Dr. Guy Berard from Annecy, France, an Otorhinolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist), developed AIT for his own hearing problems. He had Tinnitus, an uncomfortable ringing in the ears, and he was told that he was losing his hearing. He worked with Dr. Tomatis and found his program too long – resulting in him designing his own electronic device. In practice he worked mainly with LD and Dyslexic children.
Auditory Integration Training (AIT) reduces the degree of acoustic sensory distortions and increases the client’s ability to interact with his or her physical world. The novelty of the listening gives the neural circuitry a physical synaptic workout.
Berard AIT aids the ear structures, as well as the processing of the sounds in the brain. The middle ear structures are given a work-out through the sound vibrations of the music. The vestibular system is also stimulated. (The vestibular apparatus affects balance, coordination and proprioception.) These behavioural responses also affect the small muscles that control eye movements, as well as how erect we hold ourselves, how we walk and how we integrate input.
An individual’s hearing might be asymmetrical, erratic, hypersensitive or disorganized.
The easiest and quickest way to communicate is simply to say something and then respond to the other person’s reply, right? Right, unless your listener has an Auditory Processing problem. Then you remark might be perceived with certain words drowned out by other noises, or with some words sounding like different words or as a meaningless string of verbiage. You might suspect this when the listener’s expression does not register understanding, or if he ‘answers the wrong question’ or if he asks for additional information which most people would have been able to infer from what you said. Although the child or adult’s hearing might be perfect, their listening skills are causing the problems.
Auditory (ear) processing difficulties is a physical impairment, but one which does not necessarily show as a hearing loss on routine screenings or on an audiogram. Instead, it affects the hearing system beyond the ear, where meaningful messages are separated from non-essential background noise. This information is then relayed to the central nervous system, the brain and the auditory centres in the brain.
An individual’s hearing might be asymmetrical, erratic, hypersensitive or disorganised. Children and adults, whose auditory problems have not been recognised and dealt with, are forced to invent their own solutions. The resulting behaviours can mask the real problem and complicate not only school or work but also close relationships, where communication is so important.
When distorted or incomplete auditory messages are received, one of the most vital links with the world and other people are lost.
As we do not hear with our ears but with our brain, it is very important to wear amplification to stimulate the neurons in the hearing centres of the brain and to keep the nerves, linking the ears to the brain, active. The brain is the same as a muscle – if you don’t use it you loose it. As we often do not realise that we do have a hearing loss, it can turn into a ‘neglected loss’ and the perception of speech will deteriorate. If the nerve connections to the brain have started to dystrophy, very little can be done to turn the situation around. Although hearing aids will definitely help it will not restore loss connections.
Berard AIT (auditory integration training) is a procedure that trains the brain to listen more accurately and enhances aspects of hearing perception. It reduces the degree of acoustic sensory distortions and increases the client’s ability to hear clearly and effortlessly. It stimulates the ear-brain connection and the person can be calm and focused in noise and amongst friends and family.