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Auditory Integration Training and Autism Ranking: Insufficient/Mixed evidence

Introduction

Headphones

Auditory integration training (also known as AIT) involves a person listening to a selection of music or other sounds which have been electronically modified.

There are several different kinds of auditory integration training including the Bérard Method, the Listening Program, Samonas Sound Therapy, and the Tomatis Method

AIT is based on the idea that some people, including some people on the autism spectrum, are hypersensitive (over-sensitive) or hyposensitive (under-sensitive) to certain frequencies of sound.

This sensitivity to certain frequencies is believed to cause a variety of perceptual problems (such as an inability to concentrate or to understand other people). It may also cause other problems (such as irritability or lethargy).

AIT is designed to improve the person’s ability to process sounds by ’re-educating’ the brain. This is done by playing electronically modified music or other sounds in which the frequencies have been changed.

Please Note

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) made the following recommendations:

'Do not use auditory integration training to manage speech and language problems in children and young people with autism.' (NICE, 2013)

Our Opinion

The theory behind auditory integration training is weak and unproven.

  • There is no high quality research evidence to suggest that any form of auditory integration training improves the core symptoms of autism.
  • There is some high quality research evidence to suggest that the Bérard Method does not improve auditory processing in people on the autism spectrum.
  • There is insufficient high quality evidence to determine if the Listening Program or the Tomatis method improve auditory processing in people on the autism spectrum.

Great care should be taken because of the potential hazards of using some AIT machines.

Because of this we cannot recommend the use of auditory integration therapy.

Disclaimer

Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions


Quick link:
http://researchautism.net/auditory-integration-training-and-autism
Updated
11 Jan 2017
Last Review
01 Mar 2016
Next Review
01 Mar 2019