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Nickisch, Andreas; Massinger, Claudia (2009): Auditory Processing in Children with Specific Language Impairments: Are there Deficits in Frequency Discrimination, Temporal Auditory Processing or General Auditory Processing? In: Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, No. 6: pp. 323-328


Background/Aims: Specific language impairment (SLI) is believed to be associated with nonverbal auditory (NVA) deficits. It remains unclear, however, whether children with SLI show deficits in auditory time processing, time processing in general, frequency discrimination (FD), or NVA processing in general. Patients and Methods: Twenty-seven children (aged 8-11) with SLI and 27 control children (CG), matched for age and gender, were retrospectively compared with regard to their performance on five NVA skills in terms of just noticeable differences (JND) and time order judgments (TOJ). JND was used for FD, intensity discrimination, and gap detection, while TOJ was used for FD and clicks. Results: Children with SLI performed significantly worse than the CG only on the FD tasks (JND and TOJ). The other nonverbal tasks showed no significant intergroup differences. Additionally, moderate associations were found between the FD tasks and phonological skills, as well as between FD tasks and language scores. Conclusion: Children with SLI appear to have restricted FD skills compared to controls, but there was no evidence for a common NVA deficit or reduced temporal auditory abilities. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel