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Are suspected auditory processing difficulties in children aged 8–12 years related to attention, working memory, nonverbal intelligence, and communication abilities?

Are suspected auditory processing difficulties in children aged 8–12 years related to attention, working memory, nonverbal intelligence, and communication abilities?

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Background: Children with difficulties in listening and understanding speech despite normal peripheral hearing, can be diagnosed with the diagnosis Auditory Processing Disorder (A). However, there are doubts about the validity of this diagnosis. The aim of this study was to examine the relation between the listening difficulties of children between 8 and 12 years with suspected A and the attention, working memory, nonverbal intelligence and communication abilities of these children. Material and methods: In this case-control study we examined 10 children who reported listening difficulties in spite of normal peripheral hearing (3 referred by speech-language pathologist in the Northern Netherlands, 6 by an audiological center in the Southern Netherlands and one by parental concern) and 21 typically developing children (recruitment through word of mouth and by the website Taalexpert.nl), ages 8;0 to 12;0 years. The parents of all children completed three questionnaires about history, behavioral symptoms of ADHD, and communication skills (Children’s Communication Checklist). Teachers of the children completed the Children’s Auditory Processing Performance Scale (CHAPPS). Children were assessed for auditory processing abilities (speech-in-noise, filtered speech, binaural fusion, dichotic listening), nonverbal intelligence (Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices), and working memory (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals). Auditory and visual attention was studied with four behavioral tests of the WAFF battery of the Vienna Test System (Schuhfried). Results: Preliminary analysis shows no differences between groups on the auditory processing tests and nonverbal intelligence quotient. Children in the experimental group have poorer communication performance (parent report), poorer listening skills (teacher report), and poorer working memory and attention skills (behavioral tests). Conclusions: The results of this study showed that there is a difference between children with listening complaints and typically developing children, but that the problems are not specific to the auditory modality. There seems to be no evidence for the validity of an auditory deficit.

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OrganisatieHanzehogeschool Groningen
LectoraatHealthy Ageing, Allied Health Care and Nursing
Datum2017-06-08
TypeConference item not in proceedings
TaalEngels

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