A pioneer in his field, Dr. Guy Bérard has helped thousands of people around the world. To mark his extraordinary life and achievements, Bérard International Day will celebrate his 96th birthday on 20 January 2012. Auditory Integration Training (AIT), an auditory retraining programme, 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 AIT is recognised 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 therapy and retrained as an ENT specialist. He subsequently went on to develop AIT, initially to help himself and later his patients.
Realising that hearing quality profoundly affects behaviour, 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.’
AIT is a non-invasive centre-based programme 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 programme addresses under or over sensitivity in hearing and reduces distortions which may affect auditory processing as well as behaviours. Following AIT many clients report functional improvements in areas affecting social, emotional, behavioural 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.
For further details:
The Sound Learning Centre was founded in 1994 by Pauline Allen and works with children and adults with learning and sensory difficulties using sound, light and developmental programmes to help improve performance.