Answers, Help, and Hope with Auditory Integration Training

To this day I feel blessed that answers, help, and hope with auditory integration training changed my son’s autism diagnosis to ADHD. Hope led to discovering auditory integration training. At age four, my son was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis. It was difficult to watch him struggle with speech and developmental delays. During the mandatory retesting at age eight, I was thrilled to hear he no longer had autism. Speechless, I praised God! The hope within my mommy heart caused me to continue to search for answers, listen, and learn. Auditory Integration Training was only part of the help Cheri gave us.

Public Preschool

At the advice of the public-school system, I enrolled our son in their special preschool program. The speech therapist worked to improve his speech and language development. But by kindergarten, his symptoms were worse than the year before. Now, he showed behavioral problems that were not there before. I knew something was wrong, but what? The Speech-Language program the school provided for him was not helping. What did I not know?

A Chance Encounter

I met Ms. Cheri Moore in 2012. Luckily, she was the substitute teacher for my son’s class for a few months. After Christmas, the school hired a permanent teacher. My son greatly missed her sharing that she understood his ears. Later, I met Cheri on the day I signed up my girls for their yearly achievement testing. Virginia requires yearly achievement testing for all homeschooled children. When she shared that she homeschooled her own children for over twelve years, we instantly connected over the needs of our children. I became hopeful when she told me, “I know what’s wrong with your son.” He has very sensitive hearing.” Auditory Integration Training can strengthen his hearing system.

Thankfully, she agreed to come work with us answering many of our questions. She had just decided to start her business, Moore Than Tutoring later changed to Moore Auditory Integration Training. Cheri shared that her goal was to help parents get to the root of learning difficulties with hearing tests not typically provided during routine hearing evaluations. Thankfully, she also helped parents learn how to teach a struggling learner.

Surprisingly, we spent part of our first session talking about his hearing and sleep. After I answered her many questions, she suggested a consult with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor. She also explained that he needed special hearing tests to learn more about his sound intolerance. I agreed that his sound sensitivities were severe. The medical and hearing exam results would help her know if he was a candidate for auditory integration training to improve his ability to tolerate sounds. Wow! Now I could do something.

Unknown Effects of Enlarged Adenoids

The doctor discovered that he had enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which were surgically removed in June 2012. No wonder he snored so loudly and hung his head at the side of the bed when sleeping; he couldn’t breathe from the adenoids blocking his airway.

An ENT visit preparing for auditory integration training. An ENT doctor using a micro camera to look at ear drum of a women, looking at a small child with a wide open mouth holding a tongue depressor; looking up the nose of a young smiling girl with ENT doctor wearing a big light; and a girl wearing bone conduction headphones with a probe in one ear.

That was an answer I was not expecting. Surprisingly, the ENT doctor was excited to learn that I was already working with Cheri. He recommended auditory integration training before his surgery. Why? Because after surgery, his sound intolerance would be worse. I had no idea that adenoids block Eustachian tubes allowing fluid to build up, a type of hearing loss.

Cheri helped me understand that It would be like suddenly turning up the volume of the radio without the ability to turn it back down. I also learned that adenoids grow as the child grows. No wonder his behavior was getting worse. Cheri also shared that inflamed eustachian tubes trap fluid in the middle ear distorting sound. Wow! That was why he needed speech therapy.

The initial visit with the audiologist confirmed Ms. Moore’s concerns about sound sensitivity/sound intolerance. My son was diagnosed with Auditory Hypersensitive Disorder. Not only did he have painful hearing (sound intolerance), but the adenoids were causing a mild hearing loss. Another lightbulb moment! That is why the sounds at school were too much for him to handle. No wonder he had so much rage when he got home from school; the noise from the bus, the school bell, the kids talking, etc. was too loud for him. He was overwhelmed by it all! He thought others were hurting him on purpose. Thankfully, knowing about auditory integration training kept me from feeling overwhelmed.

Auditory Integration Training Improves Sound Tolerance and Emotional Health

Before surgery to remove his adenoids the summer of 2012, he received his first in-home, Berard-based Auditory Integration Training (AIT) program. After surgery, his sound intolerance became more heighten just like the doctor warned me. Once approved by the ENT doctor, he received a five day booster program. Slowly, his behavior started changing. No longer did he need to be put in “time out” due to tantrums or rage. He showed appropriate social behaviors during large gatherings. By the summer of 2013, he finally enjoyed watching fireworks without clutching to me with wide eyes from fear or crying from the sound of explosion. The sounds didn’t hurt him anymore. It was an unforgettable moment.

An Additional Challenge, Amblyopia

Cheri closely tracked his progress giving him subsequent auditory integration training programs, each 5 or 10 days long and six months apart, until July of 2013. During this time, he started first grade. I noticed that he skipped lines or words while reading. Despite having a good nights’ sleep, he would rub his eyes and yawn early in the morning. Puzzled, I called Cheri. She watched how he wrote; his posture and eye movements. I always looked at what he was writing. I was amazed when she showed me that one of his eyes drifted out, a visual processing concern. Cheri suggested he see a Behavioral Optometrist.

The doctor found four problems with his vision: Fixation Dysfunction, Saccadic Dysfunction, Binocular Dysfunction and Refractive Amblyopia. The optometrist specialized in developing vision therapy programs. Because of my background in O.T., I decided to complete vision exercises with him at home. He was prescribed corrective prism glasses which he didn’t like at first.

After a few months, my son showed wonderful improvements with his eye-hand coordination and balance. No longer was he falling and tripping on flat surfaces. He now enjoyed playing ball with his friends. With the demands of homeschooling three children, I was unable to continue with the vision exercises we were doing. After a year of wearing his prism glasses, his behavioral optometrist discontinued its’ use. Yeah! I thought we would not have to worry about the cost of in-office vision therapy. That all was well. Little did I know there were more challenges ahead.

Food Allergies, Leaky Gut, and Stuttering: The Need for Auditory Integration Training

Concerned about my son’s continuing stuttering, I asked for help once again from Mrs. Moore. She noted eczema, rashes on the inside of both his elbows. She asked about his diet and recommended that he be seen by a specialist to check on allergies and nutritional health. I was so dismayed at the test results. My son, who looked healthy and was on the chubby side, had leaky-gut syndrome. That meant his body failed to properly absorb nutrients from food. He had so many food allergies: eggs, milk, gluten, and nuts. It took months for bloodwork to show health, no yeast/fungal overgrowth. The doctor also found low levels of neurotransmitter that was much needed by his growing brain. I would never have known these underlying problems had it not been from the expertise of Ms. Moore.

Most surprisingly, his speech became more fluent after we changed his diet. Cheri shared that food allergies and food sensitivities often cause inflammation in the Eustachian tubes. I am so glad Cheri provided additional auditory integration training.

Reading Comprehension Difficulties, A Clue

By fourth grade, my biggest concern was that he continued to struggle with reading comprehension and higher cognitive tasks. Mrs. Moore shared that additional auditory integration training was not the answer. I learned that when the brain is too busy keeping vision clear, it is much more difficult to comprehend and remember what was just read. Thus, I had him evaluated again by the same behavioral optometrist.

Oh no! He once again needed prism glasses. Amazingly, his speech became fluent the minute he wore the prism glasses. Cheri cautioned us sharing that researchers found that the benefits of wearing prism glasses only lasted for three months. Think of prism glasses as an open door of opportunity for the brain to learn how to use both eyes together. Did we want to try in-office vision therapy? Or because of his amblyopia, did we want to go see an ophthalmologist who may discuss eye surgery?

We decided that this time he would received in-office vision therapy for more than a year to lift his visual suppression and teach his eyes to work together. If he still struggled, then we could take him to the opthamologist.

I had no idea that the in-home program fails to lift visual suppression.

A Thankful Mom

The money we spent on vision therapy was worth every penny. Our returns are greater than private music lessons or buying a newer car. Most exciting, my son did not receive a diagnosis of autism.

A Joyful, Thriving Student

Today, my son is a thriving 7th grader who is a joyful, thriving teen who loves Latin, drama, and music. I continue to homeschool him with wonderful support from a homeschool co-op where he has lots of friends. I am so proud to share that he earns A’s and B’s.

When in loud places and at social events, he enjoys himself hanging out with his friends. Now, he loves music taking piano and clarinet lessons. He is a member of the intermediate band and recently participated in a District Chorus Concert. Now, his gift of keen hearing is a blessing bringing him joy. He loves to play basketball and is now learning tennis. Sometimes he struggles to say the right word. Now that his eyes are working well together, Cheri is recommending one more auditory integration training program at no charge. We are hoping this helps him more easily express himself fully integrating visual pathways with auditory pathways within the brain. Wow! His last program was six years ago.

God Answers Prayers

I was a mom who knew something was wrong with my son, but I did not know where to go for help. Ms. Moore is the guiding hand, listening and encouraging us to find the underlying reasons for my son’s problems. Because of auditory integration training, my son’s behavior is not dictated by his reaction to sounds. With Ms. Moore, we found professionals who helped him recover not only from auditory deficits but visual deficits as well. Auditory-Visual Training protocols were a blessing.

Ms. Moore is compassionate and kindhearted. Her dedication to her clients is unmatched. My son is getting the chance to live to his full potential, because of her expertise and tenacity in looking for answers through research. I thank the Lord for bringing her into our lives.

God Answers Prayers, Virginia (2011-2019)

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Cheri Moore
Auditory Integration Training (AIT) and ILS Integrated Listening programs are completed in the comfort of your home with the support of Cheri Moore or a practitioner near you. Cheri's online, interactive questionnaires (preschooler, students, adults) with a free phone consultation helps you obtain a report that communicates concern and learn if you can benefit from Cheri's advocacy services.
Cheri Moore

Cheri Moore

Auditory Integration Training (AIT) and ILS Integrated Listening programs are completed in the comfort of your home with the support of Cheri Moore or a practitioner near you. Cheri's online, interactive questionnaires (preschooler, students, adults) with a free phone consultation helps you obtain a report that communicates concern and learn if you can benefit from Cheri's advocacy services.

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