Auditory Processing Theories of Language Disorders: Past, Present, and Future Purpose The purpose of this article is to provide information that will assist readers in understanding and interpreting research literature on the role of auditory processing in communication disorders. Method A narrative review was used to summarize and synthesize the literature on auditory processing deficits in children with ... Review Article
Review Article  |   July 2011
Auditory Processing Theories of Language Disorders: Past, Present, and Future
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol A. Miller
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Correspondence to Carol A. Miller: cam47@psu.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz
    Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Review Article
Review Article   |   July 2011
Auditory Processing Theories of Language Disorders: Past, Present, and Future
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 309-319. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0040)
History: Received May 26, 2010 , Accepted March 26, 2011
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 309-319. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0040)
History: Received May 26, 2010; Accepted March 26, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

Purpose The purpose of this article is to provide information that will assist readers in understanding and interpreting research literature on the role of auditory processing in communication disorders.

Method A narrative review was used to summarize and synthesize the literature on auditory processing deficits in children with auditory processing disorder (APD), specific language impairment (SLI), and dyslexia. The history of auditory processing theories of these 3 disorders is described, points of convergence and controversy within and among the different branches of research literature are considered, and the influence of research on practice is discussed. The theoretical and clinical contributions of neurophysiological methods are also reviewed, and suggested approaches for critical reading of the research literature are provided.

Conclusion Research on the role of auditory processing in communication disorders springs from a variety of theoretical perspectives and assumptions, and this variety, combined with controversies over the interpretation of research results, makes it difficult to draw clinical implications from the literature. Neurophysiological research methods are a promising route to better understanding of auditory processing. Progress in theory development and its clinical application is most likely to be made when researchers from different disciplines and theoretical perspectives communicate clearly and combine the strengths of their approaches.

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