Paper  |   December 2006
Auditory Processing Disorder in Children Diagnosed With Nonverbal Learning Disability
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Warren D. Keller
    East Amherst Psychology Group, East Amherst, NY
  • Kim L. Tillery
    State University of New York at Fredonia
  • Sandra L. McFadden
    Western Illinois University, Macomb
  • Contact author: Kim L. Tillery, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, SUNY Fredonia, Thompson Hall, Fredonia, NY 14063. E-mail: tillery@fredonia.edu.
Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Paper   |   December 2006
Auditory Processing Disorder in Children Diagnosed With Nonverbal Learning Disability
American Journal of Audiology December 2006, Vol.15, 108-113. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/014)
History: Accepted 23 Aug 2006 , Received 08 Feb 2006 , Revised 30 Jun 2006
American Journal of Audiology December 2006, Vol.15, 108-113. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/014)
History: Accepted 23 Aug 2006 , Received 08 Feb 2006 , Revised 30 Jun 2006

Purpose: To determine whether children with a nonverbal learning disability (NVLD) have a higher incidence of auditory processing disorder (APD), especially in the tolerance-fading memory type of APD, and what associations could be found between performance on neuropsychological, intellectual, memory, and academic measures and APD.

Method: Eighteen children with NVLD ranging in age from 6 to 18 years received a central auditory processing test battery to determine incidence and subtype of APD. Psychological measures for assessment of NVLD included the Wechsler Scales, Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning, and Wechsler Individual Achievement Test. Neuropsychological measures included the Category Test, Trails A and B, the Tactual Performance Test, Grooved Pegs, and the Speech Sounds Perception Test. Neuropsychological test scores of the NVLD+APD and NVLD groups were compared using analysis of covariance procedures, with Verbal IQ and Performance IQ as covariates.

Results: Sixty-one percent of the children were diagnosed with APD, primarily in the tolerance-fading memory subtype. The group of children with APD and NVLD had significantly lower scores on Verbal IQ, Digit Span, Sentence Memory, Block Design, and Speech Sounds Perception than children without APD. An ancillary finding was that the incidence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was significantly higher in children with NVLD (with and without APD) than in the general population.

Conclusion: The results indicate that children with NVLD are at risk for APD and that there are several indicators on neuropsychological assessment suggestive of APD. Collaborative, interdisciplinary evaluation of children with learning disorders is needed in order to provide effective therapeutic interventions.

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