Article  |   June 2009
Comorbidity of Auditory Processing, Language, and Reading Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mridula Sharma
    Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Suzanne C. Purdy
    Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Andrea S. Kelly
    University of Auckland
  • Contact author: Mridula Sharma, Macquarie University–Linguistics, Building C5, Room 513, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2106, Australia. E-mail: mridula.sharma@ling.mq.edu.au.
  • © 2009 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   June 2009
Comorbidity of Auditory Processing, Language, and Reading Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2009, Vol. 52, 706-722. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0226)
History: Received September 26, 2007 , Revised April 27, 2008 , Accepted October 5, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2009, Vol. 52, 706-722. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0226)
History: Received September 26, 2007; Revised April 27, 2008; Accepted October 5, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 33

Purpose: The authors assessed comorbidity of auditory processing disorder (APD), language impairment (LI), and reading disorder (RD) in school-age children.

Method: Children (N = 68) with suspected APD and nonverbal IQ standard scores of 80 or more were assessed using auditory, language, reading, attention, and memory measures. Auditory processing tests included the Frequency Pattern Test (FPT; F. E. Musiek, 1994; D. Noffsinger, R. H. Wilson, & F. E. Musiek, 1994); the Dichotic Digit Test Version 2 (DDT; F. E. Musiek, 1983); the Random Gap Detection Test (R. W. Keith, 2000); the 500-Hz tone Masking Level Difference (V. Aithal, A. Yonovitz, & S. Aithal, 2006); and a monaural low-redundancy speech test (compressed and reverberant words; A. Boothroyd & S. Nittrouer, 1988). The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fourth Edition (E. Semel, E. Wiig, & W. Secord, 2003) was used to assess language abilities (including auditory memory). Reading accuracy and fluency and phonological awareness abilities were assessed using the Wheldall Assessment of Reading Passages (A. Madelaine & K. Wheldall, 2002) and the Queensland University Inventory of Literacy (B. Dodd, A. Holm, M. Orelemans, & M. McCormick, 1996). Attention was measured using the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (J. A. Sandford & A. Turner, 1995).

Results: Of the children, 72% had APD on the basis of these test results. Most of these children (25%) had difficulty with the FPT bilaterally. A further 22% had difficulty with the FPT bilaterally and had right ear deficits for the DDT. About half of the children (47%) had problems in all 3 areas (APD, LI, and RD); these children had the poorest FPT scores. More had APD–RD, or APD–LI, than APD, RD, or LI alone. There were modest correlations between FPT scores and attention and memory, and between DDT scores and memory.

Conclusions: LI and RD commonly co-occur with APD. Attention and memory are linked to performance on some auditory processing tasks but only explain a small amount of the variance in scores. Comprehensive assessment across a range of areas is required to characterize the difficulties experienced by children with APD.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access