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Intervention and Outcomes: Auditory Processing Disorders

Intervention and Outcomes: Auditory Processing Disorders

November 07, 2012 In the News

Sharma, Purdy, and Kelly (2012) report that auditory processing disorders (APDs) generally occur in tandem with spelling, reading, language, and other learning problems. The authors note that "management approaches" for people with APD (in the professional literature) are "largely theoretical and lack a strong evidence base…." 

The authors report that Chermak et al (2007) posited that because language, cognition, and auditory processing are interdependent with regard to neurophysiology, perhaps language, reading, and academic functions would benefit from "broadly based interventions." Previously, APD interventions have been characterized as "top down (TD)" or "bottom-up (BU)." BU strategies (typical audiologic approaches) essentially work to maximize the signal quality (discrimination training), whereas TD approaches (typical speech-language approaches) focus on language skills.  

Sharma, Purdy, and Kelly aimed to determine the impact of TD and BU approaches, with and without FM systems. Sixty children were assigned to one of four treatment groups (BU, BU with FM, TD, TD with FM) or the control group (no treatment). Each participant was diagnosed with APD (i.e., had APD scores beyond +/- 2 SDs on at least one of five behavioral  tests).  In all, 55 children (36 boys and 19 girls, ages 7 to 13 years) were evaluated.  

Of note, 4 percent of the 55 children had a diagnosis of APD only, 62 percent had additional reading and language difficulties, 16 percent had APD and language impairment and 18 percent had APD and reading disorders. Sharma, Purdy, and Kelly report that participants were assigned to treatment groups without regard to their specific deficit and without regard to their baseline (or anticipated FM) performance. The authors concluded that "post intervention measures showed stable test-retest results for the control group and significant benefits across several areas…for the treatment groups." Specifically, the control group scores remained stable across six weeks, whereas all intervention (experimental) groups showed some improvements. Both groups receiving BU intervention (with and without FM) demonstrated significant improvements in "core language scores."

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Cox LC, McCoy SL, Tun PA, Wingfield A. (2008) Monotic Auditory Processing Disorder Tests in the Older Adult Population. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 19:293–208.

Dawes P. (2011) The SCAN-A in Testing for Auditory Processing Disorder in a Sample of British Adults. International Journal of Audiology 50:107–111.

Dawes P, Sirimanna T, Burton M, Vanniasegaram I, Tweedy F, Bishop DVM. (2009) Temporal Auditory and Visual Motion Processing of Children Diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder and Dyslexia. Ear & Hearing 30(6):675–686.

Dillon H, Cameron S, Glyde H, Wilson W, Tomlin D. (2012) An Opinion on the Assessment of People Who May Have an Auditory Processing Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 23:97–105.

Ferguson M. (2009) Diagnosing Auditory Processing Disorders. ENT News, In Audiology Matters. February 2009.

Ferguson MA, Hall RL, Riley A, Moore DR. (2011) Communication, Listening, Cognitive, and Speech Perception Skills in Children With Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 54 (2):211–227.

Sharma M, Purdy SC,  Kelly AS. (2012) A Randomized Control Trial of Interventions in School-Aged Children with Auditory Processing Disorders. International Journal of Audiology 51:506–518.  

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