The receptive language and reading abilities of students diagnosed with auditory processing disorder (APD)

Author: Stephanie Louise Mallen

Mallen, Stephanie Louise, 2010 The receptive language and reading abilities of students diagnosed with auditory processing disorder (APD), Flinders University, School of Medicine

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Abstract

Abstract This study hypothesized that students with a diagnosed auditory processing disorder (APD) will exhibit significantly greater auditory processing deficits (including phonological working memory), receptive language and reading difficulties compared to a non-APD group (NAPD) in Study One and significantly greater receptive language and reading difficulties compared to a reading-age matched Average reader group in Study Two. A relationship between the degree (severity) of auditory processing deficits and both receptive language and reading ability was also hypothesized. Further, it was hypothesized that the pattern of reading errors exhibited by students with APD will show differences compared to the reading error pattern of the two groups of students without APD. Participants in Study One had already undergone a diagnostic battery of auditory processing assessments. The participants in Study One underwent further assessments of auditory processing including auditory figure-ground, temporal gap detection, pitch perception and auditory sequencing. The Average reader group in Study Two was screened using the Sentence Length test, a screening tool designed to identify children who may be at risk of an auditory processing disorder. For both Study One and Study Two the CELF:Listening to Paragraphs subtest and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-3 were administered followed by subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised and the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability-3. The reading tests cover letter naming, grapheme-phoneme conversion, word identification, word attack and text reading. In Study One, the APD group exhibited significantly poorer phonological working memory (PWM), but not significantly different receptive language or reading abilities than the NAPD group. Interhemispheric transfer deficits, as demonstrated on dichotic listening tasks, were significantly correlated with PWM performance. PWM ability was significantly correlated with receptive vocabulary, listening comprehension and reading comprehension abilities. The severity of AP deficits was correlated with phonological working memory and receptive vocabulary. The results also suggest a contribution of non-speech auditory processing deficits (frequency discrimination) to PWM and word reading abilities. In Study Two, the APD subgroup exhibited significantly poorer receptive language and reading abilities (based on standard score performance) compared to the reading-age matched Average reader group, matched on raw scores. Again, PWM was significantly correlated with receptive vocabulary, listening comprehension and reading comprehension in the APD subgroup. Reading errors made by the participants with APD were less likely to retain the intended meaning of the text, compared to the NAPD group in Study One. In Study Two, the APD group made as many errors that lost the intended meaning of the text as the significantly younger reading-age matched Average reader group. Analysis of error types in the APD group showed a greater number of whole word substitutions of meaning and word shape and fewer recasting and decoding errors compared to the Average group. The study supports a relationship between auditory processing deficits, phonological working memory and both receptive language and reading abilities.

Keywords: auditory processing,APD,receptive language,reading ability,reading errors,phonological working memory,receptive vocabulary,listening comprehension,reading comprehension,non-speech
Subject: Audiology thesis, Speech Pathology thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2010
School: School of Medicine
Supervisor: Dr. Willem van Steenbrugge