There are limitations to all the research studies identified to date, as detailed in the reviews below. For example, In the Al-Ayadhi et al (2013) study, 34 of 72 children were successfully treated for ear infections during the treatment period, confounding interpretation of findings.
Although a number of studies have been published since the last review by Sinha et al (2011), we believe that none of these studies are of sufficiently good quality to have amended their conclusions.
Sinha Y. et al. (2004) carried out a review of the existing research studies for the Cochrane Library in 2004. They set out a range of flaws in the existing studies including the fact that they “…largely measured different outcomes and reported mixed results.”
Sinha et al (2011) carried out an updated review for the Cochrane Library in 2011. They concluded
“There is no evidence that auditory integration therapy or other sound therapies are effective as treatments for autism spectrum disorders. As synthesis of existing data has been limited by the disparate outcome measures used between studies, there is not sufficient evidence to prove that this treatment is not effective. However, of the seven studies including 182 participants that have been reported to date, only two (with an author in common), involving a total of 35 participants, report statistically significant improvements in the auditory integration therapy group and for only two outcome measures (Aberrant Behaviour Checklist and Fisher’s Auditory Problems Checklist). As such, there is no evidence to support the use of auditory integration therapy at this time.”
For a comprehensive list of potential flaws in research studies, please see ‘Why some autism research studies are flawed’.