FAQ by Donna Geffner
What do you think about early identification of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)?
A few recent articles have been published:
Lucker JR (2015). How young is too young to evaluate children for auditory processing disorders. Canadian Audiologist, 2 (5). Available on-line at: http://canadianaudiologist.ca/issue/volume-2-issue-5-2015/column/from-the-centre-out/
Lucker, JR (2015). Auditory processing abilities in children: When to test? Audiology Today, 27 (1). Available on-line at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.671.6136&rep=rep1&type=pdf
White-Schwoch, T., Davies, E. C., Thompson, E. C., Woodruff Carr, K., Nicol, T., Bradlow, A. R., & Kraus, N. (2015). Auditory-neurophysiological responses to speech during early childhood: Effects of background noise. Hearing Research, 328, 34-47. Available online at: https://www.scholars.northwestern.edu/en/publications/auditory-neurophysiological-responses-to-speech-during-early-chil
In addition, the Auditory Skills Assessment (ASA) is an early screener for children as young as 3 years, 6 months to establish whether or not a young child’s auditory skills might be at risk. I am comfortable testing children down to age 3:6 for two measures: speech in noise and speech mimicry. The reliability and validity are good. Interestingly, Kraus and others found that children who have difficulty with speech mimicry and discrimination in noise (the din of the classroom) are at high risk for reading problems. I use the test in my practice and find it very helpful in identifying high risk young children. When I test those same children as they get older (with other measures), I get similar/consistent results. The other parts of the ASA are: Phonological Awareness and Non Speech Processing—a Tonal Patterning measure—are normed for 5-year-olds and up. I also use other tests, one of which is the Katz’ Phonemic Synthesis Picture Test—another good predictor of children at risk for reading problems. Other SLPs and audiologists use the ASA to find children with early listening skill deficits and determining goals for therapy, alone or with a tool like Phonemic Synthesis Picture Test.