Auditory Integration Training (AIT) is an intervention that uses specially modulated and filtered music to retrain an individual's ability to process sound input. Dr. Guy Berard, a French ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor, developed the Berard method of AIT in the 1960's (Berard, 1993). He and other qualified instructors have trained practitioners to provide the intervention internationally and there are now over three hundred Berard AIT practitioners worldwide. The benefits of AIT are well documented with over 22 papers published (Edelson and Rimland, 2001).
The intervention was first provided in the US in 1991. A French-made device known as the Audiokinetron was developed by Dr. Berard and is in wide use around the world. A second device, the BGC, was made in the US to emulate the French device. A study by Rimland and Edelson (1994) showed the benefit of both devices to be roughly equivalent. In 1993 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took the position that both devices were "medical devices" and subject to FDA regulation based on claims by manufacturers and practitioners use of AIT would "improve a human condition". These devices became unavailable in the US as importation, manufacture and interstate transportation were prohibited and their use was limited. The FDA has recently stated that if used solely for Educational purposes, new AIT devices would not fall within their jurisdiction and therefore could be used in the US. (Munzner,1999).
In 1997, an AIT device known as the Earducator was developed in South Africa in collaboration with Dr. Berard. The Earducator has since been used by about 17 practitioners in South Africa and anecdotal reports by parents, caregivers, educators and practitioners indicate that good educational benefits were produced. Unfortunately, no studies comparing the relative benefits of the Earducator and the Audiokinetron were done in South Africa. This study was conducted in order to validate the benefits of the Earducator (compared with the Audiokinetron) and, if successful, pave the way for introduction into the U.S.
For more information visit www.ideatrainingcenter.com
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