Auditory Training & Autism

See also:    Auditory Processing    Sensory Systems   

Internet Resources

ABT applies over 30 years of clinical experience with advances in neuroscience, music, acoustic, and brain research, toward the production of high-quality, effective and affordable products, technologies and delivery systems.
The existent evidence as to the efficacy of auditory integration training is generally anecdotal rather than empirical in nature. Debate rages among professionals as to just which professionals may ethically provide auditory integration training.
Edna Herron, Kris Grbac
The most satisfactory results can be obtained when a multi-disciplinary team approach is used for the administration of the AIT program.
Stephen Edelson
ARI distributes a list of AIT practitioners in the United States. Since there are no certifying or licensing exams for AIT practitioners, ARI's list includes all-known practitioners.
Bernard Rimland
Many families incur substantial expense pursuing these treatments, and spend time and resources that could be used more productively on behavioral and educational interventions. The use of these treatments does not appear warranted at this time.
American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children With Disabilities
No trials assessing sound therapies other than AIT were found. Six RCTs of AIT, including one cross-over trial, were identified with a total of 171 individuals aged 3 to 39 years. Four trials had fewer than 20 participants. Allocation concealment was inadequate for all studies. Seventeen different outcome measures were used. Only two outcomes were used by three or more studies. Meta-analysis was not possible due to very high heterogeneity or presentation of data in unusable forms. Three studies (Bettison 1996; Zollweg 1997; Mudford 2000) did not demonstrate benefit of AIT over control conditions. Three trials (Veale 1993; Rimland 1995; Edelson 1999) reported improvements at three months for the AIT group based on improvements of total mean scores for the ABC, which is of questionable validity. Rimland 1995 also reported improvements at three months in the AIT group for ABC subgroup scores. No significant adverse effects of AIT were reported. More research is needed to inform parents', carers' and practitioners' decision making about this therapy for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
Y. Sinha, Medscape
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effectiveness of auditory integration training (AIT) or other methods of sound therapy in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review was carried out of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of adults or children with ASD. Meta-analysis was attempted. RESULTS: Six RCTs of AIT, including one crossover trial, were identified, with a total of 171 participants aged 3-39 years. 17 different outcome measures were used, with only two outcome measures used by three or more studies. Meta-analysis was not possible owing to very high heterogeneity or presentation of data in unusable forms. Three studies did not show any benefit of AIT over control conditions. Three studies reported improvements at 3 months in the AIT group for total mean scores of the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist (ABC), which is of questionable validity. Of these, one study also reported improvements at 3 months in the AIT group for ABC subgroup scores. No significant adverse effects of AIT were reported. CONCLUSION: At present there is not sufficient evidence to support its use.
Y. Sinha
Sometimes the lack of speech comprehension is interpreted by others as an unwillingness to comply. However, the person may not be able to retrieve the meaning of the sound at that particular time.
Society for Auditory Intervention Techniques
Many parents report “significant improvements” following all kinds of so-called treatments. Many parents report improvement after praying. I guess you'd have to prove god did or didn't exist to settle that one though. That's the beauty of what your working with. It is possible to set up a double-blind placebo controlled study, and many have done so. What have they concluded as far as treating autistic children? See the references page. Also, don't you think development likely to occur anyway regardless of AIT?
Dad of Cameron
Here's ASHA's current published position as of 2004. It refers back to the 2003 policy decision, but leaves out the specific references to violation of the code of ethics, apparently to avoid litigation (according to the Georgiana Institute).
Dad of Cameron
I am opposed to DES/DDD AHCCCS/ALTCS funding ANY treatment that is ethically testable with randomized, double-blinded, controlled methods for efficacy and safety, and has either: A. Not been tested in this manner, or B. Failed to demonstrate efficacy or safety through such testing.
Dad of Cameron
For the autistic, the world is perceived through separate fragments of information, or sensory experiences, that do not dovetail or add up to provide a complete picture. In other words, the world does not make sense.
A safe and effective calming and focusing aid for individuals with developmental disabilities. Designed to be used to alleviate a tantrum or emotional outburst; aid with sleeping, transitions, and focusing attention; alleviate self-stimulatory behaviors.
Developer of educational software, teaching materials and online resources. Earobics Literacy Launch provides rich, diverse language experiences.
List of practitioners in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
Practitioners can be found in most states.
Digital Auditory Aerobics is a comprehensive program designed to complement the professional Speech/Language Pathologist and others who seek to remediate speech/language delays in their clients.
A simple and inexpensive tool to help ease the pain of auditory hypersensitivity that can accompany Autism, PDD, ADD, ADHD, hyperacusis and Downs Syndrome.
Available only to subscribers of the St. John's University Autism List
Our review of the available literature on AIT has produced 23 studies with positive results and only 3 claiming no benefits from AIT.
Bernard Rimland
Auditory Integration Training and Digital Auditory Aerobics. AIT addresses hearing distortions, hyperacute hearing and sensory processing anomalies which cause discomfort and confusion in learning disabled and developmentally delayed children.
Tomatis. Listening is improved by exercising the ear and stimulating the nervous system. Because listening is a corner stone for the development of many other skills, improving listening results in better learning, language and communication skills.
Very often a hearing sensitivity manifests itself in ways that are not so transparent - for instance, hearing sensitive people may withdraw markedly into their world in order to cope with background noise.
Kristi Kemp
REI is based on a phenomenon called 'entrainment' in which an object's movements or vibrations become synchronized with the movements of other objects.
Society for Auditory Intervention Techniques
Provides information about auditory integration training (AIT) and other auditory-based interventions.
The Tomatis Method builds strong listening skills through auditory stimulation, to improve learning and language abilities, communication, creativity, and social behavior.
Tomatis sees the ear as an integrator. He saw the vestibular (balancing) and Cochlear (decoding of sound) functions of the ear joined in a single system. The vestibule analyzes larger movements, those within the body, and the cochlea evolved as an addition to analyze smaller acoustical type movements.
Earobics and Fast ForWord, programs designed to improve auditory processing and phonological skills, common problems in autistic individuals and those with developmental delays.
Stephen Edelson
TLP is a music-based sound stimulation program that currently consists of 8 one-hour audio CDs that contain specially processed classical music and nature sounds plus a 112 page guidebook.
Alexander Doman, Dorothy Lockhart Lawrence
This improvement in attending behaviour may be of benefit, but there is no good evidence that Auditory Integration therapy does reduce sound sensitivity or have the impact on behavioural, social, communication or physical behaviours that are claimed.
Patricia Howlin
In relation to autism, Bérard thought that sound sensitivity and consequent behavioural disturbance could result from distortions in hearing.
National Autistic Society

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