Auditory Integration Training (AIT)
What is AIT?
Auditory integration training (AIT), is a procedure pioneered in France by Guy Bérard, who promoted it as a cure for clinical depression and suicidal tendencies, along with what he said were very positive results for dyslexia and autism, It typically involves 20 half-hour sessions over 10 days listening to specially filtered and modulated music. It was used in the early 1990s as a treatment for autism; it has been promoted as a treatment for ADHD, depression, and a wide variety of other disorders.
Auditory integration training (AIT), created by Berard,1 uses sound to enhance inner ear processes that stimulate auditory reorganization and increase e ciency of processing, which theoretically manifests in improved behaviors, and social, motor, and academic performance. Dr. Berard believes “every- thing happens as if human behavior were largely conditioned by the manner in which one hears”.1,p.4
AIT uses music elec- tronically modi ed by randomly alternating low and high sound frequencies to stimulate auditory system reorganiza- tion. Berard’s work was in uenced by his colleague, Dr. Alfred Tomatis. Tomatis, a French physician who pioneered the understanding of the impact of modi ed auditory techniques on human functioning, also identi ed the ear as a powerful integrator that could facilitate brain organization at all levels within the nervous system.
The impact of audition and vestibular stimulation on brainstem function was a primary interest of Dr. Jean Ayres.3 Ayres identi ed the brain’s processing of sound as an essential form of sensory integration and proposed that vestibular– auditory processing in uences both survival and discriminative functions.
The Berard Method
The following is provided to describe Berard AIT so it may be differentiated from other sound-based interventions. This information is not intended to be complete or comprehensive, but provides key elements.
1. The practitioner is trained by an approved Berard AIT Instructor.
2. The practitioner is using one of the Berard AIT approved devices: the Earducator™ or the Audiokinetron. These are the ONLYtwo devices currently approved for Berard AIT.
3. The practitioner follows the Berard AIT protocol. Key points include: 10 days of listening sessions provided 2 times a day for 30 minutes each session. It is acceptable to have a 1 or 2 day break but only after the first 5 days of listening.
Filter selection is based on Dr. Berard’s article “Filtering Auditory Peaks: Using the Berard Method of AIT” (2000) or use of the online Filter Selection Program on www.drguyberard.com. The minimum age is 3 years, and there is no upper age limit. Music from the Approved Music List is generally used by the practitioners.
4. Audio tests are typically obtained prior to, at the midpoint, and at the end of the 10 hours of listening. The first and mid-point tests are used to determine whether any narrow-band filters will be used. If a reliable audio test can not be obtained, then no filters should be used.
5. “Booster” sessions are not permitted. If it appears that the individual may benefit from more AIT, the entire 10 days should be done.
6. Berard AIT is provided personally or under direct (on-site) supervision by the Berard AIT Professional Practitioner, with the audio stimulation direct from the Berard AIT device. The modulation is NEVER provided by CDs.