Remote Microphones, Normal Hearing, and APD
Keith and Purdy (2014) report that "remote microphone hearing aids are hybrid radio and hearing aid systems designed for children with normal peripheral hearing…". They state that FM systems are increasingly being replaced by digital modulation wireless technologies. The authors report that published evidence and their own personal experience suggests the majority of children with auditory processing disorder (APD) benefit from amplification with remote microphone hearing aids. Further, evidence suggests the same is true for dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, and attentional and other learning disorders.
Keith and Purdy (2014) state that remote microphone hearing aids offer therapeutic and assistive benefits for children with APD. Therapeutic benefits included improved cortical auditory-evoked potentials (CAEPs), improved auditory brainstem response (ABR), as well as improved frequency discrimination, binaural temporal resolution, frequency pattern recognition, auditory working memory, and more. Assistive benefits included improved attention, improved learning, improved behavior, improved participation in class, as well as improved self-esteem and psychosocial development.
The authors report low-powered remote microphone systems, specifically designed for children with normal or near-normal hearing are available; they can avail signal-to-noise ratios of some 20 dB and may help overcome the effects of temporal distortions within the central auditory nervous system. Keith and Purdy state that "personal remote microphone hearing aids are currently the only evidence-based amplification treatment shown to improve hearing in classrooms for children with APD." The authors state that "personal remote microphone devices are by far the most effective method of overcoming acoustic barriers and providing auditory access in classrooms…."
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Keith WJ, Purdy SC. (2014) Assistive and Therapeutic Effects of Amplification for Auditory processing Disorder. Seminars In Hearing 35(1):27-37.