Communication, Listening, Cognitive and Speech Perception Skills in Children With Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI) PurposeParental reports of communication, listening, and behavior in children receiving a clinical diagnosis of specific language impairment (SLI) or auditory processing disorder (APD) were compared with direct tests of intelligence, memory, language, phonology, literacy, and speech intelligibility. The primary aim was to identify whether there were differences between these characteristics ... Article
Article  |   February 2011
Communication, Listening, Cognitive and Speech Perception Skills in Children With Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melanie A. Ferguson
    Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research Clinical Section, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUHT), and National Institute for Health Research National Biomedical Research Unit in Hearing, NUHT, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Rebecca L. Hall
    Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research Clinical Section, NUHT
  • Alison Riley
    Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research Clinical Section, NUHT
  • David R. Moore
    Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research Clinical Section, NUHT
  • Contact author: Melanie Ferguson, who is now with the National Institute for Health Research National Biomedical Research Unit in Hearing, Ropewalk House, 113 The Ropewalk, Nottingham NG1 5DU, United Kingdom. E-mail: melanie.ferguson@nottingham.ac.uk.
  • © 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing
Article   |   February 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, February 2011, Vol. 54, 211-227. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0167)
History: Received August 11, 2009 , Revised February 9, 2010 , Accepted June 4, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2011, Vol. 54, 211-227. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0167)
History: Received August 11, 2009; Revised February 9, 2010; Accepted June 4, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 38

PurposeParental reports of communication, listening, and behavior in children receiving a clinical diagnosis of specific language impairment (SLI) or auditory processing disorder (APD) were compared with direct tests of intelligence, memory, language, phonology, literacy, and speech intelligibility. The primary aim was to identify whether there were differences between these characteristics in children with SLI or APD.

MethodNormally hearing children who were clinically diagnosed with SLI (n = 22) or APD (n = 19), and a quasirandom sample of mainstream school (MS) children (n = 47) aged 6–13 years, underwent tests of verbal and nonverbal IQ, digit span, nonsense word repetition, Spoonerisms, reading, grammar, and sentence and VCV nonword intelligibility. Parents completed questionnaires on the children’s communication, listening, and behavior.

ResultsThere was generally no difference between the performance of the children with SLI and the children with APD on the questionnaire and test measures, and both groups consistently and significantly underperformed compared with the children in the MS group. Speech intelligibility in both noise and quiet was unimpaired in the SLI and APD groups.

ConclusionDespite clinical diagnoses of SLI or APD, the 2 groups of children had very similar behavioral and parental report profiles, suggesting that the children were differentially diagnosed based on their referral route rather than on actual differences.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the intramural programme of the Medical Research Council and the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUHT). We would like to give special thanks to Sarah Allen and Rachel Hirst of the Nottinghamshire Speech and Language Therapy Centre; Karen Willis of the Children’s Hearing Assessment Centre, NUHT; and ENT consultants of the ENT department at NUHT for their help in recruiting the children in the SLI and APD groups. We would also like to thank all the children, their parents, and the schools who participated in the study. Emma Booker helped with the data collection. Our grateful thanks go to Mark Edmondson-Jones, who ran the multivariate analysis.
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