Auditory Dysfunction: In Children with School Problems

Frank Oberklaid, Claire Harris, Eddie Keir

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13 Citations (Scopus)


One hundred thirty-three children with school problems referred to a hospital-based multidisciplinary clinic were screened audiologically to determine the frequency of auditory problems, and to determine whether one could predict auditory problems from clinical data. Ninety-three (69.9%) failed one or more parts of the screening procedure. Twenty-two children (7.9% of the total group) had abnormal hearing acuity, 33 (30.6%) abnormal speech discrimination in noise, and 73 (62.4%) abnormal short term auditory memory. These figures are significantly higher than those found in a representative sample of school children. Not one of 16 items from parent and teacher questionnaires and neurodevelopmental findings predicted auditory acuity or speech in noise problems; there were correlations between short term auditory memory items and parental and teacher rating of a language problem, teacher rating of reading and sequencing problem, and neurodevelopmental finding of auditory sequencing problem. In view of this inability to clinically predict auditory processing deficits, the authors suggest that a full audiological assessment, including short term memory and speech in noise testing, is warranted as part of the evaluation of children with learning difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes

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