. During each session, the child will use studio quality headphones to listen to electronically modulated and filtered music delivered via Dr. Berard’s original Audikinetron.
If during the assessment, the individual has shown a particular sensitivity to certain frequencies the Audikinetron will be programmed to modulate and control the volume of the offending frequencies. And based on the progress made, the Audikinetron filters will be adjusted accordingly. The point of modulating and filtering the music delivered during AIT is to stimulate the auditory system to function optimally by creating and cementing new neural pathways in the brain. After the full treatment of AIT PLUS the child should gradually get used to all sound frequencies equally well,.
How does AIT PLUS help ?
AIT PLUS is a unique method of de-sensitising the hearing mechanism so that children learn to disregard intrusive sounds, and noisy surroundings no longer make your autistic child want to withdraw from the world.