In the presence of normal hearing acuity, one can have an auditory imbalance in any one or combination of ways that can interfere with both education and coping with life. Dr. Berard developed AIT to rehabilitate disorders of the auditory system. Auditory imbalances can include: sound sensitivity, difficulties with background noise, auditory distractibility, and slow processing….just to name a few!
The Berard Method was initially developed in the 1950’s in France by Guy Berard, M.D., a surgeon. At age 40, Dr. Berard started developing Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear. He then started studying to become an ear, nose and throat doctor. Dr. Berard initially treated hearing loss when he began developing his program. He gave the Berard Profile to his daughter because she had learning disabilities, saw she had some imbalances and ran her through AIT. Afterwards, his daughter improved and Dr.Berard learned more about language processing and auditory processing. As he discovered different ways listening was interfering with people’s lives, he started doing research. After 30 years of research and clinical work, he wrote the book, Hearing Equals Behavior. The book received its title due to Dr.Berard’s belief that behavior can be dictated by how we hear.
The evaluation, known as the Berard Profile, is conducted using an audiometer and the individual is required to answer simple questions about auditory perception. If the individual can understand the directions and provide consistent responses, then a determination may be made as to the presence or absence of an auditory imbalance. Occasionally, an individual may not be able to complete the testing due to an inability to follow the directions of the evaluation. However, these individuals are still able to complete the training and receive full benefit.
In addition, for individuals 5 years old and older, the SCAN, A Test for Auditory Processing Disorders, is administered to identify an auditory processing problem which may warrant the need for intervention.
If one or more types of auditory imbalances is found and is thought to be interfering with the candidate’s physical comfort, socialization and/or processing of information, then the Berard Method of Auditory Training is recommended. The Berard Method uses one of the two machines approved by Dr. Berard, either the Audiokinetron or the Ear Educator. The training consists of two 30 minute sessions per day for 10 consecutive days. In basic terms, music is presented through the machine to exercise the stapedius muscle, cochlea and auditory nerve. The program is individually planned depending on each candidate’s particular imbalances. While the training takes place over 10 days, the full results are expected to emerge over the subsequent year.
Audio tests are typically obtained prior to, at the midpoint, and at the end of the 10 hours of listening. The first and mid-point tests are used to determine whether any narrow-band filters will be used.
Berard AIT is provided personally and under direct (on-site) supervision by a certified Berard AIT Professional Practitioner, with the audio stimulation direct from the Berard AIT device. The modulation is NEVER provided by CDs.
Berard AIT can be administered to all ages, the minimum age is 3 years old.