ADD / ADHD, Auditory, Autism, Autism Tests & Diagnosis, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dyslexia, Television

Inside Out on AIT and The Sound Learning Centre

Featured on last night’s Inside Out progam was The Sound Learning Centre. The centre provides a range of light and sound therapies and I have been assessed and received light treatment from them.
In a ten minute segment, the program followed Harry Phillips and his mother Carrie as Harry received treatment for his aspergers syndrome. Harry, about ten years old, was a clever and articulate child but suffered from symptoms common in aspergers such as clumsiness, very fussy eating habits and sensitive hearing. Carrie commented that she couldn’t hoover when he was in the house because of the pain the noise caused him.
The Auditory Integration Training (AIT) was demonstrated to the TV show’s frontman by Pauline Allen who runs the cente and we were treated to a snatch of Fleetwood Mac (from the Rumours album I think) played through the equipment. The treatment works by dropping out certain frequencies and switching ears so it sounds like you are listening to a distant radio station on a hot summer night. The music fading and returning as the signals bounce and distort around the upper atmosphere.
Helen Woods, a highly autistic child, and her mother were also featured. They had received the treatment a year ago and Mrs Woods was delighted with it, commetting “after five days [of treatment] we were able to go in to cafe without Helen screaming, running around and knocking chairs over“. She also commented that Helen had started making more speech like sounds and could begin to communicate but Mrs Woods emphasized that this wasn’t a cure for autism.
The progam returned to Harry and his mother at the end of his AIT treatment. When Carrie was asked had the treatment worked “Absolutely” was the answer. The presenter asked how could be sure that this wasn’t just Harry progressing as he got older? Carrie’s response was the speed of the change is too quick. Harry had been using the hoover yet ten days ago the sound of the Hoover was painful to him. He also seemed more coordinated.
This was an extremely good feature on The Sound Learning Centre with very balanced BBC reporting. A relief after the distortions of ‘The Dyslexia Myth‘. It was a shame they did not feature the assessment stage of the treatment as it is extensive and would of made the process look more creditable. Overall the program did a good job demonstrating the speed and effectiveness of the treatment whilst highlighting the weakness of the science behind it.
The Sound Learning Centre is based in Palmer’s Green, north London, UK. They will be having an open house on the 20th October 2005.
See also: Hyperacusis, Light & Sound Sensitivity Effects Readers, The Senses of Autism,
BBC: Inside Out investigates how sound therapy may be helping some autistic children live with their condition