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J Korean Med Sci. 2007 Aug;22(4):656-9.

Electrophysiologic assessment of central auditory processing by auditory brainstem responses in children with autism spectrum disorders.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kyungpook National University, School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


In addition to aberrant features in the speech, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may present unusual responses to sensory stimuli, especially to auditory stimuli. We investigated the auditory ability of children with ASD by using Auditory Brainstem Responses (ABR) as they can directly judge both hearing status and the integrity of auditory brainstem pathways. One hundred twenty-one children (71: ASD; M 58/ F 13, mean age; 41.8 months, 50: control group; M 41/ F 9, mean age; 38 months) were included in the study. As compared with the values in the control group, the latency of wave V, wave I-V, and wave III-V inter-peak latencies were significantly prolonged (p<0.05) in the ASD group. The findings indicate that children with ASD have a dysfunction or immaturity of the central auditory nervous system. We suggest any children with prolonged III-V inter-peak latencies, especially high functioning children should be further evaluated for central auditory processing to set up a more appropriate treatment plan.

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