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Hearing Disorder Commonly Associated with Autism can Now be Corrected
Parents who enrolled their kids to the program note dramatic improvements in their behavior.

K, 5 years old, used to run away and hide, or covers his ears whenever he heard loud noises or something he was not familiar with. He was highly sensitive to them. His mom relates though, that after going through Auditory Integration Training (AIT), “napansin namin that K doesn’t run away anymore. He’ll just look kung saan nanggaling yung loud noise and then deadma lang (doesn’t mind)."

She goes on to say that "…My family and I were planning not to spend New Year's Eve here because we all know how noisy it can get.” But since they noticed some changes, they decided to stay.

“Before, K would definitely run away from or natataranta once he hears fireworks. But surprisingly, he did not panic or run away this time. Instead, he would look at me and say… “BOOM BOOM!” referring to the fireworks. His fear of loud noises was gone, AND he now lets me clean his ears without fidgeting and without the need for bribery!

Marie, mother of 3-year old Sam, says her daughter “is verbal, but we are often limited to “I want…..” and some 3-word sentences.” Thus she felt the need to enroll her child in the AIT program. Her story, in her own words:

“When we enrolled her to the AIT program, we were astounded by the dramatic changes we saw in her. When her teacher asked, “How are you?”, she answered, “I’m fine” without any prompting, which never happened before. Also, when her yaya told her your Mommy is calling you, she said “My Mommy is calling me”…. she finally got the concept of ME, YOU, and MY!

Once, on the expressway, an ambulance drove past our vehicle. Usually, she would freak out at certain noises (like the ambulance siren) and would start humming to herself while covering her ears. We were near the ambulance for a good 10 minutes, but instead of covering her ears, she just pointed at it and said, “It’s an ambulance!”

One day, she got her clips out of her drawer and told her yaya “I want to fix hair”, and when it was done, she said “I want to see mirror”. Upon seeing herself, she said “It’s nice”. While shopping, she grabbed a shirt off a hanger and said, “I want to wear dress”. I also noticed that she started brushing her hair away from her face, and she seemed more aware of herself and of her environment.

My husband and I are always surprised at the things we never thought she knew! The clincher was when we discovered that she really understood Filipino! My husband asked her “Ano’ng gusto mo?” and she answered “I want to study to drive the car.” My husband was so happy that he let her sit with him on the driver’s seat."

What is AIT?
Auditory Integration Training is a method of retraining the ear. AIT was developed in the mid 1900’s by Dr. Guy Berard, a French ENT physician who also coined the term. He developed this technology with the intent of initially correcting genetically-induced hearing loss. Dr. Berard believed that by allowing a person to hear more normally, one can learn and function better in society.

In the Philippines, Sound Therapy Learning Center pioneered AIT in March 2008. It is one of only two centers in the country now that practice AIT.

What does AIT do?
AIT uses filtered and modulated music to help:

  1. Normalize and improve hearing distortions.
  2. How children perceive sounds as they develop is very important as this can affect the way they acquire their language skills. Any abnormalities in verbal perception will result in an inaccurate imitation of sound.
  3. Improve sensory processing (which is very important for children with sensory issues). Children who have difficulty integrating and interpreting internal and external sensory cues will encounter difficulty in learning to communicate.
  4. Improve the ways in which the brain processes auditory information. This in turn impacts on the different areas of the brain that controls the different senses and systems of the body.
  5. Stimulate the auditory (as well as vestibular) and neurological systems. The vestibular and auditory systems are closely related and difficulties in this area can impact on speech and language development.
  6. Improve sensory overload tolerance and reduce self-stimulating behaviors.
  7. Diminishes or resolves behaviors related to sensory defensiveness. People who are sensory defensive often react negatively to or experience anxiety to sensory input that is generally considered harmless to other people. Both painful and uncomfortable, it can impair one’s ability to attend to daily tasks. Example: a child may refuse to join a loud party, have a haircut, or be orally defensive (in the case of an extremely picky eater).
  8. Improve speech and language.
  9. Improve behavior and learning.
  10.  Improve mood and social skills.
  11. Improve comprehension which impacts on learning which may lead to better academic performance.

Improvements in hearing, as well as in vision, touch, smell, taste, balance, fine motor skills, coordination and hand writing, focus, processing and awareness, among others, are often noted among clients who have undergone the therapy.

What types of problems does AIT help solve?
The US FDA evaluated AIT in 1998 and approves that it is a safe and effective means of remediating impairments in auditory discrimination associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), Dyslexia, Language Delays and Communication disorders. AIT also helps with Sensory Processing Disorders, Sensory Issues, Hyperlexia and Non Verbal learning disorders.

AIT helps relieve hypersensitive hearing, in effect, reducing the overall sensory overload that some children suffer from. The child will be able to hear better, listen better, and learn better, thereby enhancing all the other therapies that the child is undergoing. Learning is thus drastically increased and the child is given a greater chance to move forward.

How do AIT sessions work?
AIT is comprised of 20 sessions, each lasting 30 minutes. There are two sessions per day with a minimum of 3-hour rest period in between sessions. The child may opt to rest after 10 sessions for a period of 2 days (max) before continuing.

The programs are individualized for each person based on a pre-screening evaluation.

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To know more about Auditory Integration Training, contact SOUND THERAPY LEARNING CENTER

Sound Therapy Learning Center Unit 7 3rd Floor, The Promenade Building 198 Wilson St. Corner P. Guevarra 1006 San Juan, Metro Manila
Telephone: (02) 775-8100 Mobile: (0917) 887-7852
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