Auditory Integration Training (AIT)


AIT was invented thirty years ago by a French general practitioner, Guy Berard, who was told by his Ear Nose and Throat colleagues that he would become deaf within five years. He refused to accept his fate and started looking for an answer to his problem. During his research, Dr Berard found that people with learning difficulties hear sounds differently than others. According to Berard: "everything happens as if human behaviour were largely conditioned by the manner in which one hears". AIT is a therapy, which is based on the Tomatis Method; its aim is to retrain the auditory system.

How does it work?

Dr Berard invented a device called "audiokinetron” to exercise the ear. The "audiokinetron" is a machine which contains auditory filters. It is thought that listening to filtered sounds through headphones enables a person's perception of hearing to be retrained. Each session lasts 30 minutes.


This is a combination of AIT, Sound modulation and Light Therapy treatment: First, the hearing is assessed with an audio test, then patients listen to filtered sounds via headphones while sitting in the dark, at the same time they watch a lightbox rotating through a colour spectrum. The treatment consists of 20 half-hour sessions over a 10 to 20 day period.

What results can be expected?

It is claimed that changes such as a better concentration, awareness and a decrease in sound sensitivity may be noticed after the first session, however there is no guarantee that the therapy will work for all cases.

Conditions that may respond to AIT

Learning difficulties


Bernard Rimland (Autism research Institute) and Stephen Edelson (Centre for The Study of Autism) carried out the first experimental evaluation of AIT with 17 autistic children. As the results proved positive they set up a larger scale study that involved 445 children and adults whose age ranged form 4 to 41, the study showed that a reduction in sound sensitivity could be noticed, but nothing could indicate which group the therapy would benefit most.

- Rimland B. & Edelson S. (1992) Auditory integration training in autism: A pilot study. Autism Research Institute.
- Rimland B. & Edelson S. (1995) The effects of Auditory Integration Training in autism. Autism Research Institute.

The Autism research Institute, in America, has a list of positive and negative studies on their website athttp://www.autism.com/ari/aitsummary.html.

Recent studies on the efficacy of AIT have been negative

- Mudford OC, Cross BA, Breen S, Cullen C, Reeves D, Gould J, Douglas J. Auditory integration training for children with autism: no behavioral benefits detected. Am J Ment Retard 2000 Mar;105(2):118-129.
"No individual child was identified as benefiting clinically or educationally from the treatment."

- Dawson G, Watling R. Interventions to facilitate auditory, visual, and motor integration in autism: a review of the evidence. J Autism Dev Disord 2000 Oct;30(5):415-421.
"Results of these studies provided no, or at best equivocal, support for the use of auditory integration training in autism."

More studies are available on the internet at:


The treatment costs on average £400. There are about 200 audiologists in the world, in the UK you can contact:

The Hale Clinic
7 Park Crescent
London W1N 3HE
Tel: 020 7631 0156

The Sound Learning Centre
Pauline Allen/Phil Stickland
12 The Rise
London N13 5LE
Tel: 020 8882 1060

The Reve Pavilion
2A Guildford Park Road
Surrey GU2 5ND
Tel: 01483 579500


Georgiana Organisation
250 Amber Wood Run
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 USA
Cell phone: (203)994-8215
Email: georgianainstitute@snet.net
Annabel Stehli, founder of the Georgina Foundation for Auditory Training in America, offers training to those who want to become practitioners and produces a directory of certified practitioners in the USA and abroad.


The Light and Sound Therapy Centre
80 Queen Elizabeth Walk
London N16 5UQ
Tel: 020 8880 1269



Autism Research Institute
Dr Bernard Rimland
4182 Adams Avenue
San Diego
CA 92116
Tel: (001) 619 563 6840


These are some of the references that have been passed to us; the list is not exhaustive. We have not necessarily read the books and cannot say how easy it will be to get them.

- Stehli A. (1991) The sound of a miracle: A child's triumph over autism. Fourth Estate ISBN: 0964483815
- Berard G. (1993) Hearing equals behavior. Ashgrove Press. ISBN: 0879836008
- Howlin P. (1996) A visit to the Light & Sound Therapy Centre. National Autistic Society

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