Autism Study – 2002
Rosalie Seymour, B.A. (Log)Pret., Speech Therapist and Audiologist, AIT practitioner
Maoilíosa Ó Rathaille, B.A., M.Sc., C.Stat., Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics, Waterford Institute of Technology
Two groups of children with autism were studied; a control group (n = 8) and an experimental group (n = 15).
The control group was made up of children who had a diagnosis of autism, who did not receive AIT. The experimental group were made up of a comparable group of children with a diagnosis of autism who did receive AIT.
The two methods of assessment for comparison chosen were the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) of Drs Rimland and Edelson, and the Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC) of Anand and Singh.
The ATEC gives a Total score, as well as sub scores for
 Speech,
 Sociability,
 Cognitive / Sensory awareness, and
 HealthPhysicalBehavioural issues.
The ABC has a Total score, as well as subscores for
 Hyperactivity,
 Irritability,
 Lethargy,
 Stereotypy and
 Inappropriate Speech
In both these checklists, a high score indicates greater severity while a low score indicates a milder degree of difficulty.
COMPARING THE TWO GROUPS PREAIT:
In this section (see Figures 14 and Tables 14 below), the two groups are compared to discover whether they were evenly comparable.
The results show that they were found to be very similar in terms of age and E2 diagnostic scores at the commencement of the trial period.
(NOTE ON READING BOXPLOTS: each of the four sections indicates 25% of the sample. The boxed two middle sections each represent the 25% nearest the midline, and the lines each represent 25% on the outer ends of the sample. A star indicates an outlier).
Figure 1: Age
Figure 2: Diagnosis
Table 2: Comparison of E2 total
E2 total

Control

Experimental

Mean difference

0.5

Sample size

7

14

tvalue

0.1

Mean

7.3

6.79

Pvalue

0.92

Standard deviation

14.8

7.91

Significant (5%)

No

Figure 3: E2 Subscore Speech
Table 3: Comparison of E2 speech
E2 speech

Control

Experimental

Mean difference

0.21

Sample size

7

14

tvalue

0.17

Mean

1.43

1.21

Pvalue

0.868

Standard deviation

3.46

2.36

Significant (5%)

No

Figure 4: E2 Subscore Behaviour
Table 4: Comparison of E2 behaviour
E2 behaviour

Control

Experimental

Mean difference

0.71

Sample size

7

14

tvalue

0.17

Mean

8.7

8.0

Pvalue

0.867

Standard deviation

12.6

6.97

Significant (5%)

No

So it can be seen that the Experimental Group and the Control Group were comparable in terms of age and diagnostic severity as measured by the form E2.
COMPARISON OF THE GROUPS – ATEC AND ABC BASELINE SCORES
In addition, both groups started from the same baseline scores in terms of ATEC and ABC scores. As can be seen in Figures 5 and 6 and in Tables 5 and 6 below, there is no statistical evidence of any differences between the groups for both the initial ATEC total scores and the initial ABC total scores.
Figure 5:ATEC
Table 5: Comparison of ATEC initial scores
ATEC initial

Control

Experimental



Sample size

8

15

Wvalue

79.5

Median

54.5

80.0

Pvalue

0.3017

Difference between medians

12.5


Significant (5%)

No

Figure 6:ABC
Table 6: Comparison of ABC initial scores
ABC initial

Control

Experimental



Sample size

8

15

Wvalue

78.0

Median

17.0

29.0

Pvalue

0.2583

Difference between medians

8.0


Significant (5%)

No

THE INTERVENTION
Each of the children assigned to the experimental group (n= 15) received a tenday course of Auditory Integration Training (AIT) over a period of 5 months. The AIT was performed by a certificated AIT practitioner and trainer in the method, using an Audiokinetron.
No extra filters were set as none of the participants were able to complete the Bérard Listening Tests. The Bérard Protocol for administration of AIT was followed for each of the participants. Outside of AIT, the participants continued with their regular programmes.
The children of the control group continued with their regular programmes, but did not receive any specific music nor listening training during this period.
The postAIT checklist scores were taken from forms completed 4 months after AIT was done for each child, and 4 months after the initial prechecklists were completed in the case of the control group.
RESULT OF PREPOST SCORE CHANGES COMPARISON
In comparing the changes in the ATEC scores and the ABC scores for the two groups, after the experimental period, the statistical evidence suggests that the there is a significant difference for the ATEC scores (see Figure 7 and Table 7) and an almost significant difference for the ABC scores (see Figure 8 and Table 8), with the experimental group showing more benefit in both cases. These changes being significant were probably due to AIT, and cannot be attributed to chance.
Figure 7:ATEC prepost scores differences
Table 7: Comparison of ATEC prepost score differences
ATEC differences

Control

Experimental

Mean difference

10.3

Sample size

6

15

tvalue

2.16

Mean

5.7

16.0

Pvalue

0.044

Standard deviation

10.3

9.79

Significant (5%)

Yes

Figure 8: ABC prepost score differences
Table 8: Comparison of ABC prepost score differences
ABC differences

Control

Experimental

Mean difference

8.07

Sample size

6

14

tvalue

2.03

Mean

0.0

8.07

Pvalue

0.058

Standard deviation

5.62

8.94

Significant (5%)

No

CONCLUSION
These results indicate that a course of Auditory Integration Training (AIT) resulted in some significant improvements for a group of children with autism. These changes were not observed in the comparable group of children with autism who did not receive AIT.
These changes were more significant for those behaviours measured by the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), which has subscores for
Speech,
Sociability,
Cognitive / Sensory awareness
HealthPhysicalBehavioural issues.
The results of this study indicate that a course of AIT is likely to have significant beneficial effects for children with a diagnosis of autism. These results are compatible with many other studies into the effects of AIT on Children with Autism.
(see…….)
Refernces available on request from the author.
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