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Auditory integration training

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Auditory integration training (AIT) attempts to treat auditory processing disorders by helping an individual make the most use of his or her residual hearing and better understand speech and sounds. It typically involves 20 half-hour sessions of listening to specially modulated music over a 10- to 20-day period. The program was pioneered by Guy Berard.[1] Several claims have been made for it, including claims that it can greatly benefit those with autism.[2]

AIT does not meet scientific standards for efficacy and safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other professional organizations consider it to be an experimental procedure, and the New York Department of Health recommends that it not be used to treat young children with autism.[3] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the audiokinetron, the device used to perform AIT, from importation into the U.S. due to lack of evidence of medical benefit.[1]

Training regimenEdit

Auditory integration training (AIT) aims to address the sensory problems such as hearing distortions, hyper-acute hearing, and sensory processing anomalies, which are said to cause discomfort and confusion in persons suffering from learning disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders. These hypersensitivities are believed to interfere with a child’s attention, comprehension, and ability to learn.

The training typically involves the child attending two 30-minute sessions per day for ten days. The child listens via headphones to a program of specially altered music. Sessions often start off with music and sounds that are familiar to the client, so they are easily recognizable. Then, gradually throughout the sessions the music and sounds become more technical and harder to discriminate. The program is modified for each child with certain frequencies of sound filtered using an electronic device called an audiokinetron, which randomly clips frequencies above or below 1 kHz for random durations between 1/4 and 2 seconds, and which filters out frequencies the child has been determined to be unusually sensitive to.[1]

Lack of evidenceEdit

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of AIT found insufficient evidence to support its use; no significant adverse effects were reported.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mudford OC, Cullen C (2004). "Auditory integration training: a critical review" Jacobson JW, Foxx RM, Mulick JA (eds.) Controversial Therapies for Developmental Disabilities, 351–62, Routledge.
  2. Auditory Integration Training. National Autistic Society. URL accessed on 2007-12-28.
  3. Working Group in AIT (2004). Auditory integration training: technical report. ASHA Suppl (24): 96–102.
  4. Sinha Y, Silove N, Wheeler D, Williams K (2006). Auditory integration training and other sound therapies for autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review. Arch Dis Child 91 (12): 1018–22.

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