Auditory Integration Training or AIT was developed by Dr. Guy Berard, a practicing otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat or ENT physician) in Annecy, France. Dr. Berard originally invented AIT to rehabilitate disorders of the auditory system, such as mild hearing loss or hearing distortion (hyper-acute or asymmetrical hearing). After 30+ years of clinical practice and study, Dr. Berard determined that uneven hearing, hyper-acoustic hearing,sensitivity peaks, and weak auditory processing skills often contribute to many behavioral or learning disorders. He successfully used the AIT method to help individuals with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), sensory dysfunctions, autism, dyslexia, hyperactivity, learning disabilities (LD), language impairments, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), and depression. In the large majority of Dr. Berard’s cases, AIT has significantly reduced some of the handicaps associated with the disorders listed above. The principles of AIT and a summary of various case histories, complete with copies of individual hearing tests before and after AIT, are presented in Dr. Berard’s book, Hearing Equals Behavior which was published in French in 1982. A revised edition was published in 2011, co-authored by Sally Brocket (ISBN # 978-0-615-474526
Why is auditory integration training sometimes appropriate treatment for individuals diagnosed with autism, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia, hyperactivity, language impairments, and learning disabilities (LD)?
AIT was designed to normalize hearing. Dysfunctions in the hearing systems are often found in the neurodevelopmental conditions listed above. Individuals with the above mentioned disorders often have hearing that is disorganized, asymmetrical, hypersensitive or otherwise abnormal. One possibility is that some of these individuals are hypersensitive to certain frequencies of sound. For example, one individual might have a sensitivity peak to the frequencies of 1,000 and 8,000 Hertz while all other frequencies falls within the normal range. In this case the individual might become over- stimulated, disoriented, anxious, or agitated in the presence of sounds at 1,000 and 8,000 Hertz. Another consideration is that an individual’s hearing might be asymmetrical (significantly different between the two ears). When the right and left ears perceive sounds in an extremely different way, the person experiences problems with sound discrimination, and subsequently comprehension.
PLEASE NOTE: Some people might think only about the workings of the inner ears when they consider “poor”, “normal” or “good” hearing. For this reason, it’s worth emphasizing that the brain is a crucial part of the auditory system. AIT was designed to normalize the entire auditory system, so it facilitates improvements in how the brain processes and organizes the input received from the ears.