Monday, August 6, 2012

AIT, Berard Ear Training: Week One

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We started SensiGirl's AIT listening training. It has been eventful from the get go. Sensi was okay with wearing the headphones, since she had done other listening therapy in the past. Everything started well, at around the 20 minute mark she started screaming and took the headphones off and refused to put them back on. There were many screaming refusals and we finally gave up after about 5 long minutes of trying to convince her that  she needed to complete the session.
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Our listening therapist gave me a social story to read to SensiGirl about some of the possible effects of the therapy. They had explained to me before we started the therapy that there might be some regressions in toileting and behavior otherwise. What I didn't expect was the Sensi party in the wee hours of the morning. She was up singing and bouncing at 4:30 and I think stayed up until I arose at 7:30. I can't be sure though because I think I fell back asleep around 6:00. We completed the second day; saying that she would be extra sensitive is a bit of an understatement. She plugged her ears at the TV, at the sound of the mailbox clanging open and shut and the squeak in the door. She was also extra bouncy and silly and spent some time just screaming because she could.
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The third day, Wednesday, was tough. She was compliant enough about wearing the headphones and listening, but she was having trouble with transitions. It didn't help that we had a few extra since her brother went to his auntie's for fun and games. She also wouldn't leave the building after her afternoon session. She kept telling me "A boat, a train!" I finally made the connection that she felt sort of seasick. So I picked her up off the floor, put her in the car and headed across town to pick up Random Guy from his visit at his auntie's house. There has been a lot of screaming but when I asked her if she felt scared or sad or sick she could answer me. She said she felt sick. That is a huge step.
Then on Thursday we had no trouble with listening or feeling sick, she was popping out 5 and 6 word sentences here and there and playing hand clapping games with her brother. The down side to the day was the gigantic melt down at bed time with flopping on the floor and kicking and screaming. She was mad that she didn't get to finish watching the Angelina Ballerina special she picked for her Netflix turn. She eventually settled down but we had to compromise on nightclothes. She kept her dress on from the day and she let me put on her p.j. pants. She went to bed singing sad melodies; eventually she cheered up and went to sleep.
Friday, we made it through the last sessions of the week. I have noticed she was tired and a bit crabby, well a lot crabby. When we picked her daddy up at the airport she said "Hi Daddy," in response to his greeting. She usually has to be prompted. She fell asleep at her usual time.
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Over the weekend, the Atomic Punk (DH) noticed she is speaking more, and is more apt to answer questions now. She did request to be spun in the office chair for a good half hour on Saturday. She still plugs her ears at certain songs and sounds, but she is talking more about her feelings, she said she felt fidgety.
Sunday morning she slept in, which she will do from time to time. She was much more interactive with us. She had more to say about what she watched on TV and what she was drawing. In general she was sharing her thoughts with us more.
We have one more week to go. I will write the next update after next week is over. If you have had an experience with AIT listening therapy, it would be interesting to hear how things went for you.



  1. Wow, tough week. Thinking of you as you approach the week ahead.

  2. Fascinating stuff Lori! She must be feeling exhausted with all the extra input, so it's understandable that coping might be a challenge for her at the moment. At the same time, it's might be a more satisfying kind of exhausted, if you know what I mean. Kind of like being tired after a day of sport, rather than a day in the office. Can't wait to hear what comes from the second week, sending you lots of good vibes :)

  3. Wow, that is some major effects on her. I wonder how that works. Do you have an understanding of the theory behind it? I'll try to take a look at the links you've listed. What stands out to me and concerns me a bit is her response is very similar to Toot's response when he first started taking the Depakote. Our pediatric neurologist told us that he was getting a lot more input through his brain with that was not previously noticed but that it was stuck in the input stage and he had no way to express it. (Receptive language enhancement but no equal or similar expressive language outlet). He gave us an additional drug called Namenda which is for Alzheimer's patients but also for autism and it helped Toots process the input so there was no longer "a traffic jam" as our doctor called it.

    It sounds like SensiGirl is receiving more input but cannot process it through - although she is working like crazy to do it and is having an increase in her expressive language as well. This is what Tootles was like. His expressive language was increasing but there was so much input he was getting cranky and melting down a lot more.

    I hope with the second week, she has more of an outlet and the behavior evens out. Sounds amazing though. I will have to read up on it. Looking forward to hearing more.

  4. Thanks for the comments!@ Bec It is more of a crabby kind of exhausted, but we only have 2 1/2 more days to go. To be honest, I am feeling the exhaustion too. It's a tough schedule to drive 1/2 hour each direction, twice a day.
    @ Karen,She won't be having the extra input after we are done and then her brain can reorganize the input she gets from her environment at a more comfortable level. We will continue with OT and speech and hopefully she will be able to deal with the way things sound better.
    It may take up to a year for the whole processes to settle itself out, but the major meltdowns will probably resolve this next week or so, if I understand this correctly. I was told that it is very,very rare for someone to be stuck on input mode after the training is over. It has happened, but there were extenuating circumstances. I'll write about this week over the weekend.