Bérard Auditory Integration Training
Auditory integration training is a listening-retraining method using sound stimulation that exercises not only the listening apparatus, but also the brain. The ability to process sounds correctly is not only crucial for being able to respond to auditory information and instructions correctly, but also impacts the ability to read, spell and pay attention.
Retraining how the brain processes sounds has benefits beyond just the ability to listen better: by impacting the listening apparatus, there are also positive knock-on effects on the vestibular and proprioceptive systems, which regulate things like muscle tone, directionality and sequencing ability.
AIT affects many processes both within the middle and inner ear, as well as in the brain. Tiny muscles within the ear that help the transmission of sound through the ear are re-trained, while the sound training also leads to reorganization of nerve pathways in the brain. It also coordinates the processing between the auditory cortexes in the two halves of the brain, a process which has often gone awry in those of us with auditory processing disorder, autism and dyslexia.
Those of us older than three years who
- Have receptive and expressive language difficulties
- Have balance problems
- Have concentration problems
- Are easily distracted from tasks, or overwhelmed by, environmental noise
- Tune out
- Have difficulty with following auditory instructions
- Are particularly sensitive to some sounds
Parents often report improvement in the child’s receptive and expressive language, including pronunciation and speech volume regulation, decreased sensitivity to environmental sounds, improvement in gross motor skills, decreased sensitivity in other sensory areas, improved concentration, and increased interest in socialization. Occupational, speech and neurofeedback therapists also report that goals are attained much faster when coupled with AIT.
- Initial consultation and assessment, including the filling out of questionnaires
- 20 half-hour AIT sessions, during which the client listens to music, modulated by the Earducator device, through headphones. Sessions typically occur twice daily, with at least three hours between sessions, over a period of ten days with a break for the weekend.
Bérard AIT was originally developed by an ENT, Dr Guy Bérard, to treat his own impending deafness; he then used it beneficially for many other conditions, including various forms of learning disabilities and autism. Many other sound-based interventions have since been developed on the basis of his work. Bérard AIT became best known by the impact it had on the autistic daughter of Annabel Stehli, described in her book, “Sound of a Miracle”. Unlike for most other current sound-based interventions, controlled scientific studies have been conducted and reported to prove the efficacy of Bérard AIT.
Through the unique filter settings of the Earducator, Bérard AIT also allows modulation of the music in a manner that is determined by the child-specific sound-sensitivity profile. And because Bérard AIT uses original CDs, no sound frequencies are lost in a copying process, so that the listening apparatus and brain are retrained at a full range of frequencies.
Research has shown that the ability to accurately and fluently decode speech and writing is based the ability to break words and syllables into the individual sounds of language, called phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the best predictor of success in reading, and can be developed and improved by means of structured training. Such instruction is beneficial for all learners, but it is particularly critical for those of us with reading and/or learning disabilities.
Based on 20 years of literacy research, Earobics is the leading solution for providing explicit, comprehensive training of skills for communication and literacy. These include auditory attention; auditory performance in the presence of competing signals; auditory short-term and sequential memory; auditory phoneme discrimination and phoneme identification; phonological segmentation, blending and manipulation; sound-symbol correspondence; pattern recognition; temporal ordering and word closure. We typically use these skills when we read, both quietly and out loud, and when we spell words.
Earobics systematically teaches the critical phonological awareness, listening and introductory phonics skills required for learning to read and spell, using engaging computer characters and adaptive training technology that automatically adjusts the level of instruction to your child's skill level and progress.