Berard Auditory Integration Technique (AIT) Training

Berard AIT is a procedure which enhances aspects of hearing perception, by listening to modulated music that helps to normalise hearing and sharpen listening skills.

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.

Distortions in hearing can sometimes be a significant contributing factor in the folowing conditions:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder, with or without Hyperactivity and / or Impulsivity (ADHD)

  • Autism

  • Asperger Disorder

  • Tourette Syndrome

  • Rett Syndrome

  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder

  • Pervasive Developmental Delay

  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)

  • Closed Head Injury

  • Learning Disabilities (LD)

  • Language Impairments

  • Dyslexia

  • Depression

Thirty years of clinical work, research and follow-up of more than 8 000 auditory cases, verifies following:

  • There is a direct connection between poor hearing and disruptive classroom behaviour.

  • Hearing problems have a direct effect on behaviour – more than just acting out.

  • There is a variations in hearing dysfunction – either abnormal sensitive or abnormal insensitive to certain

frequencies. This is associated with many behaviour and learning problems, including hyperactivity and

dyslexia.

  • A re-education of the hearing mechanism brought about a normalisation of the response to the frequencies

  • and an amelioration of the behaviour or learning problem.

    Three-quarters of the cases showed very positive results and the remainder demonstrated noticeable partial improvement. None failed to show some benefit.

    Two more “emotionally” based problems related to hearing dysfunction:

    • Suicidal Depression: 93% of the 233 patients treated were cured after the first couse of AIT. 4.7% were cured

    after 2-3 courses.

    • Autism – 11 Year Old American Girl, Georgie. Refer to Annabel Stehli’s book: The Sound of a Miracle.

    Berard AIT Procedure

    Berard AIT Normalises:

    • Listening Perception

    • Neural Processing of Auditory Information

    AIT was designed to normalize the entire auditory system, of which the brain is a crucial part. The training is thus also aimed at changing the way the brain processes and organizes input received from the ears.

    The ear:

    • is important in the regulation of balance and posture, as well as the movement of our bodies;

    • helps to regulate eye movements and spatial awareness, and it is of course essential to the ability to use language;

    • has strong connections to the central nervous system and plays a vital role in developing human potential.

    The entire brain and spinal cord can be instantaneously activated by a loud sound. Berard AIT works on a wide variety of problems, because of the rich interconnections between the ear and the brain stem, the cerebellum and the higher cortical centers. The pathways in the brain through which the sound stimulation travels determines some of the benefits that the person may derive.

    Berard AIT consists of three Listening Profiles and a series of 20 half-hour listening sessions.

    Dynamic music with a wide range of frequencies is processed through a system of filters in the AIT device – the Earducator or the Audiokinetron.

    • The music presentation is heavily processed to randomly attenuate different frequency bands, as well as random volume shifts.

    • The volume and tone of the music are constantly and randomly modulated.

    Randomized frequencies mobilize and exercise the muscles that control the three ossicles of the middle ear.

  • The music is selected from compact disks, which present the full spectrum of frequency ranges.

  • A Listening Profile is done before, mid-way between the sessions and at the end of the training.

  • This will determine if there are frequencies for which the client is hypersensitive and will be filtered out for the training duration.

    The training is structured as follows:

    • Each session involves thirty minutes of listening time. Two sessions are done daily for ten consecutive days.

    • A break of at least three hours is needed between sessions.

    • A break of not more than two days may be taken after the first five days.

    • A mid-point assessment is done after ten sessions to reassess the trainee’s listening and note any changes.

    Any necessary changes to the filters on the electronic device is done at this stage.

    • A third assessment is given after the completion of the twenty sessions.

    • After twenty sessions, the trainee’s listening skills should show significant improvement with all or most frequencies perceived within normal ranges.

    Some behavioural changes may be seen within a few weeks of training. Other behavioural changes involve a learning and re-organization process and will generally become evident over the course of three to six months. It can take up to a year for all behavioural changes and benefits to become evident.

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