Receptive Language and Speech Production in Children with Auditory Neuropathy/Dyssynchrony Type Hearing Loss

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The purpose of this study was to characterize the receptive language and speech production abilities of school-aged children with auditory neuropathy/dyssynchrony (AN/AD) and to compare those abilities to children with sensorineural (SN) hearing loss of similar age and degree of hearing loss.


Standardized speech and language tests were carried out on 12 AN/AD children, aged between 57 and 167 mo. Each of these subjects was a full-time hearing aid user or had been just before testing. Receptive language skills were assessed using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) and speech production ability was measured using the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology (DEAP) and a Speech Intelligibility Rating Scale. Data from a matched cohort of children with sensorineural hearing loss were also obtained.


Receptive vocabulary and speech production were delayed (to varying degrees) in each of the AN/AD subjects (relative to normally hearing children). The group PPVT Language Quotient score was 0.65 ± 0.19 and the average number of pronunciation errors was 11 ± 8.4% higher than expected for age. Results for the AN/AD group were however similar to those obtained for a matched group of children with sensorineural hearing loss on both language and speech production measures.


The findings of this study indicate that while AN/AD type hearing loss can pose a significant developmental risk, at least some children fit with conventional amplification can develop reasonable speech and language abilities.

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