Auditory and Visual Systems Work Together for Efficient and Proficient Reading

Boy reading with puzzle pieces on head

Auditory and Visual Systems Work Together for Efficient and Proficient Reading

Introduction: Explore the link between auditory and visual systems and the effect of Berard AIT on reading.


To be a proficient reader, that is to understand and process what we read, one needs to be an efficient reader.  An efficient reader can read fluently, automatically (without consciously decoding letters and sounds) and comfortably. An efficient reader has integrated the process of decoding and can concentrate on the content. Both Visual skills and Auditory skills are fundamental to efficient reading. More importantly, these two skills interact to create a network which forms the basis of efficient reading. Struggling readers may have challenges with visual skills, or difficulties with auditory skills, or problems with both.  Since it’s the combination of skills that is needed for best results, the focus should be on addressing both Auditory and Visual skills together.

Some basic, fundamental reading skills that require both Auditory AND visual skills:

Phonemic awareness is understanding that the spoken word is made of sounds and combinations of sounds.  For example, identifying the initial /b/ in a word that changes it from pat /p/ /a/ /t/ to bat  /b/ /a/ /t/. All these skills engage both the auditory and visual systems.  The reader must simultaneously, visually, and auditorily process the letter sound relationship. Efficient reading depends on unimpaired auditory and visual processing of phonemes, letter/sound relationships and decoding of words. For struggling readers, it is critical to reinforce these basic skills together.


While Efficient Reading is the technical process of decoding sounds and letters, Proficient Reading is understanding and processing the content of what is read. It’s how we learn new information.  If a struggling reader is tangled in the “how to” of reading, he cannot process the content of what is read and so loses the very purpose of reading.

What can be done to help the auditory and visual systems work together?

Many struggling readers and even typical readers have improved their reading skills through Berard AIT. A study was conducted, The Marmara Project to evaluate the effect of Berard on reading skills. Pre and post test results show that scores are typically significantly better after completing the 10-hour training program. The Berard AIT method impacts on both the auditory and visual skills necessary for efficient and proficient reading.

Results of Berard AIT on reading

When a first-grade boy completed the Berard AIT program and went to the reading consultant for phonemic awareness teaching, the consultant was surprised to find that he no longer needed this teaching. He had developed phonemic awareness within a few weeks of Berard AIT. When a teenager, who was diagnosed with dyslexia, was part way through the Berard 10-hour training, she was reading twice as long as usual. When asked why she could read for a longer time, she replied “I don’t get tired because I know what the words are when I see them, and I don’t have to keep re-reading.”

How can I access the Berard AIT program?

There are Berard AIT practitioners in countries around the world. The international directory of practitioners is available at Berard AIT can now be done through a remote program so it is not necessary to travel to the practitioner, and the practitioner does not need to be local.
  ABOUT SALLY BROCKETT   Sally personally trained with Dr. Berard in France and has become an international leader in the Berard Method of Auditory Integration Training. Founder and President of the Berard AIT International Society, Sally works with Berard Instructors and Berard Practitioners to maintain the high standards associated with this method. She has advanced the method to include new technology that enables Berard practitioners to provide Remote AIT service that allows people around the world to receive this valuable program without the need to travel from home. Sally co-authored the book “Hearing Equals Behavior: Updated and Expanded” with Dr. Berard to provide a comprehensive resource for parents and professionals.