Ways to Help My Struggling Reader

Struggling to read brings frustration not only to the child or student trying to learn, but also to the parents and teachers who are desperately trying to find a way to help. Sally Brockett, M.S., Director, IDEA Training Center, shares information about an approach that changed many struggling readers into successful readers. Are you a parent or teacher trying to help your child or student who is struggling to read? Do you search for ways to help make reading easier and fun? Are you puzzled about why reading is a real struggle for this child? We know that reading is a fundamental skill necessary to function in today’s society, but we don’t always know how to help improve reading skills for those that struggle. The following information will help guide you to a new path for the struggling reader.

Basic Requirements for a Good Reader

At the first signs of difficulty reading, both vision and hearing should be checked by a qualified professional. Since reading depends heavily on both the visual and auditory systems, it’s important to have a comprehensive evaluation to eliminate this as a possible cause. The comprehensive evaluation should go beyond the standard 20/20 vision test and a basic audiogram. Specialists in these areas can do in-depth, non-invasive testing.  Here is a quick checklist to help determine where there are reading difficulties.
  1. Letter Identification:
    Can the reader recognize (point to) and name all the letters of the alphabet?
  2. Letter/Sound Relationship:
    Can the reader identify the letters when hearing their sounds, and is the reader able to produce the sounds that go with the letters?
  3. Blending Sounds:
    Can the reader blend the sounds made by two or more letters?
  4. Word Recognition:
    Can the reader recognize words when written or spoken? Is the reader able to recognize sight words quickly?
  5. Comprehension:
    Does the reader understand the meaning of the words or sentences that are read?

Lack of Progress in Spite of Teaching

When reading skills do not develop despite scholastic attempts, there may be underlying issues. Reading requires both visual and auditory processing. If there are imbalances or disruptions in either or both of these systems, traditional drills and practice are not effective. In fact, it may produce frustration for the reader.

How Can the Underlying Issues be Addressed?

Berard Auditory Integration Training, (Berard AIT), is a very effective approach to rebalance the visual and auditory processing systems so learning can happen naturally. Studies have shown that when the 10-hour intensive program of Berard AIT is implemented in schools or by parents, struggling readers typically show significant progress in a variety of reading skills, including phonemic awareness (letter-sound relationships), sound blending, word recognition, comprehension, reading rate, reading attention span, and peripheral vision.

Why Does Berard AIT Help the Struggling Reader so Effectively?

Berard AIT triggers neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change itself, to rewire the pathways so they can function more efficiently. Think of it as straightening out the kinks in a bent wire. The rewiring brings together the visual and auditory pathways so they work together as they should, and then reading becomes easier and more natural. The reader does not need to work as hard and does not get as tired and frustrated because reading has become automated as it should be. This article explains more about the impact of Berard AIT on reading.

What Evidence is There to Show Berard AIT Can Produce Effective Readers?

Many studies have been done which show the positive results of Berard AIT on struggling readers.  For example, the Marmara Project, which was done in Turkey, was conducted to determine if reading rate and comprehension for students improved when Berard AIT was done prior to teaching speed reading. Results were quite significant for the students who received Berard AIT. On a 300 word per minute goal, the average reading rate increased from 22.7% to 68.1% after the Berard AIT program compared to those who did not receive Berard AIT. Reading comprehension increased from 73.3% to 98.6% and reading attention span increased from 5:30 minutes to 28 minutes. Peripheral vision which is the ability to see outside the direct line of vision, is another important aspect of reading. This enables the reader to see and integrate the next word more easily resulting in a faster reading level.  The average peripheral vision in the group which received Berard AIT was 14.5 before Berard AIT and increased to an average of 33 after the Berard AIT program. There are also many reports from teachers, eye doctors, and parents that support the reading progress achieved by students after completing Berard AIT. The video, Berard AIT Results, provides many examples of achievement in a variety of areas after Berard AIT.


This program may be the answer for that struggling reader. Parents and teachers can learn more about the Berard AIT protocol by reviewing information on this website.  It is a wonderful reward to help jump-start the ability to read, especially when the reader is terribly frustrated and ready to give up. Step in before that happens and make a difference in the life of the struggling reader.
  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.