History of SAIT

The history of the Society for Auditory Intervention Techniques (formerly the ‘Society for Auditory Integration Training’) follows an interesting course. In early 1991, Annabel Stehli’s book, The Sound of a Miracle, was published and immediately created a great wave of interest in auditory integration training (AIT). At about this same time, Drs. Bernard Rimland and Stephen M. Edelson conducted the first clinical study of the AIT procedure, and a small number of individuals interested in AIT traveled to France to learn the procedure from Dr. Guy Berard.

In January, 1992 a conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri that focused attention on AIT. Many attendees were enthusiastic about AIT, but shared mutual concerns about its future. Very late one evening, twenty-three individuals crowded into one of the hotel rooms and discussed the issues. In the early morning hours, when the meeting ended, it was concluded that an organization was needed to help set policies, to establish ethical standards and to distribute objective information. Two additional meetings were scheduled before or after the regular conference workshop sessions. By the end of the conference, these founding members had developed a mission statement, elected its first officers and settled on the organization’s name, The Society for Auditory Integration Training, abbreviated to SAIT.

Throughout the remainder of 1992, many of the founding members collaborated in developing the guidelines, standards and ethics policies for SAIT. Under the sponsorship of Annabel and Peter Stehli and their newly formed Georgiana Foundation, Dr. Berard began training seminars in the U.S. to teach people his procedure. By December, 1992 SAIT incorporated as a non-profit organization and elected its first Board of Directors. Parents and professionals interested in the development of AIT joined SAIT in order to obtain information and share ideas.

Early in 1993, SAIT began work on publishing a quarterly newsletter. Initially, the newsletter was simply called The SAIT Newsletter, however, members soon selected The Sound Connection as its title. Currently, The Sound Connection is mailed to members throughout the U.S. and in foreign countries. Membership in SAIT is open to professionals, parents and relatives of individuals with special needs, and interested others.

Given the availability of other auditory-based interventions during the past few years, SAIT’s Board of Directors recently voted to expand SAIT’s focus to include other auditory-based interventions as well as AIT. Additionally, the Board renamed SAIT to the ‘Society for Auditory Intervention Techniques.’ SAIT has played an instrumental role in the development of AIT in this country, and we hope we can now provide parents and professionals with additional information regarding other auditory-based interventions.

If you have any questions about this article please contact us at sait@berardaitwebsite.com.