AIT and Reading:
Reading Improves After Auditory Integration Training
On-line AIT Checklist
scenarios often present themselves in the practice of Auditory
involves parents who ask if Auditory Integration Training might help their child
or teenager who is struggling
with reading. The child or teenager may read but not comprehend or may
not be able to decode the words at all. In some cases, the child reads
so slowly that all the required reading can not be completed.
scenario involves the parent who pursues
AIT in hopes of reducing their child's sound
sensitivity, improving language and/or socialization, with no consideration
of the impact that it may have on the child's reading. This
parent may report with surprise, that their child's reading also improved
after the AIT sessions.
Both parents will want to understand how the
AIT process, which impacts on listening skills,
can affect the reading process.
need to examine certain aspects of the reading process in order to see
this relationship. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
along with the U.S. Department of Education's office of Research and Improvement
have been conducting studies and is one of many programs dedicated to
understanding reading development and supporting research in reading for
the past three years. Based on this cumulative work, much has been learned
about how children learn to read and why some struggle with the process.
Although there is still much to learn, this research provides important
information that can be used to understand and help children develop proficient
reading skills. It can also provide insight as to how Auditory
Integration Training affects the reading process.
requires the rapid decoding and comprehension of written words. In order
to do this, children must be aware that spoken words are composed of small
units of sound called ‘phonemes.’ This is referred to as ‘phoneme
aware-ness.’ Phoneme awareness is not the same as phonics. When phonemic
awareness is evaluated, children are asked to demonstrate their knowledge
of the sound structure of words without letters or written words present
(i.e., "What would be left if the /p/ sound were taken away from
‘pit’?"). Phonic skills are evaluated by determining the child's
ability to link sounds (phonemes) with letters. The development of phonics
skills depends on the development of phonemic awareness.
order to read an alphabetic language such as English, children must know
that written spellings systematically represent spoken sounds. When beginning
readers cannot correctly perceive the spoken sounds in words, they will
have difficulty sounding out or decoding unfamiliar words. For
example, they must hear the /it/ sound in ‘pit’ and ‘fit’ and perceive
that the difference is the first sound in order to decode these two words.
This auditory perceptual problem will affect reading fluency, resulting
in poor comprehension, and limiting reading enjoyment.
we listen to spoken words (e.g., ‘bag’) we do not perceive each unit of
sound in the word (/b//a//g/). We perceive bag as an overlapping bundle
of sound that seems to be a single unit rather than three distinct sounds.
This facilitates the listening process and oral communication. Since the
individual sounds (phonemes) within words are not consciously heard by
the listener, no one receives natural practice in understanding that words
are composed of smaller distinct sound units. Thus, the early stages of
reading instruction must focus on phoneme awareness and phonics skills
and providing practice with these skills in text is critical.
readers have a limit on their attention span and memory, it is essential
to develop fluency and automaticity in decoding and word recognition.
When decoding is laborious and inefficient, the reader cannot remember
what he has read and bring meaning to the content. There are additional
components involved in the development of good readers. Good comprehension
requires the reader to link the written ideas to their own experiences
and to have the necessary vocabulary to make sense of the content. Good
syntactic and grammatical skills and the ability to sequence also impact
on reading development.
this understanding of reading development, it is easier to see how Berard
AIT can impact upon this skill. Auditory
Integration Training often enhances listening skills and the ability
to perceive sounds more accurately. This may enable the participant to perceive
the spoken sounds in words so phonemic awareness can develop and phonics
can be taught. Thus, the basic auditory perceptual skills involved in
reading may be improved through Auditory
parents also comment on how Berard AIT
improves their child's listening comprehension. They understand
spoken language better. This improvement in listening comprehension may
also extend to the ability to listen to one's own inner language or thoughts,
including the thoughts perceived through the process of reading.
ability to sequence at many different levels impacts on reading and is
affected by Auditory Integration Training.
The child must be able to sequence the phonemes in words in order to sound
out or decode new words. Words in sentences must be correctly sequenced
in order to be meaningful and sentences within paragraphs must flow in
an organized sequence. The sequence must be retained by the reader if
the content is to be logical. When AIT enhances the child's ability to organize and
sequence, it may help with this component of the reading process.
AIT Practitioners should understand these relationships so they can
respond to parents questions about the impact of Auditory Integration
Training on their child's reading abilities.