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J Am Aud Soc. 1978 Sep-Oct;4(2):52-6.

The use of masking level differences in the identification of children with perceptual problems.


The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether masking level differences (MLD's) could differentiate between normal children and children with suspected auditory processing problems. MLD's for speech and 500-Hz tones were measured for an experimental group consisting of 24 normal-hearing children suspected of having auditory perceptual dysfunction. Fourteen children with normal auditory processing abilities and 11 normal-hearing adults comprised the control groups. Results indicated that (1) there was no difference between MLD's for "normal" children and normal adults; (2) there was no difference between speech MLD's for the two groups of children; however, (3) tonal MLD's for the children with suspected auditory perceptual problems were significantly lower than those for the normal groups. Using a cut-off tonal MLD of 7 dB, 79% of the experimental group were positively identified whereas only 12% of the normals were identified. The tonal MLD can be a strong addition to a central test battery, especially because it can be used with nonverbal children who cannot complete many tests because of limited linguistic skills.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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