Unsung hero: Dr Guy Bérard, developer of a novel intervention
A pioneer in sound-based interventions, Dr. Guy Bérard (www.berardaitwebsite.com) has helped thousands of people around the world. To mark his extraordinary life and achievements, the Berard AIT International Society is sponsoring Bérard International Day to celebrate his 96th birthday on January 20, 2012. Auditory Integration Training (AIT), an auditory retraining program, has been the crowning achievement of his life and has helped many people to dramatically improve their lives.
On this day, AIT practitioners around the world unite to announce how they have applied Bérard’s work to benefit thousands of clients worldwide, sharing case studies and anecdotal feedback. The results achieved have been heart warming on many levels, and at times, astounding. In his tenth decade, Bérard’s response was typically modest and adhered to his lifelong philosophy of efficiency and simplicity:
‘I have had a long and eventful life and I am gratified that AIT is recognized
throughout the world by my wonderful trainees and those they have helped’
By anyone’s standards, Dr. Guy Bérard, developer of AIT, has had an eventful life. In true pioneer spirit, he moved from France in 1947 with his wife and family to work as a doctor and general surgeon in Cambodia. Some years later, Bérard developed hearing difficulties and ringing in the ears and was told he would be deaf within 5 years. To help his condition, he investigated the field of sound-based intervention and retrained as an ENT specialist. He subsequently went on to develop AIT, initially to help himself and later, his patients. Through this process, Bérard realized that hearing quality profoundly affects behavior. It became clear to Bérard that AIT had a much broader application to help those with auditory and sensory processing issues. To bring his work to a wider audience, he wrote his book, recently republished as Hearing Equals Behavior: Expanded and Updated. (www.northshire.com)
AIT (www.ideatrainingcenter.com) is a noninvasive center-based program for children and adults with sensory difficulties. It involves listening to modified music through headphones for 30 minutes, twice a day for a period of 10 days as a method of retraining the auditory system. The program addresses under or over sensitivity in hearing and reduces distortions which may affect auditory processing as well as behaviors. Following AIT many clients report functional improvements in areas affecting social, emotional, behavioral or academic performance.
In the process of helping himself, Bérard discovered, through the use of AIT, how to help others. He remains an inspiration to AIT practitioners around the world who continue his ground-breaking work.
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