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Auditory Integration Training and Autism Ranking: Insufficient/Mixed evidence

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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, 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 for Health and Care 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

There is a limited amount of high-quality research evidence (seven group studies) and a limited amount of low-quality research (six single-case design studies) into the use of the different forms of auditory integration training for autistic people.

  • 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 autistic people.
  • There is insufficient evidence to determine if the Tomatis method improves auditory processing in autistic people.
  • There is insufficient evidence to determine if auditory integration training provides any other benefits to autistic people.

We believe that the theory behind auditory integration training is weak and unproven, there are some potential hazards in using some AIT machines and most forms of AIT are expensive.

Because of this we cannot recommend the use of auditory integration training

Disclaimer

Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions

Updated
04 Jul 2019
Last Review
01 Jul 2019
Next Review
01 Jul 2022