auditory integration training (AIT)

definition of auditory integration training: Non-biologic alternative therapy for autism involving repeated exposure to sounds.

New Book to Help Teachers Understand Sensory Processing Disorder

Teaser: 

Many kids with autism also suffer from sensory processing disorder (SPD).

Body: 

Many kids with autism also suffer from sensory processing disorder (SPD). One of our favorite authors, Carol Kranowitz, recently interviewed an occupational therapist, Stacey Szklut on how to teach kids with SPD. The result was "A Teacher’s Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder", a book and audio CD. Topics of interest to teachers included, understanding how sensory issues affected learning, how to identify SPD in the classroom, creating teaching methods that can be used both at school and at home, and materials useful to teachers of kids of all ages.

Autism Center of Excellence to be Established at Boston University

Teaser: 

Boston University received a grant from the NIH to specifically study the difficulty with speaking that many children with autism have.

Body: 

Boston University received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to specifically study the difficulty with speaking that many children with autism have. Helen Tager-Flusberg, director of the Autism Center of Excellence explained, "There has been almost no research on this group of children and adults, and we have designed several key projects to address this gap in our knowledge.” Much of the research will focus on developing methods that will help people with autism learn to speak, including technology, brain and behavioral studies, and aspects of Auditory-Motor Mapping Training (AMMT). AMMT uses music – singing and motor activities – as the basis for teaching language skills.

Is Bal-A-Vis-X a Potential Therapy for Autism?

Teaser: 

Bill Hubert, an English teacher in Kansas, has created a series of 300 balance, auditory, and visual exercises – Bal-A-Vis-X.

Body: 

Bill Hubert, an English teacher in Kansas, has created a series of 300 balance, auditory, and visual exercises – Bal-A-Vis-X. In the article from the NewStraitsTimes in Malaysia, the reporter explains how Bal-A-Vis-X works with kids with autism and other learning difficulties. She interviews parents and teachers who have tried the process. Bal-A-Vis-X exercises use sandbags or racquet balls to improve upon a child’s natural rhythm and balance, by focusing on touch, sound, and sight. The rhythm of exercises is steady and increases in complexity. Hasanah Hassan, a Malaysian kinesiologist, explained, “Two children partner each other. Here they learn to coordinate the hands and feet movements while watching the sandbags being passed from one to another. We start with a pattern that ensures success because that will result in good self-esteem and the desire to do more.” Any teacher or parent can be trained in the Bal-A-Vis-X program.

Auditory Integration Training as Therapy for Autism

Teaser: 

A speech and language pathologist in Kuwait has begun using auditory integrations training for his students with autism.

Body: 

A speech and language pathologist in Kuwait has begun using auditory integrations training (AIT) for his students with autism at Dasman Model School and Khalifa School. Mamoun Aburas was interviewed for this article and discussed how he saw improvements in speech and attention span. Aburas explained that AIT is an, "intervention programme designed to correct or improve auditory hypersensitivity, distortions and delays in the signals that interfere with an individual’s ability to process auditory information normally." AIT, which is still considered an alternative therapy, presents music through a machine called an Earducator. This machine helps balance the music so that children are hearing sound at the same way in each ear. The music used must cover a wide range of frequencies and have a good tempo and beat. Some of the music Aburas favors includes Bob Marley, Hall & Oates, Bryan Adams and Chris De Burgh. He is pleased that more parents in Kuwait are getting involved in their children's treatment and that autism is not seen as too much of a stigma.

New Autism Research Shows Promise Using Music and Motor Activities

Teaser: 

Auditory-Motor Mapping Training (AAMT) is a recently researched therapy that shows music may help communication skills in children with autism.

Body: 

Auditory-Motor Mapping Training (AAMT) is a recently researched therapy that shows music may help communication skills in children with autism. Catherine Wan, PhD, a researcher in the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory of Beth Deaconess Medical Center’s Department of Neurology, explains that AAMT uses “singing (intonation) and motor activities to strengthen a network of brain regions that is thought to be abnormal in children with autism.” The researchers based their study on another similar therapy, Melodic Intonation Therapy that was successful in helping stroke victims recover their speech. The children involved in the AAMT study showed increased communication during the treatment as well as at home.

Listening Therapy Center Opens in the Philippines

Teaser: 

Dr. Gina Diaz-Cembrano recently opened the I Listen Enhancement Center for Maximum Learning in the Philippines.

Body: 

Dr. Gina Diaz-Cembrano recently opened the I Listen Enhancement Center for Maximum Learning in the Philippines. Although a dentist by training, Gina felt teaching preschool was a better way to help families who had children with autism and other developmental issues such as ADHD. The center uses the Tomatis Method. Gina explains, “The Tomatis method re-trains the listening system by using electronically modified music and language to re-educate, stimulate and improve the way in which we process auditory information.” Children with learning disabilities often have difficulty in communication and social interaction, the Tomatis methods attempts to increase listening skills, communication, and memory and attention. Gina has seen that Tomatis worked well with other therapies including occupational therapy, sensory integration, and speech therapy.

Isle of Man Mom Asks for Additional Government Help for Autism

Teaser: 

The group Manx Mencap paid for Isle of Man’s youngsters with autism to receive special training from the Sound Learning Centre (SLC).

Body: 

The group Manx Mencap paid for Isle of Man’s youngsters with autism to receive special training from the Sound Learning Centre (SLC). One child’s mother is advocating for more local services for more children. She explains that financial difficulties would prevent her son and other families from travelling to London for the same services. SLC is in the early stages of a program whereby they send therapists to the small island to deliver services that include sound and light therapy and auditory integration therapy, including music. Manx Mencap’s vice-chairman said, “Because we received such favourable feedback from parents and carers after the first year, we made further arrangements with The Sound Learning Team to come back and continue their good work.”

Therapeutic Funding Increases in Australia for Children with Autism and Other Disabilities

Teaser: 

The Australian Federal Government recently announced Better Start for Children with a Disability.

Body: 

The Australian Federal Government recently announced Better Start for Children with a Disability. This provides up to $12,000 over two years for children with autism and other disabilities to receive intervention and treatment. Parents can choose to use the funding for speech, audiology, and occupational therapists along with psychologists. Without this program, many people have to wait up to a year to get services through the public health program.

The Brain Trainer is Evidence-Based Training and Speech Therapy Center

Teaser: 

The Millers, parents of a son with autism, could not find any therapy that worked for their son until they discovered The Brain Center.

Body: 

The Millers, parents of a son with autism, could not find any therapy that worked for their son until they discovered The Brain Center. Founded by Dr. Vicki Parker, The Brain Center works with children and adults to improve areas of the brain including speech, focus, memory, attention span, auditory, and visual processing. Parker has over 25 years experience as a speech pathologist with a focus on neurological disorders. Each child is assessed and an individual program formed. The Miller’s son works on his cognitive learning skills: “tangrams - shape-based puzzles - playing matching games, learning to track something with his eyes and how to focus on tasks and instructions.” Even though their son continues with special education classes, The Brain Trainer integrates a more individualized treatment plan for him.

Speech Buddies Help Kids with Speech Disorders

Teaser: 

Children on the autism spectrum with speech difficulties now have a new tool to help them with pronunciation.

Body: 

Children on the autism spectrum with speech difficulties now have a new tool to help them with pronunciation. Speech Buddies are “five pen-size devices with different rubber tips that act as targets, helping kids (and adults) place their tongue accurately to pronounce five tricky sounds: R, S, L, CH and SH.” In the past, speech and language therapists have used items such as tongue depressors and kitchen spoons or straws. Denise Dougherty, president of American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology, says Speech Buddies have shortened therapy time for the children she works with. Research done with Speech Buddies has yet to be peer-reviewed, but a number of studies have found that the tools work twice as quickly as traditional methods.

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