Summary of the Systematic Review
Auditory Processing Disorder and Auditory/Language Interventions: An Evidence-Based Systematic Review
Fey, M. E., Richard, G. J., et al. (2011).
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42(3), 246-264.
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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Indicators of Review Quality
- Yes The review states a clearly focused question/aim.
- Yes Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided.
- Yes Search strategy described in sufficient detail for replication.
- Yes Included studies are assessed for study quality.
- Yes Quality assessments are reproducible.
- Yes Characteristics of the included studies are provided.
This is a systematic review of peer-reviewed, exploratory and efficacy studies investigating auditory and language interventions for school-aged children with auditory processing disorder or spoken language disorder.
- "What are the effects of auditory interventions for children with a diagnosis of APD [auditory processing disorder]?
- What are the effects of auditory interventions for children with diagnoses of both APD and spoken language disorder?
- What are the effects of language interventions for children with a diagnosis of APD?
- What are the effects of language interventions for children with diagnoses of both APD and spoken language disorder?
- What are the effects of auditory interventions on children with a diagnosis of spoken language disorder?" (p. 247).
School-aged children, 6 to 12 years old, with an auditory processing disorder and/or spoken language disorder
Active, direct treatment approaches designed to influence children's ability to process speech and language treatment (e.g., speech-in-noise treatment, auditory recognition/discrimination, auditory system stimulation, or modification of acoustic stimuli)
Number of Studies Included
Conclusions from This Systematic Review
What are Conclusions?
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"AIT [Auditory Integration Training] is not efficacious for school-age children with APD [auditory processing disorder]" (p. 252).
Weak evidence suggests that intensive, short-term interventions "may be associated with improved auditory functioning among school-age children who meet broad criteria for APD [auditory processing disorder], with or without accompanying spoken language disorder. There is less evidence that these same interventions affect the spoken and written language performance of children with APD" (p. 252). These intensive, short-term interventions include:
- traditional auditory intervention (e.g., speech-in-noise training, auditory recognition, and auditory discrimination),
- Fast ForWord (e.g., computer program that modifies acoustic stimuli to improve the processing of spoken language), and
- Earobics (e.g., computer program of activities that target listening, memory, and phonological skills in children).
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"The evidence suggests that the acoustic modifications found in Fast ForWord and similar speech modification interventions generally are not responsible for improved spoken language performance for children with language disorders" (p. 253).
With regard to auditory interventions for school-age children with spoken language disorders, though positive auditory outcomes and limited language outcomes were reported, "no firm conclusions can be made concerning the listening/auditory discrimination program" (p. 253).