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Berard AIT is a 10 hour auditory intervention. There are 20 supervised listening sessions of 30 minutes each, completed over 10 or 12 consecutive days. AIT has many scientific studies. The minimum age recommended is 3 years.

AIT Practitioners are  trained professionals. AIT Session prices in the USA range from about $1,200 to 2,000. Prices will vary internationally by county.

All information provided here is  for educational purposes.

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What is Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD)?

Click here to complete a comprehensive Checklist of Symptoms indicating AIT may be helpful!

A Central Auditory Processing disorder can severe limit your child's school performance and his ability to control his behavior at home.

By Anthony Kane MD

Some children have normal hearing ability but have difficulty using information they hear in academic and social situations.  These children may have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder.  Children who have this difficulty are able to hear well, but have trouble paying attention to, remembering, and utilizing auditory information for academic and social purposes.  Central Auditory Processing Disorders may have a very negative impact on their language acquisition, social skill development, and school performance.

Some researchers feel that many children are misdiagnosed with ADHD and actually have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder. This condition is particularly common if the child has other sensory integration disorders, such as touch sensitivity.  In addition, children with ADHD may also have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

What is a Central Auditory Processing Disorder

A Central Auditory Processing Disorder is an impaired ability to attend to, discriminate, remember, recognize, or comprehend auditory information in individuals who typically exhibit normal intelligence and normal hearing.

When a person is exposed to a sound, the ears detect the sound and transmit the information to the auditory part of the central nervous system.  The sound stimulus is processed in several parts of the central nervous system.  In the end, the listener will know the direction from which the sound comes, identify the type of sound, be able to separate the sound from background noise, and interpret the sound.  The listener stores the memory of this sound stimulus and develops a mental sound library, which he uses to help him evaluate, interpret, and utilize new sound information that he experiences in the future.

When a child has a Central Auditory Processing Disorder he has an impaired ability to attend to, discriminate, remember, recognize, or comprehend auditory information.  These processing difficulties become more pronounced in challenging listening situations, such as noisy backgrounds or poor acoustic environments, great distances from the speaker, speakers with fast speaking rates, or speakers with foreign accents.

What the Child Experiences

Distorted Speech Sounds

Nobody talks the same way.  There are always slight variations in pronunciation and emphasis that makes one personís speech patterns differ from those of another.  In order to understand the speech of other people, a child must make a series of mental adjustments.  First he hears words.  Then based upon his memory of similar sounds, he places the sounds of the words in context and decodes the meaning that is being conveyed.

In a child with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder there is a break somewhere in this decoding process.  The child isnít able to derive the correct meaning from words because he cannot accommodate the different distortions of different speakers.

Excess Background Noise

When we are in a noisy room, we need to block out the extraneous noise in order to distinguish and understand words that are being spoken to us.  One way we do this is by pinpointing the location of the voice of the speaker and neurologically suppressing the sounds coming in from other locations.  A child with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder may have difficulty pinpointing sounds.  With this in mind it is understandable why he canít block out extraneous noise.  As a result a child with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder appears to be easily distracted.

Misses Social Cues

Speech can be very complicated.  Beyond understanding simple instructions there are the nuances of language usage that help convey the true meaning of the message being transmitted.  It is these nuances that allow for social interactions.  A child with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder may have a deficit in receiving and understanding the meaning of sounds.  Such a child will be very slow to follow the complexity of the message that is conveyed by particular word usage and tones of speech.

Co-morbidity

Like other sensory motor defects, Central Auditory Processing Disorders rarely occur alone.  A child who cannot effectively suppress extraneous noise may also not be able to use his eyes to track words across a page or co-ordinate his fine muscles in his hand to write easily.

Since a child with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder may not be able to block out meaningless noise, he may appear to the observer to be easily distractible.  This is one of the reasons children with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder may be misdiagnosed with ADHD.  However, if a Central Auditory Processing Disorder child also has ADHD and so that he already has a deficit of inhibition, then the effects of his Central Auditory Processing Disorder are much worse.

Symptoms

Children who have Central Auditory Processing Disorders may behave as if they have a hearing loss. Here are some of the common behaviors displayed by children who have Central Auditory Processing Disorders:

  • Donít respond to speech in a consistent fashion

  • Frequently ask for words to be repeated

  • Difficulty following speech in noisy surroundings

  • Frequently misunderstand what is said

  • Difficulty following long directions

  • Poor memory for verbal information

  • Difficulty pinpointing the direction from which sound is coming

  • History of middle ear infection

School Performance

In addition, children with Central Auditory Processing Disorders show many of these characteristic deficits in school performance:

  • Difficulty expressing themselves

  • Difficulty understanding language

  • Poor reading, writing, and spelling

  • Poor phonics

  • Poor speech sound discrimination

  • Difficulty taking notes

  • Difficulty learning foreign languages

  • Poor short-term memory

  • Social or behavioral problems

  • Poor language skills

  • Poor academic skills.

Diagnosis

An audiologist uses a battery of tests to evaluate the peripheral and central auditory systems.  Peripheral hearing tests are used to determine if the child has a hearing loss, and, if so, the degree to which the loss is a factor in the childís learning problems.  Central auditory tests evaluate the childís ability to understand and respond to mild distortions of speech.  It is also helpful to have a speech pathologist evaluate the childís perception of speech and receptive-expressive language use.

Treatment Standard treatment focuses on remedial help and splinter skills to expand upon the childís strengths.

There are now a number of new treatment techniques that directly address the hearing deficits.  The pioneer of these techniques was Dr. Alfred Tomatis, who began treating Central Auditory Processing Disorders over forty years ago.

Auditory Integration Training is another effective technique.  This program was developed by the French otolaryngologist, Dr. Guy Berard, one of Tomatisís students.

Finally, we should mention The Listening Program, a technique that you can apply at home.

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