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AUDITORY INTEGRATION TRAINING SERVICES

Oakdale Child and Family Services Ltd. is pleased to announce that Berard's method of Auditory Integration Training has become an added service to their program.

Oakdale provides 24 hour residential management care to Autistic and developmentally handicapped individuals in Toronto and in Barrie.

Auditory integration training is also available to clients outside of Oakdale. The portability of this service allows the treatment to be brought to any community and will benefit individuals who are restricted by travel.

A great deal of research supports the theory that many Autistic individuals have sensory dysfunctions in one or more areas.

According to the Autism Research Institute in California, approximately 40% of Autistic children display some signs of hyperacute hearing, which can result in painful hearing.

Dr. Berard has specialized in the treatment of individuals with Auditory Processing problems including those with Autism. Berard's method has also been used for people who have Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities, Pervasive Developmental Delays, Attention Deficit Disorders, and Bipolar disorders.

The Treatment consists of selected music listened through headphones, fed by Berard's Kinetron of 20 - 1/2 hour sessions, over a period of 10 days.

Benefits of this treatment may be improvement in areas of attention span and auditory stimuli, increase in appropriate social behaviors, reduction in echolalia, hypersensitivity to sounds, aggression, self abuse and self stimulation.

Oakdale is very excited to be offering this new service. Ralph Bache, the Director of the Barrie, Ontario program, who has received a certificate form Dr. Guy Berard, may be reached for further information in Barrie at (705) 737-0940 and in Toronto, Ontario at (416) 699-5600.

WHAT IS AUDITORY INTEGRATION TRAINING?

The principle of AIT is simple and is based on the same concept involved in any cure by mechanical means, coming under the heading of mechanotherapy:

If the movement of a part of the body is partially blocked or painful, i.e.: the elbow, a masseur undertakes, by successive flexing and extending maneuvers which are progressively more accentuated, to increase mobility and to reduce pain. This influences not only the related muscles, but also the corresponding area of the brain.

In the auditory system, going from the eardrum to the brain cells, concise zones exist corresponding to low-pitched and to high-pitched tones. These parts are not anatomically similar on the eardrum, on the cochlea and, perhaps, in the brain itself. If one or the other of these ares of auditory system is stimulated by certain programmed alternating sounds, the same identical result as that obtained by mobilization of the elbow is achieved. Audiometric examinations carried out in thousands of cases, before and after AIT, have confirmed the accuracy of this reasoning.

In Cases where audiometric testing indicates certain frequencies on which hearing is hyperacute and painful, AIT involves listening to music with those frequencies filtered out. The auditory system reacts to this therapy by adjusting the totality of the frequencies heard. Thus, the audiometric curve tends to flatten and hearing is normalized, maintaining the former frequency differentiations but eliminating the hyperacute areas.


HOW IS AUDITORY INTEGRATION TRAINING APPLIED?

The machine designed by Dr. Guy Berard for the purpose of AIT, called the "Kenetron," was developed in France and is the product of many years of clinical experience. It is manufactured by a French Company, SAPP, located in Amiens, France. The foundation is in the process of arranging to be the supplier of Kinetrons in the U.S.

By means of careful audiometric testing which is an integral part of the AIT method developed by Dr. Berard, it can be determined at what frequencies a person has hyperacute or hypoacute hearing. Based on this audiogram, various compact discs are selected containing music determined to be the best for the person receiving the training. That music is then played on a standard compact disc player and fed through the Kinetron. In turn, that device has been set in accordance with the person's audiogram to amplify and/or filter each frequency of the sound spectrum. The person listens to the music through standard headphones.

The treatment is a short one, consisting of 20 half-hour sessions at a rate of one or two per day over a total period of ten to 20 days. This period of time is sufficiently long to ensure the success of the training for most people, although additional treatment is sometimes useful.




Oversensitive hearing seems to be involved in many common disorders such as dyslexia and learning disabilities and in many more complex problems such as autism, attention deficit disorders, pervasive developmental delays and bipolar disorders.

Considering the nature of the "Berard Method" of AIT-- it is non-invasive, inexpensive and rapidly applied -- it seems likely that the demand could be extremely large. While it is still necessary to build a larger base of clinical data regarding the efficacy of the treatment, the experience so far has been immensely encouraging.

In 1981, Dr. Berard published in France a book describing his work and presenting very positive evidence of the validity of AT.


(Exerpts from the Georgian Foundation)


*** This site was last updated May, 2001 ***