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J Autism Dev Disord. 1988 Mar;18(1):53-65.

Conductive hearing loss in autistic, learning-disabled, and normal children.

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Department of Educational Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109.


Katz (1978) has suggested that mild, fluctuating conductive hearing loss due to middle-ear anomalies may account for the language and attention problems of learning-disabled children. His position was extended here to include autism. Normal, learning-disabled, and autistic children received repeated impedance measures over 5 weeks. A repeated-measures ANOVA of central tendency and variability values led to the conclusions that (1) fluctuating, negative middle-ear pressure greater than normal characterizes both autistic and learning-disabled children, (2) the negative pressure is greater in autistic than in learning-disabled children, and (3) the condition is typically bilateral for autistic children.

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