Auditory Processing Ability In Learning Disabled Children As Related To Monaural And Binaural Input (evoked Response)

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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Leadership


Purpose. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if a difference existed in the responses of learning disabled children as compared to previously established norms on brainstem auditory evoked testing and whether there is a difference between the receptive language and auditory discrimination scores of learning disabled children when the input is monaural versus binaural. The study was also designed to determine if these differences are age related.Procedure. Children with learning disabilities enrolled in the Easter Seal Demonstration School were evaluated with brainstem auditory evoked responses (BERA) at Miami Childrens' Hospital. In addition, they were tested, using taped stimuli, with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (PPVT-R) and the Goldman-Fristoe-Woodcock Test of Auditory Discrimination (G-F-W). The latency results of Wave V on the BERA were recorded for right ear, left ear and binaural presentation. The scores on the PPVT-R and G-F-W were recorded for right ear and binaural presentation.Findings. Learning disabled children performed significantly better on a task of auditory receptive vocabulary when the input was monaural rather than binaural. The hypothesis which stated that the learning disabled subjects would perform differently on the BERA was not supported. No significant difference was found on the task of auditory discrimination when the input was monaural rather than binaural, although there was a trend in the predicted direction. The hypotheses stating that the groups would differ at various age levels failed to reach significance.Conclusion and Discussion. Within the framework of the assumptions and the limitations of this study, the following conclusions appear to be justified: (1) Learning disabled children as a group have more difficulties with processing meaningful auditory stimuli when the input is binaural rather than monaural. Monaural processing is a significant factor in learning and the findings must be considered when planning for the education of the learning disabled population; (2) auditory processing difficulties occur at higher levels of brain functioning, namely the auditory cortex level, not at the brainstem level; and (3) age is not a factor in auditory processing at any level investigated which lends support to the theory that cerebral dominance for language is established early in life.


Education, Special

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