The following success stories were written by parents (or adult participants) to share the results of their Berard AIT experience. These stories will illustrate some of the changes that often occur with this intervention. Fictional names have been used for all persons.
Dear Aysenur (Practitioner)
Yusuf in Erzurum uttered his first sentence at the age of 9, after Berard AIT!
Before Berard AIT, at the age of 7, Yusuf´s vocabulary was limited to ”Mom”,”Dad” and ”come” uttered in a stuttering and crying voice.
The first AIT program was done with 2 sessions per day all through the program (10 days consecutively). After this training, it was reported that Yusuf took a joy in going to kindergarten and he participated in games and playing with his peers.
Six months later he had his second AIT program. He now started to imitate words. Communicating with his parents, in order to make them listen to him, Yusuf started using words and gestures instead of his previous crying and wimpering ways.
9 months later, at the age of 9, Yusef had his third AIT program, after which he could say his first full sentence: ”Look Mom, I´m talking!” (without stuttering)
He now understands what is said to him and he can even tell jokes to his friends. Yusuf is also very social and enjoys playing with his friends.
Before going to bed he sends his gratitude to his ”Berard-teacher” in his evening prayer.
Dear Sara (Practitioner)
We had Colby’s IEP meeting at school and he has changed so much, more than any other year. He gained in social skills, emotional, speech, transitions…His speech therapist has been with him for three years and has never seen him improve as much as he did since AIT. She is truly amazed. Colby couldn’t write his name at all before AIT. Within two weeks after AIT he was writing it!
In school he now sits in Circle Time. Every year before this he could not sit for any group activity because he said the kids hurt his ears. Now he enjoys group activities. He never really played with other kids; he was a very solitary person. Now he talks about his friends, he has them over. He used to hate kids touching him, now (on his terms) he is hugging kids, wrestling – he just loves his friends. It has been a remarkable year, one of incredible gains for Colby. He is finally ready for kindergarten. THANK YOU, SARA! Thank you for opening a wonderful world for Colby!
Hi Heather (Practitioner),
I just wanted to let you know that Danny is doing great in school. They have increased his time in the regular education room. They also say that his ability to wait has increased! He is definitely making progress. I wanted to let you know that for a week after AIT, Danny asked everyday to go back to “listen” again.
Dear Alicia (Practitioner),
Sorry it took me so long to e-mail you. Michael is doing great! His teachers have said that he’s been following directions the first time almost every time, and when he speaks, he is much clearer. He’s been doing typical “little boy” stuff at home like jumping out of the van and wrestling with his sister and brother. Last night he did something that he’s never done before. He had a bowel movement in his pants (still a problem), and while I was cleaning up downstairs, I sent him upstairs to wait for me. He was sitting pantless on his bed, and, when I walked in, he looked at me, POINTED to his chest of drawers and said “pants”. I asked him what he wanted and he repeated it. He has NEVER pointed before, and he would just as soon go pantless! I was ecstatic! Like you said, it is just slowly emerging.
Hi Michael (Practitioner),
Sorry for not mailing, I meant to, so thanks for the reminder!! Jack LOVED AIT and actually cried when he had to say goodbye the last time!! (This show of emotion is a HUGE deal for Jack and not that typical so we feel the AIT is helping him express his emotions better.)
On that note, that is not always a pleasant thing!! Jack is really letting us know what he thinks and has been more ornery but we accept this as improved communication and are thrilled to see it. We have also seen an improvement in articulation as well as mean sentence length. He was somewhat restless and will cover his ears in public more and say things like “that lady talking is hurting my ears” so I really know that he is much more aware of what he is hearing rather than crying or just shutting down.. I think it will take time for him to get used to his new perception but we are really happy to see it.
Also he was quite tired during AIT, and he also seems to taste things differently, especially saying “I don’t like it, it is too salty” when he used to like and eat that food regularly, I found that very interesting, his sense of taste is more acute (he did not seem to really care what things tasted like before, he only cared what the texture was). Anyway, we are very pleased with his progress and will try to update at one three and six months, thanks again, we appreciate all the help
Hello Karen, (Practitioner)
As you recall, before we started AIT in April, John had just finished a series of evaluation by an audiologist, two speech/language therapist and a neuropsychologist – to name a few. The resounding diagnosis was auditory processing disorder (APD) and problems with phonological discrimination and expressive language. The neuropsychologist also diagnosed John with phonological dyslexia.
Four weeks ago, John began therapy and just last week the speech/language therapist said to me “I have carefully read all the reports but I just cannot find the problems with John’s phonological discrimination that have been reported.” WOW – pretty amazing for a child recently diagnosed with phonological dyslexia!
The second DRAMATIC area where John has shown improvement is in his expressive language. Karen, you may recall a conversation John was trying to have in your office during the first couple of days of AIT. He was trying to tell us that people speak Spanish in Mexico. But he could not remember the name of Mexico. He then tried to describe where Mexico was but the best he could do was to describe it by saying “And Hawaii is over there.” It was painful to witness. You were so kind to notice and say, “I can tell you are describing a picture you see” because that’s exactly what he was doing: describing the map he has on a placemat. Then, remember the 8th day of AIT when he came back from the library and recounted a sequential story — with lots of details – that we had read in the library. And, when he came home this week from camp, he told me step-by-step how they did a craft!
I forgot to mention that sounds that used to bother him (the bathroom fan, running bathwater) do not bother him now!
I am so happy we have these wonderful results to share with you!
Dear Janet (Practitioner),
Cameron has stopped the aggressive behavior (specifically hitting me). Socially, she has been talking a lot about her friends in school and what they are doing. She actually wants to wear certain clothes “just like” her friend in school. Socially she has shown the most progress (in my opinion). Her teachers find her more “CONTENT” and more focused. You can actually have a conversation with her for a short period of time. She is curious about things (wants to know what, why? etc.) She still has her fear of birthday parties and crowds, but she is in control and knows when to exit or cover her ears when it bothers her. She doesn’t fall apart.
Dear Maria (Practitioner),
Jessica received AIT in August (2005) – 5 months ago, when she was approximately 3 1/2 years old. Before AIT, Jessica had a limited vocabulary of under 10 functional words and could make two-word requests (“want cookie”) only on occasion, she is now able to clearly articulate complex sentences of 4 to 5 words several times a day, and does so spontaneously. Within 6 weeks after AIT, Jessica appeared to process other’s statements more quickly, responded more quickly and appropriately to other children and adults, and also became more responsive to music (dancing, humming, and now even singing along!)
We credit Jessica’s AIT treatment to Maria and her team as a key variable in Jessica’s overall growth, since the explosion in her language this past fall also enabled her to make huge strides in her social skills. Whereas prior to AIT, Jessica’s play had mainly been “parallel play” and she was hesitant to approach peers; following her treatment, Jessica learned to actively engage and maintain interaction with other children (those equally and even more verbal) in both the special needs and typically developing communities.
Please also know that before, during and after AIT, Jessica received other therapies through her full-time school for children on the Autistic Spectrum. However, the greatest leap in her development was seen in the 2-3 months following AIT, and Jessica has maintained a steep growth curve in all domains since then.
Currently, we are in the process of transitioning Jessica to a new curriculum in which she will spend half a day at her current school, and half a day with higher functioning children in a less restrictive classroom. Jessica’s dramatic improvement in language and social skills – due in great part, we believe, to Berard AIT with Maria – is the driving factor behind this transition.
Hello David (Practitioner)
I continue to see Timmy ask questions about the world around him, which, frankly, he has really never done before. Questions about how things work, why people react to situations in certain ways, those kinds of things. He also seems to be relating to his sister differently. He is teasing her in a normal, 3rdgrade boy kind of way! We feel that Timmy has so much trouble following directions in school because he has NEVER asked questions for clarification when he doesn’t understand something (which is often). We hope his ability to ask questions at home will somehow work its way into school.
Thanks for everything.
I continue to be amazed at the differences AIT has made in my life. I came for AIT in the hope of improving my ability to learn a foreign language. I am pleased to say that everything that I had hoped for concerning my ability to learn another language was achieved.
My auditory memory/learning ability has also increased. Not only can I repeat longer phrases in French, but I can remember a phone number when someone says it to me! Before AIT I could remember infinite lists – if I read them, but heaven help me with names or numbers someone said to me.
I wish AIT had been available to me as a child. It would have saved me from a lot of heartache. I am remarkably more comfortable with other people. Before AIT, social events that were fun for others were not particularly fun for me. This may seem bizarre, but before AIT I had never realized how extremely uncomfortable I had been. After AIT I came to realize that social exchanges formerly left me vibrating. I only recognized this when the vibrating stopped! I think I was in constant “system overload” which I only recognized once it was gone. Now I am quite comfortable in extended social situations – no vibrating!
Another note – my vocabulary is now less “visually dependent”. In a conversation I now “hear what you mean” instead of only “seeing what you mean.”
Gratefully and happily yours,
The most immediate change I saw in Alex was a calming effect. He stopped being so defensive and difficult. He was more accepting of requests to pick up toys and clean his room. This I saw within the first few days. I’ve even seen an improvement in his ability to handle transition. Now after a few weeks, he has been pushing his boundaries (and luck!) with what he is allowed to do and what he thinks he can do. He is definitely more focused.
Dave immediately started talking more clearly using single word and 2 word sentences. He even interjected into our conversations we usually have in the car. It almost made me cry with joy after 2 years of trying to get him to talk to me in the car. He seems more focused on his surroundings and his ability to say no and set his boundaries using words. Overall, I have seen immense growth in the both of them as they are pushing their boundaries and not just reacting to simple daily events and stresses.
I also had quite an AIT experience. I am more tolerant of crowded noisy situations. I still have trouble with the TV volume, although the craziness with the house full of children does not seem to bother me as much. I too seem more focused on my projects and staying on schedule. What seems strangest of all is my keen sense of smell is gone. Since the training, I have not experienced any kind of sinus trouble or pressure changes. Where smell was a big factor in all situations, its impact seems to have disappeared. In some respects it is nice not to be so sensitive to smells for once! It seems strange, but it did coincide with AIT.
Thank you so much.
Dear Lynn (Practitioner),
My son, Luke, is six years old and has sensory integration dysfunction. The problem with food began when his food changed from puree to chunky. He started spitting out any food that was chunky: peas, carrots, potatoes…etc. It wasn’t long before he was gagging and throwing up at every meal. I reported these behaviors to my doctor who told me my son was a “picky” eater. I explained that the “taste” of food wasn’t the problem, it was the “texture” of various foods. After he cried, gagged and eventually threw up the little amount of food I got in him, we would have to start the whole process all over again. My son finally gave up food all together and was on a liquid diet.
Luke received AIT and quickly changed from a child who hated to eat, even when he was hungry, to requesting food and actually commenting on tastes and textures. Since AIT, he has eaten foods I never dreamed he would eat: coconut shrimp, chili, chicken noodle soup, meat, eggs and spinach and peas, just to name a few. Now he is an independent, well adjusted child who can sit at the table and FINALLY eat WITH his family. He asks to try new food and tells me that food smells good to him now. After he ate his first egg sandwich, he told my husband, “I feel like I just died and went to heaven”. I feel guilty for the agony he had to go through for years just to have his basic needs met. I am a true believer in the positive effects of AIT and I share my story with all who will listen. Too many children suffer needlessly!!