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Auditory integration training and other sound therapies for autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review
  1. Y Sinha1,
  2. N Silove1,
  3. D Wheeler2,
  4. K Williams3
  1. 1Child Development Unit, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Cochrane Child Health Field, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
  3. 3Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of General Paediatrics, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
  1. Correspondence to:
    Y Sinha
    Centre for Kidney Research, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead 2145, New South Wales, Australia;yashwans{at}


Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of auditory integration training (AIT) or other methods of sound therapy in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Study design: A systematic review was carried out of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of adults or children with ASD. Meta-analysis was attempted.

Results: Six RCTs of AIT, including one crossover trial, were identified, with a total of 171 participants aged 3–39 years. 17 different outcome measures were used, with only two outcome measures used by three or more studies. Meta-analysis was not possible owing to very high heterogeneity or presentation of data in unusable forms. Three studies did not show any benefit of AIT over control conditions. Three studies reported improvements at 3 months in the AIT group for total mean scores of the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist (ABC), which is of questionable validity. Of these, one study also reported improvements at 3 months in the AIT group for ABC subgroup scores. No significant adverse effects of AIT were reported.

Conclusion: At present there is not sufficient evidence to support its use.

  • ABC, Aberrant Behaviour Checklist
  • AIT, auditory integration training
  • ASD, autism spectrum disorders
  • RCT, randomised controlled trial

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  • Published Online First 10 August 2006

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Reprints will not be available from the authors

    This paper is based on a Cochrane review first published in the Cochrane Library (copyright Cochrane Library, reproduced with permission): Sinha Y, Silove N, Wheeler D, Williams K. Auditory integration training and other sound therapies for autism spectrum disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004;(1):CD003681 (see The Cochrane version of this review will be updated as new evidence emerges, and in response to comments and criticisms. The results of a Cochrane review can be interpreted differently, depending on people’s perspectives and circumstances. Please consider the conclusions presented carefully. They are the opinions of review authors, and are not necessarily shared by The Cochrane Collaboration.

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