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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1998 Apr;41(2):355-73.

Central auditory processing disorder in school-aged children: a critical review.

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Department of Surgery, Albany Medical College, NY 12208-3479, USA.


The rationale to evaluate for central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) in school-aged children is based on the assumption that an auditory-specific perceptual deficit underlies many learning problems including specific reading and language disabilities. A fundamental issue in this area is whether convincing empirical evidence exists to validate this proposition. Herein, we consider the issue of modality specificity by examining the extent to which reading, language, and attention disorders in school-aged children involve perceptual dysfunctions limited to a single sensory modality. Difficulty in validating CAPD as a diagnostic label is due in large part to use of the unimodal inclusive framework, which has biased the diagnosis to favor sensitivity of test results over documenting the specificity of the deficit. Indeed, empirical research documenting modality-specific auditory-perceptual dysfunction in this population is scarce. Therefore, the existing literature on this topic has not clarified the "true" nature of the problem, and has left many questions about this disorder unanswered. It is argued that demonstrating modality specificity is one way to rule out supramodal disorders as explanations for observed dysfunction. Multimodal perceptual testing is one logical approach to help clarify this area of investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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