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Newsletter - November 2007

Secondary Effects of Auditory Integration Training Revealed
The primary aim of Berard AIT has been to improve hearing, communication and brain function in children with learning disabilities or issues involved with autism or other diagnoses. A history of positive outcomes for those treated with AIT indicating the success of the treatment has led to the spread of AIT worldwide over the past 35 years. Summaries of studies on the use of AIT with a variety of conditions have been collected by the Autism Research Institute showing positive outcomes in the great majority of cases. Now, we have learned that the effects are even more far-reaching.

Reports from families after their children have completed the AIT program have revealed highly positive secondary outcomes. After treatment, families find improved self-esteem and self-confidence in their children. This is critically important as it has eased parents� concerns about their child's future learning and development.

An interesting development in the post-AIT process can occur. There can be a time of adjustment for everyone in the family as change takes place. Before AIT, parents report that their children are often dependent upon them or other adults around them to help negotiate the world as they may not be able to trust their own senses to give them accurate information.

After AIT, the children are able to handle loud sounds, for example, without fear or pain. Parents often find that they are then able to take the children places they had not been able to before such as restaurants, malls or church services. As children learn to assert themselves in more positive and appropriate ways, parents are able to enjoy this new more relaxed family dynamic.

Seeing families enjoying these positive changes is a rewarding aspect of the work of The Counseling Center. Your comments or experiences are most welcome. Please contact us at: or just call: 828-683-6900.

Sarah Gewanter, MSW, LCSW
Certified Berard AIT Practitioner; Director, Berard Auditory Integration Training Systems, Inc. at The Counseling Center


Letters Received From Parents
My Hero, Timothy
The more I learn about autism the more I realize how hard Timothy works to be part of our family, our church and our community. Timothy was diagnosed early- actually prior to his third birthday. Birth injuries had him in the Illinois Birth to Three Program and yet Timothy was not progressing, as we would like, so we took him to Western Illinois University. To say we were in shock is an understatement - complete healing was not a matter of time - it was a life long process.

What I recommend to parents now is to: Read everything you can find and keep reading - Unlike eight years ago there is a wealth of information available. Find people who are more interested in helping your child, than in their bottom line. The people at The Counseling Center have assisted us in finding treatment options, reading material and financial help. They truly care about Timothy. Enjoy your child - Yes, we do get embarrassed from time to time, but we find that if we enjoy him other people will too.

I found Auditory Integration Therapy reading the Autism Resource Book. AIT was a therapy that treated children with visible symptoms like Timothy�s, so then I pursued that path. The path led me to The Counseling Center. The home program was easy to do since Timothy loves music. Everyone who worked with Timothy at school and at church has seen vast improvements in Timothy�s speech, in his ability to interact and in his ability to tolerate loud sounds. His classroom teacher states, "Timothy has been communicating his needs and wants very effectively and appropriately." His one-on-one aide continues, "After AIT, I have seen a big difference in Timothy. His interaction with other students is much more positive." Timothy�s social worker adds, "Timothy is beginning to participate in spontaneous conversation with both the adults and peers in his everyday life."

The improvements in our home life include: Timothy helping with chores, doing more of his grooming independently, seeking out his sisters to engage them in conversation, more appropriate play with toys, ability to interact with guests in our home and is more affectionate. Auditory Integration Training has been a valuable piece in our efforts to overcome Timothy�s autistic tendencies. Along with other therapies suggested by The Counseling Center, educational instruction and continued research, we expect Timothy to lead a productive and successful life.

-Renee Kindle, Timothy's Mother

Send us your story. Any wisdom you wish to impart could mean a lot to others faced with the same challenges.


Here is a recipe for a delicious seasonal dish:

People with sensory issues often have dietary issues as well.
A typical Gluten-free/Casein-free (GF CF) diet can be frustrating and limited but doesn't have to be if you get creative with it.

Classic Gluten Free Bread Stuffing With Crisp Sage Leaves
serves 10 - 12
Shared on Sillyyaks website
This recipe makes a traditional stuffing. You can give it a twist by adding sauteed wild mushrooms, dried fruits, apples, cranberries, lightly toasted nuts, fresh shucked oysters, or cooked gluten free sausage!

4 cups of gluten free bread, crusts removed, lightly toasted & cut into little cubes
6 tblsp UNSALTED butter, divided cup -
1/4 inch diced onion
1 cup - 1/4 inch diced celery
1/3 cup - 1/4 inch diced carrot
16 large fresh sage leaves
1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg
1 pinch dried thyme leaves
1/2 - 3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
24 granules fresh black pepper
3/4 - 1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)

Directions: Cut the bread cubes into a mixing bowl. Melt 4 tblsp. of the butter in a small skillet. Saute the onion, celery, and carrot until tender. Then lightly mix the vegetables in with the bread Using the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tblsp. of butter. Toss in the sage leaves.Over medium heat, brown the butter. The butter will be ready when it has a nutty smell and the sage leaves begin to crisp and brown. Remove the sage leaves and place them on a towel to drain. Pour the brown butter over the bread. Chop the sage leaves and lightly mix them in with the bread and vegetables. Season with nutmeg, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Use just enough broth to moisten the stuffing. If you're planning to use the mixture to stuff poultry or vegetables, leave it on the dry side. For a separately baked side dish, make it a bit moister. Stuff poultry and bake as you would normally. Or, for a side dish, put mixture in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until browned on top.